Ps First Time Mum, I forgot to tell you about the Guilt. No one warns you about the Guilt. The Guilt is always lurking; a bit like the smell of the bad nappy of a just-weaned six-month-old that you changed a while ago but somehow still lingers in your nostrils. You will feel guilty about everything: Too much TV, using ready-made food, needing a wee when they’re crying… The Guilt is powerful and omnipresent. With experience, you’ll learn to ignore it and your rational brain will take over. You’re doing the best you can and honestly, truly, black and bluely, that is good enough.
When you become a second and even a third time mum, the Guilt resurfaces. How could you do that to your first born? Of course this is helped by said first born giving you the cold shoulder. Don’t worry, Rational You will come back. Probably shortly after your day three day of irrational and uncontrollable crying. This doesn’t just happen after having a baby: A friend of mine adopted a cat and cried for a week.
I forgot to tell you that there will be moments that in your pre-mum life would have given you a tummy upset from all the cringing. These will be water off a duck’s back. Bottom explosions (theirs, not yours. Yours are still embarrassing), public meltdowns (two out of three of mine treated me to simultaneous tantrums at pick up today. Number three joined in when we got home) and inappropriate questions (Mummy, why is that man wearing a skirt?) will abound and it’ll just wash over you. You’ll find yourself discussing your post-birth bits with near strangers without a shred of embarrassment. It’s refreshing.
But did I mention the love? There is just so much love.