New mum, I want to hug you.
New mum, with your pyjamas that have become a second skin, your puffy eyes and tender belly. Your pale, tired skin – love and bewilderment seeping from every pore. You can’t sit down too long because it hurts. You can’t walk too far because it hurts. You read all the books, you listen to all the advice, whether you asked for it or not. You wonder if you’re doing it right? New mum, you are doing it right.
I was a new mum 6 and a half years ago. I don’t recall many of the details, it exists mostly in a fog I struggle to look back through. But there are some things that stuck with me, some through mortification, others through disbelief. New mum, I’m going to tell you some things, to make you feel better, to make you think ‘thank fuck I’m not the only one.’
In the spirit of solidarity, here are my #confessionsofamother.
- I have used a nappy as a sanitary towel – possibly on more than one occasion.
- I banged my baby’s head off the wall whilst maneuvering around the house in the dark – several times.
- I fed my baby to sleep – YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THIS.
- My baby pooed in the pool when we went swimming.
- My baby fell off the bed whilst I was putting on make-up.
- I couldn’t sit on the floor without it hurting my coccyx for months.
- I fed my child jars and jars of babyfood, not homemade pureed vegetables.
- The first bath I gave my baby was too cold and he screamed throughout.
- I was severely constipated after giving birth – when I finally managed a poo days later, I texted my family to let them know.
- I spent an inordinate amount of money on petrol driving around the suburbs of Dublin trying to get the baby to sleep.
- My baby used my boob as a comforter – he literally squeezed my boob to fall asleep.
- I felt no guilt putting my children in a creche.
- I watched four hours a day of The Good Wife on maternity leave.
- Most of my parenting decisions were motivated by laziness – breastfeeding, co-sleeping.
New mum, I have done all of these things and worse. My children are still alive. I am still alive. New mum, you are doing it right.
To ease my embarrassment I’d love if you shared your #confessionsofamother in the comments. Please don’t leave me out here in the cold.