I've spoken a lot about the difficult time I had during my first year of motherhood. There are so many things I wish I had been warned about. Maybe I would have shrugged it off and thought,
"Yeah, yeah, that'll never happen to me"
"My baby will NEVER be like that" (I'm laughing to myself as I write this because I totally said that to myself, and you know you did too!)
but maybe, I would have been able to draw back on it at times of need. Instead I went into it completely blind, because most people aren't honest to those around them, and aren't willing to divulge their actual truth (pretty much when I swore that I would forever more be an open book). We get plenty of the sugar coated, sandwich effect kinda truth, exhibit A;
'Oh he's just such a happy baby, he doesn't ever sleep, but when he's awake he's always smiling'
And I'm over here all confused like,
'Aw... Wait, what?... Awwww'
Yet so many people are so willing to throw advice at you, and to point out all of the things you could be doing differently (better), and not all are gems. There is one aspect in particular that I think is often overlooked, certainly for fear of judgement... Your relationship with your other half.
The absolute BEST piece of advice I received in the early days went a little something like this,
"The first few months of a new baby can be extremely difficult on your relationship. You will fight, you will argue and bicker, you will wonder who the hell you married/ are living with, and it will happen often."
This might not be true for all couples, but it certainly was for us! I cannot remember how many times I wondered what the hell I had done, why was I failing at motherhood, and now my relationship was failing too? To be fair, I wasn't, and it wasn't... but it's really hard stuff. A HUGE adjustment... no matter how many books you've read, or how well you think you know how to handle kids and babies. Don't get me wrong, I'm married to an absolutely stellar, hands-on dad here (he legit gives me the shits about 85% of the time, but he's freakin amazing at daddy stuff)... He's so good at daddy-ing and handles the sleepless nights waaaaay better than me, we share so much of this stuff, but let's be real here, IT'S STILL RIDICULOUSLY HARD.
I have always been quite fiery. I don't mince my words. I can be extremely passionate about things, I love hard and I fight harder. I somehow manage to get thoughts and words out of my mouth before I've had the chance to stop myself, and really think about it. It's an aspect of me that's been under (constant) construction for as long as I can remember. I thought I had it under control. That being said, I had it under control when my life was about me (not dictated by two tiny people), when I exercised regularly, ate well (and often enough), and most importantly, when I got adequate sleep... and when I didn't have adequate sleep, it was because I'd spent the night before out partying, and enjoying my youth (Ooooh, sweet youth). These days, I'm often tired, run down, or hungry (always hungry), because I've been too preoccupied with the kids to take proper care of myself, and as much as I try to concentrate on that, it slides sometimes (a lot of the time). This is when I lose control of that part of me. It is well known to those around me, that I lash out and say the most horrible things, not because I mean what I'm saying, but when my emotions are heightened like that, I can't think of any other way, I'm not rational. Add in babies that don't sleep, children that don't want to eat or are going through a never ending period of separation anxiety, or yet another cold, and I could see that part of me getting further and further out of my reach. Throw in a little self blame when things get too much, and it's an exciting ride.
When you stop and think about it, you still have all of the same external pressures in your life, and everyone's external pressure are different.... But you're now a tired, hormonal, lactating, emotional mess with puke on your shirt, and a knot the size of a tiny birds nest at the back of your head.... because you have a TINY HUMAN to love and care for.
I now know that,
It is hard.
You will be tired.
You will want to cry.
You will probably (definitely) cry.
You will wonder what the hell you've done.
You will want to palm off that baby as soon as your other half gets home, and bust out that door to sweet, sweet freedom, often.
You will want to bust out a can of whoop-ass in a Ronda Rousey/Holly Holm style cage match, on your other half.
You will want to throw things.
Banging your head against a brick wall seems like a perfectly legitimate way to handle your problems (but don't... it'll hurt, and then you'll have other problems).
At times you will simultaneously love everything about your new life, and hate everything about your new life.
I could go on forever, and cover every base, but you catch my drift. In my experience (albeit limited), everyone goes through, or feels at least one of these, if not all, and if you haven't, I applaud you. All of those aspects put a tremendous amount of pressure on a person, and certainly on a relationship... especially when you're both feeling it. I can guarantee you though, that somewhere along the lines, you will find your feet. You work out how you work as parents together, you take on your particular roles, and they'll be different for every couple. What works for Nath and I, won't be the cure all for someone else. As your life as a family progresses, you find the balance that you'd been looking for. It certainly has been the way for us at least. We have been through a similar thing this last year, adding Eliana to our little family. We had to survive the sleepless nights (amongst other things) and figure out how to make it work for us again. I imagine that there's an adjustment period every time you add a new member to the family. What I've come to realise is that it's not the end of the world, or your relationship if you're having a tough time of it. Raising small humans was never meant to be easy. It's not bad if you fight, argue, or disagree... but what's important is how you move on from that. For us, it's a matter of learning from our mistakes, hug it out, and put that shit to bed.... along with the kids!
Behind the blog...
‘The Mummysomniac’ is a lifestyle, motherhood and most recently, pregnancy blog, founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKenzie. She’s a mum of three, blogging about the highs and lows of motherhood, with a straight forward and honest approach, as well as a little bit of humour. Kirsty is passionate about sharing the realities of #MumLife, not the cookie cutter, high gloss version