Those (horrible) halcyon days with a new baby
In the last few weeks I’ve been reliving the exhausting days of being a brand-new, first-time mum. I’ve been reminded of it by a friend who’s just had her first baby and is sharing the agony and the ecstasy via her Facebook updates. I can’t tell you how badly I feel for her when I see, as I leap out of bed at 6am, that she’s been up all night.
Much as I love being a mum now, it took me a long time to adjust. In the early days, I remember feeling robbed. While DH, wallowing in the congratulations of his colleagues, put on his suit and skipped off to his adult world of coffees, meetings and the gym at lunchtime, I sat at home and felt robbed: robbed of my career, robbed of my figure, robbed of my sleep, and robbed of my sanity.
There were days – and I don’t apologise for saying this – that I wished I could wrap up my baby, return her to the Customer Service desk and ask for my old life back. Even M&S takes returns for up to 60 days and it’s at about that point, when the initial joy and shock have worn off, that you realise that this is your new, sleepless reality; that, for better or for worse, ‘this is it’.
At 60 days / eight weeks, the tiny tyrant probably hasn’t smiled properly; certainly hasn’t yet passed the magic 12-week milestone; and likely screams endlessly for no apparent reason. You see the rest of your life stretched out before you, an exhausted muddle of sleep deprivation, baby bottles, colic and possets down your favourite top. You think you’ll never be able to go out again without a pram attached.
But it’s amazing how quickly it all turns around; it’s amazing how quickly they start letting you sleep, and grow into gorgeous little bonsai people with their own little characters. Nowadays, I wouldn’t swap it for anything.