Mum’s the word

​I still remember when we announced our pregnancy and how all my friends who had kids started sharing statutes about pregnancy and the motherhood journey.

I hope all you new mums out there agree with me when I say that nobody will share the actual reality with you. Everyone would always say how beautiful the whole pregnancy journey is, how beautiful they felt, and how it is all worth it. But nobody speaks about the sickness, tiredness, and sleep deprivation.

Image credit: Omar Lopez

Today I will be talking about the reality of being a first time mum and how I was never told everything that being a mum brings with itself. 

​At the outset, I did not like being pregnant, because I did not enjoy being big. I have always struggled with my weight and being pregnant did not help. Once the bump started growing my size kept growing but I never let it get to me. I decided at six months pregnant that once this baby is out I would work on my weight. 

I truly was unhappy with my weight gain but I kept telling myself that as long as the baby is growing fine that is all that matters. Creating a human being inside of you is a blessing and something so beautiful at the same time. The only thing that was beautiful through out my pregnancy was the baby’s movements. Those movements that make you feel butterflies and give you hope that soon you will be seeing your baby are totally precious.

Image credit: Chris Benson

I experienced uneven skin tone on my face and neck along with deepening stretch marks on the belly. Having tried everything nothing worked. Of course the uneven skin tone settled once I delivered but the stretch marks stayed. This is what upset me: that why do fellow mommies not talk about his stuff. The hormonal imbalance also does not help either with the constant mood swings, the nausea, and the morning sickness. You might experience all of this or probably none or may be feel some of it but know that this is all temporary. Everything is temporary and talking about temporary, let's move on to what happens after you give birth.

Well pregnancy and labour is temporary but raising a child is permanent. You cannot run away from this because by the time you realize you would be had over heels in love with your baby. But, get ready for all the sleepless nights you have never experienced. Prepare yourself to smell like milk and baby vomits. You will be changing more baby clothes then you have changed your own. Poo explosions and getting peed on will be all normal actions. You will become a pro at burping your baby by the end of the day. Feeding on demand or cluster feeds will all be natural and you will be the only one doing it unless you express. Talking to your baby is normal to you but to others with no babies might seem crazy but that's ok. Having an emotional breakdown from time to time will test you but do not give up because you are better and stronger than this.

What I have said today might scare you but do not be scared because you will never be tested with something you cannot handle. Take it slowly and one day at a time. You will soon realize that doing it slowly day by day will help you because in the end you will be your number one critic but your baby and family are your biggest cheerleaders.

All you mums are doing amazing and to those joining the club soon good luck. You are going to learn how to truly love unconditionally without any expectations. That one smile from your baby will be your precious gift everyday making you feel like it is all worth it. Know that you have a best friend for life now and nothing beats the reason do you both share.


Ayesha Gafar is a Melbourne based blogger. You can read more of her work here.

 

Related Articles

Unlearning our Bad Bachchans

One dad's take on being a better South Asian Australian father.

Raising two cultures under the same roof

How have South Asian parents in Australia navigated the dual-cultural identity of their children?

Dowry abuse is family violence

Dowry coercion has a growing presence in Australia, but is now illegal under the family violence laws in Victoria and other states.

Straight from the heart: Niharika’s story

Mental health advocate Niharika reflects deeply on breaking and rebuilding her sense of self.