If every mother looked back she’d remember two very specific days. The first is the one where you realise EXACTLY how difficult motherhood is gonna be, and the other is when you realise you’ve been managing much better than you ever thought possible.
The first realisation happens very early on, once you’re home from the hospital. Your body hurts from the birth (natural or c-section) and there’s this tiny screaming person who won’t stop screaming, no matter what you do.
My realisation was about 2 weeks after the birth after one week in hospital and once my mother in law went home. I was exhausted, walking around the bedroom with the tiny screaming lump at 3am, a lump that cried if I put him down or stopped moving. I was exhausted, in pain, and blindsided by how ill prepared I was. When I was younger I had helped my mother with my newborn baby brother. He was twenty years younger than me, but for 4 weeks I was the one who stayed up through the night, did nappies, fed him etc. as my mum was too ill. I thought this would give me an advantage, that it would prepare me for motherhood. Nope. I never appreciated how much childbirth took out of you, nor how much hearing your child cry would tug at your heartstrings. Nor, indeed, how frustrating it would be that you couldn’t calm your own child.
The second realisation is much nicer. For while the first can plunge you into deep depression, the second lifts you up out of it. Maybe not all the way but it’s amazing. My second came around ten weeks. I’d been managing all my son’s needs without much difficulty for at least two weeks, and I hadn’t noticed. There was a routine in place, I was even making packed lunches for my husband, and using new recipes online to make dinner! It was uplifting.
I think my point from this post, is that though there are times where you feel like a failure, and there are days when the frustration seems too much; there are always days where you notice a success. However small, there are successes and none should be ignored. We are all Mumming at Beginner Level, so give yourself a break: you’re doing great.
Stay happy mums!