William turned eight months old this past week and we couldn’t be prouder of this little boy. BUT, anyone who says that motherhood is pure bliss, is lying. It’s been eight months since I had William and let me tell you, it hasn’t been a breeze. Try as they might, no one could have prepared me for the up’s and downs of motherhood. I was tested and tried in every aspect of my life and the more I spoke to other moms, the more I realised that I wasn’t the only one. These are the biggest battles I faced over the last couple of months:
It’s a very lonely road and being the sole food source to your baby is definitely not always easy. It takes so much patience and sacrifice that it sometimes feels like a nine to five job. Also, the biting, teething, scratching and burping parts haven’t been that much fun either. Nevertheless, I am eternally grateful that I am still able to breastfeed this 12kg baby.
Or lack thereof. I thought I had it bad when I had to feed William two or three times a night when he was a newborn. Fast forward to the four-month sleep regression phase, and I actually missed those blissful nights. But I promise that your body adapts. We don’t need nearly as much sleep as we think we do and when William eventually started sleeping through the night, I woke up staring at the ceiling two or three times a night.
I’ve developed the skill to shout while whispering and I’m thinking of adding this skill to my resume. We’ve had so many whispered arguments in the past few months that we sometimes forget to talk in normal voices. It takes a lot to keep a marriage strong in the first few months of motherhood. We try and make time for just each other without talking about anything baby related.
It’s inevitable. Your baby will get sick. Whether its teething, flu, ear infections or a fever, it feels like the end of the world. You feel entirely helpless and clueless. Learn to trust your momstinct (motherly instinct) and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! Whenever William gets sick I just remind myself that in a few days everything will be back to normal and it always is.
Remember the days when you left the house with just your phone and purse? Neither do I. Going anywhere with a baby means you have to take everything you own with. You can’t afford to be caught off guard so everything you use at home has to travel with. I sometimes feel like I’m part of a travelling circus, but it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
6. Growth spurts
Oh, these have been fun. Every two or three weeks my baby would have 48 hours of pure madness. Constant feeding, fussing and failed attempts at sleeping are what growth spurts are all about. It’s best to just ride it out and look forward to the sleepy days afterwards when your baby recovers from their developmental phase. The Wonder Weeks App is a good guideline of when to expect growth spurts, but I wouldn’t depend on it whole heartedly.
Not all babies get sick from teething but mine certainly did. So much so that he was admitted to hospital. Whenever I feel like pulling my hair out because of a cranky, teething baby, I just remind myself of the fact that he has no idea what’s happening to him or why he’s feeling so much discomfort. Try different things to see what works for your baby. Teething mixture and frozen cucumber was our jackpot. Relax, breathe and wait for those pearly whites to make an appearance.
Hats off to all the mommas out there who return to work when their baby is four months old. I work from home, so I haven’t had to make a huge transition, but I also started working when William was only a few days old. I don’t even know what maternity leave is. Ever had to send emails while expressing milk and entertaining a baby on your lap while still in your pyjamas at noon? Welcome to motherhood.