Six things I didn’t know before I became a mum

Em and Joey

It doesn’t matter how much time you have spent Googling and talking to people. There’s still a bunch of stuff that will surprise you – and, at times, blindside you – when you become a mum for the first time.

Here are the main things that blew my mind.

  1. Sex is painful
    I had a Caesarean so there was no vagina-geddon but the first time we tried to have sex, it killed. It turns out that breastfeeding dries out everything. My GP prescribed oestrogen pessaries (now there’s a sexy word!) to counteract this problem but I am still psyched out. What’s more – your boobs – previously a source of saucy joy, have become about as raunchy as Tupperware containers. Add to this the fact that there is a baby sleeping in your room and hey presto, you’ll never have to take those mini-pills because THE BABY IS RIGHT THERE and it’s just too freaking weird.
  1. Your boobs are public property
    There was a time that it would take quite a bit of wine for me to get my boobs out at a BBQ, but these days, try getting me to put them away! What’s more, one of my friend’s kids tried to breastfeed from me the other day. I was sitting there minding my own business and chomp, an eight month old is latching on through my shirt. I rapidly detached him but this is symptomatic of hanging around small children. They see boobs – yours, their mum’s, your flabby uncle’s – as a snack vending machine.
  1. Your kid never wears anything cool
    You have cool stuff. Your friends gave you a bounty of kerchiefs, shorts, natty little hats, booties and onesies that require an engineering degree to manoeuvre a squirming baby into. But the truth is, your kid is never going to wear that stuff. Not to sound ungrateful but at 4am when you have just been peed or vomited on, it’s all you can do to correctly match up the press studs on a fresh Wondersuit, let alone deal with multiple items of clothing.
  1. Apron belly is a thing
    Caesarean-havers will know about this; the odd-shaped paunch above your scar line is now your belly. To fix it, you have to wear the equivalent of industrial-strength Spanx, non-stop, for nine months or have plastic surgery. What fabulous options.
  1. Cake is your new go-to
    Baking is the currency of new motherhood. Friends are constantly showing up with treats. My friend brought the famous Black Star watermelon cake over this week – the baked equivalent of Perrier Jouet! Because here’s the thing – you can’t really drink any more so instead of wine and raucous laughter, your social life focuses around coffee and cake. And if you’re breastfeeding, you don’t even feel bad because you’re always hungry and you’re too tired to care.
  1. Babies are noisy
    Well obviously they cry but what of all the grunting, farting, cooing and pooing? What of the elderly man burps and the ‘chuffing’. I watched ‘We Bought a Zoo’ and found the description of the animal noises not too dissimilar to my own little patch of wildlife right here in the lounge room. DEAR GOD, BABIES ARE LOUD. Why didn’t anyone tell me this?

What surprised you when you become a mum? What special treats did motherhood have in store for you?


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