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6 things I’ve learned since becoming a mom

I’d like to add ‘so far’ to that title because god knows, I’ve been a mom for almost two years now and I certainly don’t know it all. In fact, I learn something new every day (puke).

Childbirth wasn’t half as a bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I’d nearly go so far to say that it was relatively enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, there were moments where I just wanted it all to be over because the pain was so intense but it’s a different kind of pain. Less of a “oh my god, I’m going to die” pain and more like a “oh my god, I’m trying to give birth to a very small human” pain. It’s a pain with an ending, and when the end comes you have a baby who looks up at you with an expression on his face that says “what the hell just happened?”

Toddlers don’t care about makeup. New makeup brushes are for sweeping the floor and eye shadow palettes are for throwing into the laundry basket. They just want you to sit and watch Peppa Pig with them and occasionally they want to stroke your hair at the same time. They don’t understand the difference between you looking done up or looking like a mess and all your hair products are just toys, OK?

Worrying is a full-time job. Did he eat his breakfast? What’s that spot on his hand? Is he tired? Is he over-tired? Will he be OK at the swimming pool? Will he be OK in nursery? Years ago I read somewhere that having a child is akin to having your heart walking around outside your chest and you know what? It’s true. I have gasped and held my breath more in the last two years than I have in my entire life.

There are categories of moms. Who knew? The ‘my life is defined by being a mom’ category and the ‘I secretly resent my child for taking away my freedom but cover it up by oversharing on Facebook about how amazing my life is since I had him/her’, the ‘judging mom’ and the ‘how the hell does she do it all’ mom. Love them or hate them, moms are a crazy bunch (myself included).

I’m still the same person, but different. I still do all the things I did before I had Charlie but now I do them less often and mainly after he has gone to bed, or during his nap time. I cry a lot more than I used to and find it particularly difficult to read anything upsetting about kids. I have a lot less time for bullshit and my friends have been whittled down to ‘amazing supportive moms’ or ‘friends who don’t have kids but they might as well have because they totally get it’.

Little things become big things. An hour in my room faffing about on my laptop in silence might as well be a weekend away and a coffee date with Adrian after Charlie has gone to bed (and just coffee in general) is just fabulous altogether. And did I mention the time Charlie used a fork on his own and we cheered like German fans after the whistle had blown in the World Cup final? 🙂

Mostly I’ve learned that motherhood is like being on a never-ending roller-coaster. Sometimes it’s hard, and exhausting and teary and you just want to get off and other times it’s amazing and exhilarating and laugh-out-loud funny and you don’t want it to stop but you know that time (that old bastard) is against you, whizzing by faster than you ever could have imagined.

How many of my lovely readers are moms?  And what have you learned since your bundle of joy came along?

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  • Reply Liza

    Oh, what a great post.
    After having Leo I understood why people are actually so different and why it takes so much time to get used to each other even if you love a person – because from day 1 we’ve been brought up in such a different and unique way. Even siblings!

    July 20, 2014 at 1:39 pm
    • Reply Simone

      Completely agree with you Liza!

      August 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm
  • Reply naythar

    I’m a mom to a one year old and now I understand why mothers of babies/toddlers are never on time. I am the most punctual person ever but ever since I had my baby, I can never be on time for anything.

    July 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm
    • Reply Simone

      I am exactly the same. I used to embarrassed about it in the beginning but now I’m like “I have a kid” – that’s my excuse! 🙂

      August 3, 2014 at 8:37 pm
  • Reply Bella

    Very well said!!! I don’t agree about the pain of childbirth LOL, I <3 my epidurals, but respect everyone's choice in this department. I definitely cannot handle bad news about kids and the images of all the injured/dead kids in Gaza are really soul destroying at the moment. I work with sick kids for a living and I *get* families a lot better now, but my job is also much harder, because I see a whole lot of there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I.

    I postponed having kids till I was older because I was loving travelling and freedom so much; now I know that having my kids is the very best thing that has ever happened to me and that it is not the end of freedom. i enjoy teaching them how to be free.

    My boys are 5 and 7 now and I am learning that every age has its own pure joys and intense challenges. We don't have problems with naps/nappies/tantrums etc any more, but situations with school friends, tough questions about the world, and their place in it are beginning to emerge.

    It's a crazy ride but one I wouldn't have missed for the world. I always thought I'd only want one, but if I had started earlier I would have had at least 3!!!!

    July 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm
    • Reply Simone

      Oh Bella, that was lovely to read. It is a crazy ride and at times I have found it tremendously difficult – like you say however, you eventually leave stages and move on to the next and now I look back and when he was really little and realise it wasn’t that bad actually 🙂

      August 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply Evie

    I’ve learned that time moves much faster than I’d ever known before, the little things they did as babies (such as the finger grabbing reflex) are gone so fast and are now just beautiful memories. Yes he drives me bonkers at times, today included. But I wouldn’t change him for the world.

    July 20, 2014 at 10:01 pm
    • Reply Simone

      Thanks Evie, that’s lovely. The finger grabbing!! God I can barely remember that now 🙁

      August 3, 2014 at 8:41 pm
  • Reply Laura

    This post rang so true for me! I have a two-and-a-half year old and you’ve summed up those last two years so well! I think I’ve learned that I don’t think anyone ever has it figured out. Every new stage is amazing and challenging all in one. That my patience has reached zen-like levels at times that I never thought possible. I’ve also learnt to be far less judgemental about other people’s choices, especially I’m now that mum with the toddler glued to my iphone while we try and enjoy a meal out! 😉

    July 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm
    • Reply Simone

      Yes to the zen-like patience! Are you thinking about number two now then?! 😉

      August 3, 2014 at 8:41 pm
  • Reply Laura Murphy

    I’ve only been a mum for 4 weeks and boy has it changed my life! The worrying thing you spoke about? Pretty much takes up most of my thoughts now…worrying that he’s too cold, worrying that he’s crying for no reason, worrying that I’m eating the right things for breastfeeding…the list goes on. I know what you mean about whittling friends down…you figure out pretty quickly which ones are going to be there for you and which ones don’t want to be around babies full stop. I have already had some moments where I’ve broken down on tears from frustration or just pure exhaustion but at the end of the day, when I hold him in my arms and he looks up at me…I just melt. I would do ANYTHING for that little boy and I guess that’s what motherhood is all about! Loved this post – hope you do more personal ones in the future.It’s lovely to get an insight into that side of your life xxx

    July 21, 2014 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply Bashak

    Great post! I have a year old son. I agree with you on all of your notes. I have not used pain medication for childbirth (all moms whether they use pain medication or not or have a Caesarean section have all my respect) and I experienced excitement more than pain. All the little things have so much meaning now and they became special as we experience them as a family, such as chasing after bunnies (he will hug them one day… one day…), or pushing carts in the supermarket. Every day is so different now, he keeps things interesting. I am also learning to be less judgmental. We all do the best that we can.

    July 21, 2014 at 5:25 pm
  • Reply Kellie Whitehead

    Great post! I can’t agree on the pain of childbirth though.. 3 large ones naturally , and a fourth would be an epidural all the way!
    Yep to the categories of mums.. it’s the ultimate leveller though and I do wish we’d stop all this ‘yummy’ nonsense. We don’t need to hold people in higher esteem for managing to keep a hairstyle or having more money to buy certain things.
    I want to campaign to celebrate ‘normal’ ! 🙂

    July 21, 2014 at 8:33 pm
  • Reply Sheryl

    OMG i could not agree more! i have a 15month old boy and he is my constant source of happiness and frustration when tantrums start! i agree about the different categories of mums… oh boy!
    i love your blog! xx

    July 22, 2014 at 5:42 am
  • Reply Gejba

    I have almost a year old now and I seriously feel like I gave birth a month ago. Time flys by so fast that it’s almost comical.
    What did I learn? No time, I’m forever late, could probably write a paper about fussy kids and all the itibits you need for a child. 😀

    July 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm
  • Reply CherrySue (@ItsCherrySue)

    Love this post, Simone!

    There’s no doubt about Mammyhood being a parallel universe. Agree 100% on no longer having time for bullshit – I find it much easier to see what an actual problem looks like now and find myself disengaging very quickly with time wasters.

    Speaking of time flying, my baby boys are 17 & 18 now – the realisation that in one year I’ll no longer have ‘children’ has hit me like tonne of bricks.

    You can never love them too much and you can never be too kind to yourself as their Mam or as your own person.

    Charlie always seems so happy and eager to explore – well done you xx

    July 26, 2014 at 5:58 pm
  • Reply Edel

    Oooh I so hope the ‘childbirth wasn’t too painful’ part is true! Xo

    June 26, 2016 at 12:48 pm
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