THE FIRST FEW WEEKS ON THE JOB

Ahhhhh, the dark days. Just reading through my first ever post on motherhood brings me right back to the sleep-deprived beginning where everything was new, and absolutely nothing made sense. Thankfully I had a few close mama friends in my corner to remind me (on a daily basis) that I was not alone, and that kind of support is paramount when you’re trying to navigate the first few weeks on the job. 

So consider todays throwback YOUR reminder that it’s totally cool to be losing your shit as a first time mom, and that we’ve all been there too. Too bad this gig doesn’t come with any lunch breaks. Or vacation days. HAPPY FRIDAY REBS! xx

***

Originally posted on May 8th, 2014 – About 3 weeks in. 

As it turns out, being the caretaker to a newborn ain’t easy seeing as neither of you know what the hell is going on when his little face turns beet red and looks like it’s about to explode, right before the waterworks start (is there an app for that yet??).

It seems people don’t often like to tell you the graphic truth about the first few weeks (unless you know my friend Jenn), simply claiming they “forgot” because their memory has now been blurred with the joy of motherhood. I’m thinking it’s simply a front made to protect you from the impending tornado that’s coming your way. But personally, I’d rather know the truth.

I’m not here to burst any bubbles, and I’m in love with our lil dude… but it’s about to GET REAL. Assuming you had any kind of life before, this parenting stuff is one hell of an adjustment.

Sidenote:

If you’re still in the stages of toying with the idea of a baby, exercise INFINITE amounts of patience as prep. Or marry a billionaire and have a Kardashian-style nanny squad.

Things to Expect:

– You will likely whisper “I can’t do this” and contemplate running away within the first week… probably in the middle of the night when you’re trying to figure out what the eff your whaling baby needs and while your confidence is still at an all time low.

– There will come a day where you will find yourself sobbing for absolutely no reason. You can blame this on the fact that the ten months of super high estrogen and progesterone hormone levels just plummeted through the ground in a matter of days. Your partner will ask you what’s wrong. There is no answer. Cry it out, sister.

– You will want to bash your head through a concrete wall some days when it seems nothing you do is right. Resist the urge to seek too much advice from too many people… trial and error is where it’s at. Remember, you are this kids bitch right now. That is your job.

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– You will likely read WAY too many online forums and develop slightly obsessive ideas in your head about being a shitty mom. Know that every child is different, trust only your mother, your paediatrician and your mama tribe. Noone is perfect. DON’T LET THE INTERNET TAKE OVER YOUR SOUL.

– Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding is not a gift everyone is born with. It can be challenging and might very well start of with blood, pain & tears – but if you’ve chosen this route and believe in all the benefits, stay focused. It gets easier.

*I recommend going to a breastfeeding clinic and getting hands on experience.
Also: Lanolin Cream.

– If breastfeeding never gets easier and you’re at your wits end hunched over the bathroom sink with your boobs in ice water, give the kid some formula. I promise, no-one will die. Not even your guilt-filled ego.

– You will be STARVING all day long since your body is working overtime at producing food for the babe. Line your house with snacks and ready made food. McEwens, you saved my fucking life.

– Remember when you were pregnant and the star of the show? No-one cares anymore. Get used to it. Speak up and ask for help, cause goddammit you need a long, hot shower and a blow dry to feel human and that’s reason enough.

– You can 100% count on snarky comments, whisper-fighting and general hate mode between you and your man. Just remember it’s Chuckie that’s making you do it. A new baby isn’t the easiest on a relationship, so try to move past the erratic explosions quickly. You’re both trying. Say sorry. Move on.

– Witching hour, colic, gas, acid reflux are just a few very normal and totally wonderful additions to the job you don’t know how to quite do. Curveballs are what babies do best so never get too comfortable, because shit will fly off the handle shorty. You will get through it. Repeat the phrase: “This too shall pass” until you’re numb.

– Oh yeah, lest we forget, this whole time you’re still in recovery insuring a solid amount of pain and discomfort regardless what your labour was like. Don’t be a badass and blow out your stitches like I did. Put the vaccum away.

– It doesn’t “get easier”. YOU GET BETTER. And you will.

The upside? (There is one I swear)

It would appear sleep deprivation and breastfeeding are quite the post baby diet plan. Given that you weren’t eating for a family of four when you were preggs, those pounds should magically shed right off.

Plus, you have a really cute baby now that everyone will fawn over and this new position as Chief Operating Mom luckily doesn’t come with any performance reviews so you can fully fake it ’til you make it.

I’d also like to take this time to give serious props to single moms everywhere. I couldn’t have survived this without the support of hubs and have a whole new respect for these women. Pillars of strength.

Recommended Literature / Websites: 

Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

Shitty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us
The Happiest Baby on the Block
The Man’s Guide to Having a Baby
Pregnant Chicken: Pregnancy & Parenthood Sunny Side Up
HeyMama: Curated Community of Mamas
The Best Gift of Life: Inspiring Blog for Moms 

Photo Credit: Anja Rubik shot by Miles Aldridge for Vogue Italia
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