Before Baby and After Baby: expectations vs reality

I always had in mind, as I’m sure many of us do, what I would be like as a parent and what life would be like with our own little family. Judgments were never made on other parents, however I had my opinions on how I would do things my way. For example, bribes of chocolate buttons or Kinder eggs would never be used as a way to get my children to behave. Lets just take a moment to let that sink in.

As it turns out, sometimes bribes are the ONLY way you can get a child to cooperate and if it means we are making a detour on a day out, to find a shop that sells said chocolates, then so be it. Because the thing with becoming a parent is it changes you. You try to cling on desperately to the “old” you who had opinions and a social life but all of that goes out the window, along with sleep and being on time for things. So without further a do, here are some of the thoughts I had before my children were born and how they have changed now I am someone’s Mummy. Feel free to laugh at my stupidity.

↑ A young, naive me who has just entered the parenting world.

“My body won’t change THAT much and I will ping back to my original size because I’m not going to be a Mum who sits around all day eating cake and drinking coffee.”

To be fair not much sitting around goes on but a lot of cake/biscuits/coffee does get consumed. I was twenty one when I had my first baby and hadn’t been properly introduced to the world of “coffee and cake”. I was more of a bag of crisps and an apple kind of girl. Once I did discover the amazing combination of coffee and a sweet treat there was no stopping me. I like to think this habit has curbed a bit as I have learned to control myself, but life is too short to give up the things you love. So needless to say there was no “pinging”. I haven’t put weight on but my body shape has changed. It looks a lot less “Yay” and a bit more “Meh”. But I don’t mind anymore because it has grown two beautiful humans and pushed them out. Pretty amazing.

 “I will never be lonely because everyone will want to come and see the new baby. Also I will make lots of new      Mum friends.”

Everyone did want to come and see the new baby (which, actually, was a bit overwhelming when you have had no sleep and are lost in a world of nappies and breast pads). But then the baby isn’t new anymore and people have their own lives to be getting on with. So there you are, left with your little bundle of joy, on your own and suddenly nine months maternity leave seems like a very long time. How will you meet like minded people who have babies who’s poo also explodes out the side/back of their nappy? Where are the struggling Mums who just want a bath and a hot dinner? I needed to meet people who were in the same boat as me so we could share our birthing stories and chat about the best weaning methods. So I took myself along to various baby groups: swimming, toddlers, singing etc. In fact I did so much with Charlie when he was a baby he should technically be an expert at swimming and socialising by now. (He isn’t which makes me think what did we get out of those groups??). It took me a long time to find a good group of “Mum” friends and I think I can safely say I spent the first year of Charlie’s life feeling lonely and crying to Steve or my Mum. This has all changed now (I have some great friends), and it has definitely been a lot easier the second time around as I don’t feel the constant need to impress other people. I don’t know whether this comes from having children or whether I have just grown up a bit. It can be lonely but try to surround yourself by like minded people who make you smile and don’t keep trying to impress others…just focus on keeping your baby alive and you will be fine.

“My baby won’t need a dummy.” 

See below photo of Charlie.

“We have had lots of offers for babysitting so we will still be able to go out; I don’t think our lives will change that much.”

Yeah.. people were just being polite and anyway would you trust someone else to look after your baby?? Of course we have had nights out where Grandparents or friends have stepped in, but these nights consist of talking about your children then cutting the night short because you are too tired and know you will be up at some point through the night or early morning. Rocking until five am has a whole new meaning… Our lives have obviously changed. They can’t not. I definitely found it easier going from one child to two, than going from no children to one. Your routine changes and so do your priorities.

All of the above said, we wouldn’t change anything for the world, it is just a huge learning curve. My husband and I love being parents, it brings so much joy. As well as hard work and wine. Lots of wine.


July 5, 2017
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