When I became a mother, I was haunted by some of the words my friends spoke to me. Threats of no sleep, no freedom and a loss of ‘what makes me, me’ were all at some point spoken to me. Whilst I was able to look above these comments, not all can. It could be extremely damaging and worrying to hear these things. With Jasper reaching a full year of age this month (er excuse me, where did the time go?) I feel I can finally comment on these statements. I’m here to Bust these Motherhood Misconceptions that at one point or another, were snarled at me. So if I can reassure any other mother/parent to be then that’s just swell.
‘You won’t have any freedom after you’ve had a baby’
Yes and no. I’d definitely say you have to be more conscious of your free will in terms of making suitable arrangements for childcare. The first few months I felt I was glued to my boy, and I was more than ok with this. I wanted to be with him all the time. However as time went on, I wanted to get a bit of me time back too (and that’s ok). I’ve written a full post on this you can find here. Do not let anyone tell you that you’re being selfish or dejecting the motherhood traits. I’m really lucky and I have a really supportive husband who is more than happy to spend an afternoon in with Jasper if I want to go out with my friends.
‘Your baby will sleep through from 6 months’
Darn you parenting book. Jasper is almost a year old and still not fully able to sleep through in his own cot. After trying every method under the sun, blaming myself for it, stressing over every situation I’ve now stopped worrying. Funnily enough, he can do a 9 hour stint now when he wants. Once I’d stopped punishing myself and doubting my bed time routine, I relaxed… and he did too.
‘Mothering Comes Easy’
Oh if I had a penny! For some yes, it really is a natural switch. For others you have to work at this. I’ve had times where I’ve sat and thought ‘I should be better at this’ or ‘why am I crying when everything’s ok?’ Your emotions are a minefield. Whilst I feel I bonded with Jasper instantly, I do have my moments of teasing my own inner doubts of being good enough. I never let these over power the positive moments and feelings I have, but I would totally be lying if after 2 hours of sleep in 50 hours had meant I was totally put together and not moaning.
‘Your romantic relationship will suffer’
I’ve changed the phrasing of this slightly, as not everyone has a husband. Whether you have a wife, a girlfriend, a partner, a lover, a -whatever you like then it’s gonna be fine. At first, I think you do feel a little like your time is focused on your baby. It’s both of you though. To combat this, Joe & I introduced date night. One night a month where we’d drop Jasper off at his Grandparents and have a meal out/cinema – anything together that was just time for us. As time went on, and I returned to work we introduced a sleepover at his grandparents one night a week. It’s completely practical for us for the morning so we’re not rushing for work and the night before gives us time to just be us. Although, I’ll state that all we do is talk about Jasper.
‘You will be an expert within 6 months’
Finally, no, you do not become an encyclopedia of knowledge on raising a child. Sure, you pick things up that are handy for you and your child. They may work for others, but not everyone wants your unsolicited advice. I still learn things every day in being a parent, and I don’t think this is something that’s going to go away. It’s honestly the biggest learning journey of my life, and I love it.
Do you have any misconceptions on motherhood? Let me know in the comments!