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Motherhood: Expectation Vs Reality

by Liz Braden (follow)
Motherhood - The most challenging and yet the most rewarding "job" you'll ever do...
Your Stories (83)      Fun Motherhood Lists (26)     
7 parent experiences that were nothing like I expected...

I tried for a baby for 18 years, and I spent that whole time researching everything baby, so I was sure when that second pink line appeared that I knew exactly what I was in for.

I expected the sleepless nights and the endless nappy changes and the endless crying and the colic, and I was fully prepared… or so I thought.

Motherhood has a way of sneaking up on even the most “prepared” mothers, and it is nothing like what we expected.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my list of things that were nothing like I expected. Oh, how naive I was despite my “research”.

1. Nappy changes

Sure, there would be at least six nappy changes per day. Maybe eight.

Little C has set a personal best of five wet nappies in under a minute (wetting them as fast as I could change them, and wetting two even as I changed them!). 6-8 nappy changes per day? Try 6-8 changes PER HOUR!!!

2. Growth spurts

Little C was born quite small, but he will grow quite quickly as babies do. I might only get 3-4 months out of each outfit.

Only 15 weeks old and he’s already gone from 0000 being too big to 00 starting to be too small. 3-4 months out of each outfit? HA! Try 3-4 weeks! He never even got to wear some of his newborn outfits… or 000 outfits… and he’s pushing it to wear all of his 00 before his next spurt.

3. Frequent feeds

Oh, I knew full-well that he would need 6-8 or so feeds in a 24-hour period.

So many bottles, so little time… what’s that? He’s asleep? Quick, close your eyes and you might get to REM before he’s hungry again!

4. Lack of partner intimacy

Intimacy with my partner would be on hold for a few months while we get the hang of this parenting thing.

Who’s that baggy-eyed zombie that looks vaguely like my partner? Who, for that matter, is that baggy-eyed zombie staring back at me in the mirror as I fly past on my way to another feed or nappy change? I remember intimacy I think… in the same distant way I remember sleeping through the night (or at all).

5. Chores

I’m sure I can keep on top of the housework if I manage my time efficiently. I can put a load of washing on before this feed and hang it out after the next one. The dishes should be manageable too if I keep on top of them.

“Honey, can I have a clean shirt? No? Okay, one without baby spew on it? No? Okay, how about one that doesn’t smell completely rancid? Yeah, that one will do…”

6. Mealtimes

We can learn Little C’s feeding schedule and work meals in around it. If I take the pre-meal feed, you can cook while I settle him and we’ll eat in peace.

One sec, I’m on my way, just grabbing a banana as I pass through… yes, I AM going to shove the whole thing in my mouth, no time to chew!

7. Photographs

I will set time aside on a four-weekly basis to get a good photo of Little C in a nice pose with those cute little age-marker cards and have a running record of his growth.

Quick, pass me my phone, he’s smile… never mind, he just threw up again. Pass the burp rag, please?

What motherhood reality was nothing like your expectation? Let us know!

Read 20 Things I've Learnt Since Becoming A Mum
Read 6 Tips For Sleep Deprived Parents
Read 6 Things Nobody Tells You About Life With a Newborn
Read 8 Types Of Sleepless Nights All Mums Have
Read 10 Things That Freaked Me Out As A New Mum
Read Single Mother: Did I Make The Right Choice
Read What Makes It Worthwhile
Read It's Okay To Need A Break
Read What Having Twins Is Really Like
Read How I’m Learning To Be Perfectly Imperfect

#Your Stories
#Fun Motherhood Lists

There are pros and cons to every size family, but let me tell you why a family of three is so magical to me.
When my daughter started daycare, I spent a lot of time trying to find the right fit for her and our family. I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions. Over and over again though, the answer to my question would come back the same, "she'll be fine."
I want hours upon hours of delicious sleep followed by hot cups of tea, reading my book and nothingness. But I'll have to get up now to comfort, feed, clean, dress, entertain, love, laugh, play, and repeat.
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