I’ve been a mother for a few weeks now! I think I’m not too bad at it. At lot of my time so far has been spent smelling little Rafferty’s head and playing with his tiny fingers and toes.
But boy oh boy, he is my new boss. And what a demanding one! He has already figured out how to throw a little tantrum when he’s hungry, and he’s hungry a lot. The four hour feeding plan went out the window very early on and I’m lucky if I have time to turn around after a feed before he’s looking at me like he’s a little vampire again. It brings whole new meaning to the phrase ‘hungry eyes’.
You can never really be prepared for motherhood, but there were definitely a few things that took me by surprise. For example: no longer owning a single button up shirt that fits once my milk came in.
Here are some of the other unexpected challenges:
- Sitting and eating a hot meal is the thing I miss most – Rafferty has an amazing ability to know when dinner is served and to wake up desperately hungry. Being summer, I’ve given up and been making a lot of salads. He’s also not that keen on me stopping for lunch, so often it doesn’t consist of much more than a banana from the fruit bowl. Through trial and error, I’ve found the best time to eat breakfast is after his 4am feed.
- Shopping for clothes is just a bad idea right now – it’s awkward sitting in a change room half dressed in something with a price tag on it while you breastfeed. Then it kinda sucks having to pay for a garment that already has a vomit mark.
- Many, many things can be done with one hand while holding a crying baby. There are, however, a lot that can’t be done. Washing your hands, for example. It’s really hard to get the soap on and off one hand at a time. (Does anyone have tips on how to not leave baby unattended but also get your hands clean when you’re doing a change in a shopping mall parent’s room?)
- Mastitis – that one nearly knocked me over! Talk about going from hero to zero in a matter of minutes. And of course it came up at the worst time, so we had to leave the island in our little tinny. Try to imagine your breasts feeling like you’ve been in the ring with Mike Tyson and there you are bouncing along the water in a boat. Not pretty. It really makes me understand why breast feeding went out of fashion for a while there! Fortunately there’s a sisterhood amongst survivors and I was whipped back into shape by some very sympathetic nurses at our nearest hospital.
- If you ever wanted to taste what it’s like to be a celebrity now’s the time. There is a Korean family who will have about 75 pictures of my child in their collection once they get home from their Australian holiday. This is, of course, because Rafferty is the most beautiful thing to ever be born!
What parts of motherhood took you by surprise?