When I was pregnant with Lady P, there was a whole list of things that people used to say and do with reference to my bump that used to make me want to punch them in the face.
You know the kind of things…
“Make the most of sleep now” when you are already not getting any because you are growing a watermelon that wakes you for a wee every half an hour.
Or “it’s your first baby, so it probably won’t even come on time”.
Even “you’ll change your mind when you have a baby” with reference to virtually every single opinion you dare to utter.
Yeah, thanks – I’d not considered that my life might change at all by having a baby. I mean, I’ve just been partying so hard for the last 9 months without a care in the world, so I presumed that would all continue…
3 years in, and at risk of becoming one of those people to my pregnant friends, I thought it might be comical to compare the thoughts of expectant and new Mum me versus a Toddler Mum me.
Pregnancy and labour
- Expectant Mum – Wondering why pregnancy is not like the movies. Why did no one ever tell you about the constant need to urinate, insomnia, trapped wind and weird public ownership over your bump or freedom to comment on your new size and shape. Fingers crossed that once the baby arrives, everything from that point will be just like the text books tell you.
- Toddler Mum – Understanding now that people don’t tell you all of the sh**ty bits of pregnancy and childbirth. A) they have tried to block it all out, b) they are so tired that they can’t remember what happened in an episode of Geordie Shore let alone 2 years ago, and c) because the whole human race would die out if we were COMPLETELY honest about what it really feels like. For those of you not au fait with G Shore – every single episode is basically the same.
- Expectant Mum – Looking forward to each 5 minute midwife appointment or antenatal check up for at least a few days. Possibly taking the day off to make sure you can get there so early that you’d give the punters queuing for Wimbledon a run for their money.
- Toddler Mum – Wondering how on earth you’ll ever have enough time to even brush your teeth let alone take a day off for a quick doctor’s appointment.
- Expectant Mum – Applying the same approach to preparing for an exam to having a baby, desperately trying to plan or pre-empt every eventuality.
- Toddler Mum – Realising you absolutely categorically cannot and will not ever be able to plan for ANY eventuality, let alone every one. At best, you might be able to make sure you have some spare clothes and a pack of raisins to diffuse a meltdown in M&S.
Tidying the house
- Expectant Mum – Making sure each baby item matches the others and has a specific place to go in the house or nursery nice and neatly, because obviously that’s the way it will stay…
- Toddler Mum – Feeling like you’ve figured out the enigma code whey you find a space for a new toy or piece of cardboard your child has suddenly become attached to. Or giving yourself a mini fistpump just for getting the Peppa Pig stickers off the wall without also removing the plasterboard. Win.
Trying to figure it all out
- Expectant Mum – Wondering why everything is just so vague and so trying to read as much as possible to try to understand the bomb that is about detonate when you get it home. What could possibly go wrong?
- Toddler Mum – Realising that even to the point of squeezing that bowling ball out, you’ll never really know what is about to happen. Understanding that the vagueness continues as your child develops because all kids are completely different is just part of the deal. What works for one of your friends and their child will most likely be the opposite for you, and just as you just nail one thing, your little hell raiser changes so it’s back to frantic Googling.
Discussing ‘having a baby’
- Expectant Mum – Knowing that it’s going to take its toll on your body and mind, but surely it’s not going to hurt that much. Is it?
- Toddler Mum – Looking back at pregnancy and labour and still not being able to do it without raising your heart rate and wincing as you cross your legs. Or even sadly, not being lucky in pregnancy again.
Being a Mum
- Expectant Mum – Excited, nervous, happy, scared, but for sure, it’ll be lovely. Newborns are just sooooooo cute!
- Toddler Mum – No words can express just how special it is to grow, give birth and raise your little human. Yeah, newbies are cute and you kind of wish they would always fall asleep on your chest, but hearing your toddler ‘read’ an upside down book to your cat or call every aeroplane ‘Daddy’ is just the most brilliant fun.