I have a few ‘mums to be’ around me at the moment and I finally realised how I could easily sum up the realities of becoming a parent for the first time in a few words.
It really is the best of times and the worst of times.
It is hard to explain to someone who is asking you what it is like when they are yet to experience it. I literally wrote a whole book about it, so it is difficult to sum up in a few paragraphs.
How can it be the best of times but also the worst of times?
There are many reasons, too many to go into detail, but in my experience it truly was the best of times, to touch, to see, to smell and to hold my baby felt a complete privilege and nothing else mattered to me in my life as much as keeping my baby healthy and happy.
I had never before experienced such real emotions, staring for what felt like hours at every detail on my child’s face, willing my brain to remember every inch of it.
I remember during one night feed, when he was fast asleep with such a happy contented half smile on his face and I wanted the whole world to stop in that moment so I could just stay there like that for as long as possible. I felt overwhelmed that this beautiful boy was my son, and I was his mum.
It truly was the best of times.
However, as with most things in life there is always a ‘flip side’ and it was also at certain points the worst of times.
I had gotten to 35 years of age and never before had I endured sleep deprivation. A condition so debilitating I thought that at some points I was losing my mind.
Feeling angry, frustrated, disorientated and frightened with no idea how I was going to cope with everything.
In 35 years I had lost my temper about 3 times, but due to being sleep deprived there were moments in a split second where during my babies frequent screaming sessions I would have a red mist descend and scream out loud, ranting into the air, it only lasted a few seconds but in that moment my heart was racing, my face contorted and my brain actually ached.
An intense pain in my head, which only lasted a few seconds and was gone as quickly as it appeared, calmness returned leaving me bemused, ashamed, anxious and scared.
Having a baby put pressure on my relationship, on my body and my mind and it truly was at some points the worst of times.
So why have more children if it is not all sunshine and rainbows?
Simple, because the worst of times last but a few moments and the best of times last a lifetime and the positive smashes the negative a million times over.
Yes, becoming a parent for the first time is a huge shock and a steep learning curve against everything you have known before and it’s hard, really hard! However, the best of times are so wonderful, amazing, fascinating, magnificent and splendid that the worst of times will be fleeting, momentary and in the scheme of things short-lived.
You will feel like the luckiest person in the world and you will be humbled by your little miracle. What ever you feel you will never be alone, there will always be someone to talk to.
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