I had been meaning to share my experience of my 1st year of motherhood because I know there are new moms out there who need to read this. It was not all easy as it was made out to be and so I want to share my journey so that if there is a new mom out there who is tired, sleep deprived and feeling overwhelmed then she can know that she is not alone. Many moms have been exactly where they are right now and it does get better slowly. No one tells you about the fact that you need to survive the first year of motherhood, yes that’s how it feels now 3 years later. That I survived it. We live In a world which always wants women to be super heroes. They aren’t supposed to say that motherhood is hard because if you say it’s hard; you are somehow saying it’s bad. But just because its hard doesn’t mean that motherhood is not beautiful too. Reality is it’s really hard the first year, at times painful too and scary. And we learn to ace it. So I want to tell today that it wasn’t as easy for me, as it was told it would be. Frankly I had a lot of help, my parents stayed with me for a year, I had a part time maid to help with household chores and also a cook, but still the first year as a mom was a revelation. Over the years it has got a bit easier but not totally.
Leaving your baby is hard
I joined back when my son was 3 months & 2 weeks old . It was tough the 1st day & that 1st year. Me & hubby lived in different cities during my pregnancy and we stayed that way till our son turned one. Although my parents had moved in with me after my son was born, so I wasn’t alone actually.
It’s a confounding and Sleep deprived time
Motherhood is blissful, no one can deny that, but it’s also overwhelming & I wish someone had told me that. The first few weeks were spent with us juggling with nappies, trying to calculate the time between feeds & the baby nap times. Half the time was spent wondering if he drank enough as he seemed to doze off the second I would start to feed him, & then staring at him while he snoozed.
I will also confess, half the time I used to get up & check if the baby was breathing as God only knows what kind of fears had suddenly made home in my heart.
You need help
It was a blessing that my husband could work flexibly, he used to come home after every 3 weeks & spent 15 days working from home. I know I couldn’t have survived had he not been such a hands on partner.
The days and nights are endless
Because no one had told me that it’s really hard that first year. It’s endless sleepless nights with feedings very 2/3 hours, you don’t even know if you slept. I would wake up, feed & then pump another bottle while my mom got me a cup of tea.
The baby chores
Before leaving for office in the morning, I would wash the bottles in which he will be fed the expressed milk that was kept stored in the fridge.
Yes we had a maid to help with the baby chores, but I couldn’t trust anyone with the duty of bottle washing. Many days I went to office with spit up and milk in my hair, because taking a head bath felt like minutes wasted. I would instead sleep a few more winks.
The post partum body
Getting ready for office used to be a chore, none of my clothes fit me and those which did made me look like a shabby tent. I often went to office in my single pair of maternity jeans which had odd stains half the time coz face it! Who buys two pairs of those?
That broad band elastic waisted pant was my comfort because I couldn’t fit into buttoned or zipped pants.
The pumping, feeding & Storing
I timed my work at office to fit in 3 pumping breaks. Now my Medela Breast milk Ice Bag was also a daily companion along with my lunch bag. It was hard, I won’t say it wasn’t, all the time I was at office I used to miss my son terribly.
Bottles, nappies, under eye bags, sore body and so much laundry all around the house; washed laundry, dirty laundry, laundry kept out for drying.
The baby Blues
I used to leave early from office for home but on some days, I would park my car on the side of the road and have a good cry. It helped me get over my overwhelming emotions.
It gets better
But we got through it; it gets better. You even start sleeping again. The times that you spend laughing & snuggling with your baby is what you remember all your life. The moment after a tough night, when your child falls asleep in your lap, and you look at his cherubic peaceful face, it fills your heart with a love that knows no bounds.
It still gives me the same happiness as he sleep in my lap right now. And yes it still cuts me that I have to go back to work and leave him alone but I know I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Also, you do get out of those maternity pants and leggings too, maybe slowly but you do get out of them eventually.
So, hang in there new mommy, you are not alone in this.
Until next time,
Love 💕 Smita