Sure, lots of people have had newborns. But saying to the parent of a newborn ‘Oh I remember the newborn stage’ is like saying to someone who is currently running a marathon ‘Oh I remember running a marathon!’ as they sip on a wine and watch the runners go past.
So if, like me, you currently have a newborn, here’s some things that I know only you will truly get.
- Boob fatigue.
Sure breastfeeding is beautiful and magical (once you get over the initial soreness and issues) but sometimes the baby just feeds and feeds and feeds and feeds (and feeds.). 'Oh she's going through a growth spurt!' is what people who no longer have newborns will say. But you know the truth. You have become a human cow. You are suffering from boob fatigue.
2. Touch fatigue.
Remember when the touch of your partner was a beautiful thing? You may remember that was the day before you gave birth. Since then you have had an excess of tiny human contact. This tiny human has also severely damaged all your special lady places. So no, sorry darling, no touchy.
3. Fatigue Fatigue
You try to focus on a conversation, but the words flit around you and you can’t quite catch them to turn them into a full sentence. The keys are in the fridge. Your top is on inside out. You know what I’m talking about. It's a special kind of exhaustion reserved for people who wake up every 3 hours to use their body to nourish someone else's.
4. I got the best one!
You don’t know how it happened, but you got the cutest baby. Funny that, me too! I once read about a mum who thought that her baby was so pretty that she didn’t want to visit her friend who had a baby the same age in case her friend was jealous that her baby was so much cuter. A couple of years later she looked back and realised her newborn looked like a little alien. That’s not going to happen with us though – we are totally objective about our babies’ incredible cuteness. Totally.
5. The cry of torture
There’s some special part of a mum that only the cry of their newborn baby can reach. And if you can’t stop the crying pretty quickly it shoots adrenaline through your body until you could probably lift a semi trailer with your bare hands. It's unbearable. Something about nature wanting us to remember to look after our babies. But seriously. My blood pressure went up just thinking about it.
6. Mama tiger
I'm not a violent person, but come near my baby with anything other than love and adoration and I will gut you with a spoon. Give me a dirty look when my baby is crying? I will take you down. Try to kiss my baby with a cold sore? Just try me. Having a baby awakens the tiger within us, and if you dare to cross mama, you’re gonna hear her roar.
7. The small victories
Breastfeeding is tricky, but it’s only the first bit of feeding. The second bit is the gas that gets trapped inside which needs to come out, one way or another. When you have a squirmy baby who has trapped air that is stopping him from sleeping, it's high fives, happy dances and soccer celebrations all round when that wind finally gets out. Parenting is soooo glamorous.
8. Active wear is a uniform
McDonalds workers, air hostesses … they all have uniforms. So do mums with newborns. You’ve seen mums with tiny bubs strutting around in their active wear but you never knew why until you became one yourself. Now you realise that post birth stitches, post pregnancy body and the need to be able to go to sleep comfortably at any given opportunity lends perfectly to active wear. I don’t know who pretended that stuff is for the gym. Activewear is the uniform of mamas.
9. Coffee is life
You thought you needed coffee before. Ha! Now you can only have a little, but you need it A LOT.
10. You’ve joined a tribe
You probably didn’t realise this before you became a mum but you’ve joined a tribe of women who have your back. They will provide wipes when yours are out of reach, offer to help when you’re struggling through the supermarket with a screaming child and give you a smile when you look like you need some support. They are the mama tribe, and you mama are one. Mum’s have a reputation for being judgy, but if that's a thing I've never experienced it. Every mama I've met has been awesome.
Having a newborn is a crazy thing. Don't do it alone. Welcome to the tribe x