I'd love to sit here and tell you that being a new mother is calm and blissful. That you get to know your baby's routine and everything just comes together in a seamless fashion where nobody ever gets stressed, frustrated or feels like tearing their hair out....
....but I'd be lying. Being a new mother is exhausting!
And not just physically. Emotionally too. Every day is different and just when you think you have one part of parenting nailed life throws you a curve ball and you are back at square one, out of breath, dishevelled and utterly clueless once again.
I don't think anybody should be ashamed to talk about the more difficult sides of parenting. It's important to share the lows as well as the highs. It's natural. It's normal. It's healthy. Nobody should be embarrassed to talk about things that have gone wrong, or things they have cried about in the bath when they finally have a moment to themselves. If anybody was to come up to me and say that every second and every minutes and every hour of every day was easy, I think I'd start searching the sky for a flying pig. Parenting is tough. Parenting is really tough.
There are still some days where I barely make it out of my dressing gown. I sometimes go for days without having a shower. Some days I just sit in and listen to the background noise of the TV all day whilst Eric plays and eats and sleeps and poos. Often, the washing ends up scattered around the floor in muddled piles because sometimes I'd just rather spend that quiet five minutes scrolling aimlessly through Facebook and eating chocolate. And yes, sometimes the thought of a cheeky beer at the end of the day does see me through This doesn't mean I'm a bad mother. It means I'm human.
Life with a fifteen week old is manic but it is utterly marvellous. Days are never boring and they zip by in the blink of an eye. There's never a dull moment and you are constantly kept on your toes. It is by far the most intense job you will ever have - the hours are long and the breaks are incredibly short. Shift patterns are varied and it's low pay but none of that really matters. Because when your baby looks at you, you are all they see. When they smile, it's because of you. You are their entire world and all they want is your love.
There is no instruction manual for becoming a parent. Nobody can teach you how to care for a child. And becoming a parent doesn't flip a switch and automatically change you overnight so that you just know how to do it all. Nobody is really an expert and nobody can really help. And why? Because every baby is different. How many of us smile through gritted teeth at the mother who tells us little Gertrude has slept through the night since 2 days old? How many of us have secretly wanted to scream at the parent who beams at you as they walk past you in the supermarket with little Benny sitting perfectly in the trolley whilst your baby has a meltdown in the middle of the cheese aisle? As much as we might sometimes want them too, babies work to their own milestone schedule and we just have to go with the flow as they learn for themselves.
Life with a new baby is challenging and sometimes you feel that you are in it alone, but you aren't. You aren't at all. All around you parents are going through exactly the same things and that is why the lows should never be a taboo subject. We may not be able to help each other but we can listen, we can reassure, and we can be a shoulder to cry on. We might not "get it" or properly understand, but it's just important to be that crutch for one another on those difficult days.
When I decided to vlog one of our family days I deliberately didn't omit Eric having meltdowns (although I did mute them - listening to a screaming baby at double the speed is like listening to a hyperactive chipmunk)! To just leave in the good bits would be lying to you, and I'm not one for that. I may have a pretty chilled out baby, but my God he screams the house down when he wants to.
I guess through all of this my point is that the next time you're sitting with spit up down your top, hair un-brushed and feeling like shit, just remember that even though things aren't amazing in that moment, there will be some point in your day that reminds you that being a new parent may not be predictable, but there is always something that makes the tricky times worth it!