Before you freak out, I’m not saying I had an easy birth…far from it…in fact I remember thinking of several occasions that I might very well be dying. But I remember very foolishly thinking that once the childbirth was over, everything would basically be fine and just fall into place. Oh ho ho. How wrong I was. Then there was the whole becoming a parent bit.
For some bizarre reason we spent the nine months of our pregnancy preparing for D Day when quite frankly we would probably have done a lot better to get our heads sorted about what was to come on the other side – i.e. actually having that baby who then grows into a boddler, then toddler, then threenager yadda yadda yadda.
And what is yet to come could very well last three years of pushing to get through to that light at the end of the tunnel, as opposed to the 24 or 48 hours of childbirth give or take 12 hours either side to push a baby out (or however you end up delivering) which quite frankly after my almost four years of being a parent makes childbirth now look like a fleeting piece of piss in comparison.
Because the real shit goes down once you leave that hospital and return to the minefield of your previously zen home as you navigate a never ending deluge of pee, poo, puke, nappy explosions, breast or bottle feeding fails, sleep deprivation and sleep regressions, arching of backs, and general zombie like apocalypse.
And while it’s true that it does all get better – yup they learn to eat and sleep properly eventually – the fact of the matter is, it’s not like after that you can just sit around, kick back and relax. You fool! Of course not.
All the challenges of the first year (which are of course sweetened by the first smiles, words, crawls) are then replaced by the utter carnage that is toddlerhood which is basically like the world’s worst and most angry dictator has decided to set up camp in your house..god help you. Although of course there are many amazing and beautiful moments to keep you going through the carnage which means I wouldn’t change anything for the world apart from the grey hairs it gave me!
Then there are the threes – which was still hard work but THANK THE LORD! you can actually reason with them and say bye bye to all those hellish sleep regressions and that non-sensical defiant behaviour as they actually begin to turn into something resembling a proper little boy or girl…HUZZAH! Honestly, my favourite bit yet, but still not without its challenges.
Now I’m half way through my fourth year of being a parent (read more on living with a four year old here) which is when I feel like I have finally come into my own as a mum, the bottom line is this: if someone could fast forward the first three years of their lives, or perhaps just hand me a three year old at each childbirth rather than a screaming alien baby who would then morph into a calamity of a toddler I would happily have eight children. But knowing with all the cruelty of hindsight that childbirth really is the easiest part in the becoming a parent story, I honestly just don’t know if I could do all the bad bits again, no matter how many amazingly good bits there have also been.
Were you under the impression that childbirth was going to be hardest part in your journey to becoming a parent? How has your view changed since then? Do share a comment below.
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