Let's Talk: The Reality of Becoming a Parent

 Becoming a mother is without a doubt my greatest achievement. I love my son more than word can tell, he is my pride and joy, and without him my life would be incomplete.

But, having him was the hardest thing I have ever done. No one is able to quite warn you enough to how much your life is going to change, and how really nothing will ever be the same again.

So here is my advice, for the realities of having a child - because trust me, it isn't all dresses, toys and fairytales.

Labour is without a doubt the most horrific thing you will ever go through. Some women will have the perfect labour, push baby out in the pool and get to skip home a few hours later. But they fail to mention things like 1 in 4 births end in a section. Things go wrong. Some labours are hard, and do have complications, things do not go to plan. Tears too happen. I had a 3rd degree tear, which basically means I ripped my pelvic floor muscle. Yeah that hurt, not to mention my inability to hold in anything for a good week. Its gruesome.
Even if you have a good smooth labour, you are still faced with 9 months of periods all at once. yup. All. At. Once. by week 3 you are questioning if it will ever end, and if you are even still alive, because you will be feeling pretty dead too lol.

2. BODY.
 I am yet to meet a mum who is 100% confident with their body after baby. I remember looking in the mirror and just sobbing. Your stomach does not just bounce back into shape. You are left with what looks like a deflating balloon for at least two weeks.
Stretchmarks and sagging skin is also a problem, my stomach now looks like a scrotum. YUP! That bad. You can see how to to deal with stretchmarks in a believable way here (There is also pictures of my scrotum stomach)
Basically buy some leggings and baggy tops, they are your best friends, and make sure to throw out all sexy underwear. That is way too uncomfortable now (and doesn't hold in your saggy tummy) and you can outright forget things like crop tops. High wasted jeans and bridget jones pants are now your new best friend.

Ahh everyone loves a newborn, they are so small and teeny. You will love it more than anything, to the point it hurts, its overwhelming. You will cry a lot.
Feeding is the main focus with such a small baby, if you choose to breastfeed you must be warned of how much it hurts. I was never told this, and was in shock, but DANG it is SO SORE. Something so natural, shouldn't be that painful. If you power on though though the pain does stop by around week 8. Yup. Week EIGHT.
Either way you choose to feed your baby you will be hit with remarks, ignore them. If your baby is happy and gaining weight, nothing else matters.
What you will also quickly realise is how much you need to teach them, everything from holding their own head up to swallowing will become an effort.

You really see who your friends are when you have a baby. For the first month your child will be a total novelty. Everyone will want to come see you, hug your baby. But after that first month passes you will quickly realise suddenly you are not being invited to things, or worse they are inviting you but ignoring the fact you have a child.
Nothing is more annoying to a parent, than someone who doesn't have children and just doesn't understand. You have to plan and organise everything with kids, no I cannot come to a last minute event or a full weekend away. Things are not easy..
You will also find over time that as you have been doing nothing but raise your child, you have very little in common anymore, office chat will become boring, and they won't want to listen to how your baby has a different colour of poo. You will seek out mum friends, and swap cocktails for coffees.
And those of you saying "I love my friends, nothing will change" Better think again, they will annoy every fibre of your being with their lack of understanding. Espcially when they are being judgy because you are feeding them chocolate to keep them quiet for 5 minutes.

I honestly don't remember what I used to do before I had my son, I mean when did I get up? what did I do with all that time?? Unscheduled, unpredictable. Do whatever you want to do. Feels like a distant memory, and the occasions I do have alone now, I tend to just sit in silence, enjoying the lack of noise.
My problem was I was pregnant at 20, so I didn't have much of a life before my son, so I honestly cannot even remember what it was like not to have mine revolve around a 4 year old.

Life is generally harder in every way with a child. Need to go to Tesco? Take the baby. Need to go to Town, take the baby. Need to pee, Take the baby.... everywhere. Simple things like getting out the house become a mission. Do you have everything you need??? You need to plan your entire day around feeding them, changing them, not to mention the pram, carseat navigation.
Don't think as they get older it gets easier either. A walking toddler hates a pram, and get annoyed after 30 minutes. Once they are potty trained you then face toilet navigation and having to plot your routes based on toilet locations. I have honestly had to stop at the side of a motor way on countless occasions, get out in the rain and snow so my son can pee at the side of the road. (sidenote, pee moves in the wind, do not let them pee against it, you will get covered)
They then develop the "I don't want to" which basically means you need to drag a sulking child everywhere you go. Leaving the house is a nightmare. But we don't stay in because staying home = mess.

Having a baby will never help a relationship, it is a stress and it will put so much pressure on it, it needs to be strong, you will take your anger, exhaustion and frustration out on one another. If things don't work out it hurts more than you could believe. But more on that another day.

Possibly the worst aspect. Do you work? Do you like going out? because forget any of that without arranging childcare. Which is ridiculously expensive. In Dundee your average 0-5 nursery will cost £43 per day. If you have them in full time you typically get a discount. Either way its still £688 per month. For one child. Worst part? that's Monday - Friday 7-6. If you have a Saturday/Sunday job or work beyond 5.30pm you will need to pay more.
If you are lucky your friends and family will help out looking after them, but with that comes with guilt, lots of it. You will have to deal with the childcare issues for about 14 years of each child's life. That's one hell of a commitment.

Such an odd statement right? I mean of course. Duh. But seriously you have no idea how many people I have seen obsess over having a baby, not quite realising that after a year they are no longer babies, they are children, and they will continue to be for a long time. The baby stage is the easy part, the rest.. now that's hard, teaching your child to become a caring, lovely, friendly, intelligent adult is really really hard. Extremely overwhelming.
Sure the baby stage is great, getting to push around a pram, holding them, watching them grow and smile, but you also need to go through the stages where they want to walk everywhere, where they are questioning your logic, or just questioning you. You will become that parent in Tesco with the screaming child. You will learn to use screen time as a way just to have 5 minutes without any questions, you will have to go through it all. Good and Bad. Then you will have to watch them grow away from you, watch them go off and become adults.

you will feel guilty all the time for everything you should have done with them, things you should have said. You will have to let them make their own mistakes and comfort them through everything. You will realise your Mum and Dad were doing their best, you will appreciate them, you remember how much of sh*t head teenager you were and apologise countless times. Then you worry of how bad your own child will be as a teen.
Basically the guilt and worry never leaves. My Mum has said countless times how she thought the worrying would end at 18. It turns out she now worries more because she doesn't see me, she worries about me and AJ, she worries about me coping and managing everything ok. Mainly she worries that she did a good job, and that I am being an OK adult. Then replays all the moments she is guilty over.
It never goes away, the minute you fall pregnant it is a new addition to your brain, and no matter how perfect of a mum someone looks, I can gaurentee you they are feeling guilty and worrying over something. It's part of the Mum package.

So there is all the things I think you should know before you take the plunge into being a parent. My best advice is to just make sure you know what you are in for, make sure you are ready. My son was born when I was 20, I wish I had waited another few years, but then he wouldn't be the person he is, so I doubt I would change a thing.

Do you have kids? What age do you plan on having them? Let me know in the comments below, and let me know if you agree with any of the above if you are a parent :)

If you liked this post check out my "Let's Talk: How to Deal With Stretch Marks"  

And if you are in the mood for a giggle check out "Michael McIntyre - People with no kids don't know" on YouTube, I feel it relates perfectly.

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  1. I can totally relate to all of this! You never think when your pregnant that your having a child, its always the baby part your consumed with. No one told me I was also never going to have a lie in ever again, I was worried about the waking up in the middle of the night that I never thought about the fact that most children dont sleep beyond 7!
    Great post hun xx


    1. I have totally forgotten what it feels like to lie in past 9 now, even when I want to im up at 7.30 on the dot. I used to think it was weird that my mum couldn't sleep in when I was a teenager - now I understand lol

  2. Brilliant post i can totally relate I had my boys very young and it was hard and they are 19 & 17 now and the guilt is still there it never goes away, but i don't regret a thing I look at my boys and I'm so proud I could burst and what handsome kind caring young men they are and realise I didn't do a bad job considering I did a lot of it on my own! xoxo

    1. I really hope when I can look back I can say this about my son, I really look up to women who have raised children alone, I know how hard it is so to see others do it just makes me smile in pride. You should be proud.

  3. Thanks for such an honest post about being a parent! I like kids but I could never imagine being somebody's mum and I feel like I'm never gonna be ready for it and no matter what some of my friends tell me, I don't think I'll ever change my mind...I'm 28 and even though at times I think about it, deep in my heart I know that I don't want it badly enough to actually do it.

    xx, Matea

    1. I don't think anyone is ever really ready to become a parent, its something that takes about 9 months to grow used to :) I know I was no where near ready at 20, but you change so much before the baby arrives that you are fine. :)

  4. Wow, what a great read. It's so helpful to know all these things before planning to be a parent!

    Take Care and Happy Friday! Kisses,
    BLOG | Taislany

  5. Great post, as a mum of twins I can totally relate to all this, Gemma x

  6. this is such an honest and interesting post, I don't think I really want to have kids though!


  7. Awesome post, Erin. Everyone will agree that having a child is a HUGE reality check and sometimes, mothers-to-be romanticize the idea too much and are blind to the changes that it causes. I think it's wonderful that you're sharing all these important topics that come with having a child. Wishing many blessings on you and your son!


  8. Oh god, after reading the labour section, my vagina hurts haha. Uggggghhh I'm not sure I want a babbi.

    Corinne x

    1. Haha yeah mine hurts rethinking it too, its like something out of a horror movie lol. I didn't want a baby when I got pregnant, its amazing how much you can change when you love a small human that much. You never know! :)

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  10. I just had my second child, and everything you said rings so true. I am glad I waited a long time before I had them (was 35 with the first one), so I had my fair share of party and travel, because yes, that has changed. A lot.


  11. I honestly think being a parent would be one of the hardest jobs! I've never been fond of babies or children and pregnancy terrifies me so at the moment I don't picture myself having kids. It's such a challenge and a commitment but I can imagine it would be rewarding as well! I can't imagine being a new mom and still trying to go through my day to day life.


  12. You said everything that I would have said but you said it better, yes, life completely change and it's not all ooo and awww and cute stuff, there are so many other things behind it which is why so many new mums go through post natal depression.

    I am really lucky that my body bounced back within weeks, no stretch marks but it is down to genetics as my mum was the same. Thank you for writing this, I think everyone who wants to be a mum should read this and be mentally prepared. Will be sharing this post. xx

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  13. Ahhh I hadn't even thought of it like a scrotum until I read this! Will never get that image out of my head now!

    Lucy xx

  14. Becoming a parent brings so many responsibilities and also changes the life a lot! I don't have any kid at the moment, however I kinda knows how hard kids can be so I wish you and all parents the best :)

    Ela BellaWorld

  15. Very interesting post!


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