The changes to your life that you face when you become a mum.

Ever since your youngest years, you have lived your own life, striving to meet your own goals, thinking about your own hopes and dreams. You can do what you want, when you want, with who you want, and probably not think much about it or even care much about what anyone else thinks of that.  

 BAM! You fall pregnant and suddenly everything you once thought about gets shoved right to the back of your mind and all you can think about is what lies ahead, what will the baby be like? which buggy to buy, which nursery looks good, breast or bottle? what shall I name the baby? Will they look like me? Every inch of your mind and soul revolves around that child who isn't even born yet!

So you spend your time planning every last thing for when the baby arrives, you even plan the labour and birth and you think you have it all under control. I packed my hospital bag a few months before the baby was born and it just sat there doing nothing but collecting dust. A few days before I went into labour I completely reorganised my hospital bag and decided i had forgotten most of the crucial things i would need and packed about 5000 baby grows and tiny adorable hats. 



Let me tell you this; not one part of my labour went the way I had planned for it to go. The whole birthing plan changed and I couldn't do a thing about it. That was the first of many unavoidable changes I was to face when I became a mother. 

Personal space

I'm pretty sure my son has climbed on and pinched every part of my body. He pulls my hair and runs his baby walker over my toes on a daily basis. 
I can't get dressed or make myself a coffee without him hanging off of my leg, wanting to be picked up and cuddled. He craves every last bit of my attention and in a weird way, it's sweet.
For months he shared my bed and I would wake up hanging off the edge of my DOUBLE bed and he would be star fished, sideways and snoring. 
I can't eat a single thing without having to break a little piece off for the ever hungry little piggy that he is.

Friendships 

The friends you had during school years, who you made cheesy vows with to always be best friends and never drift apart, have now drifted away and there's little you can really do about it. They're out drinking whilst you're home catching up on sleep. They go clothes shopping whilst you do the weekly food shop. They shop in topshop, you shop in Mothercare. Neither of you can find time for each other because they're hungover and you're at baby group. When you finally do get a chance to meet up once a month you suddenly realise how much you've changed when you attempt to talk about the things you used to talk about together and you realise how uninteresting and ridiculous it all seems now. You sit there listening to their boy dramas and all you really want to speak about is how your baby has just learnt to clap and wave or how great the baby gap sale was the other day. Instead, you meet a whole new circle of friends who, like you, have children and know what it's like. They share the same interest of the latest sensory group and talk about the same things like nappy rash and sleep patterns. 
Then there's the friends without babies who have always been in your life and most likely always will be. They turn up at the house with a bottle of calpol when the baby is sick and you can't leave the house. They show a genuine interest in your child and they too get excited about every new milestone. These are the type of friends who will be there with you through thick and thin. They have been in your life for some time, you used to love a messy night out together but when the baby was born and things changed, your friendship remained exactly the same- if not stronger than ever. 




Relationships

Of course, I'm not in a relationship but my desire for a relationship these days is absolutely non existent. Not because I've been hurt in the past; I always get back up again. But because I cannot see how I would ever have time for anyone else but my son at the moment. Now, in the past, dating was so much fun and I've always had my eye on someone but now, the thought of sharing the only bit of baby free time I get in the evenings when my son goes to bed is not tempting me. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't love the little set up I have with my son and our home at the moment. We can chill in our pjs and he will never judge me for having a hole in my sock or smudged mascara half way down my face. For those of you who are in a relationship and have had a baby, I imagine that things change for you too. I mean, you can't exactly wine and dine with a spaghetti smearing, juice gargling monster, can you? I think I'll stick to the single life for some time! 

Desire to drink alcohol. 

Remember that little (or large) drink you used to love having every weekend without fail? And suddenly, you don't want to know.
Well, you spend 9 months without it, and for me, another 9 months or so after Etienne was born I still didn't even touch a drop of alcohol because 1) I was breastfeeding and 2) I was terrified of being drunk off of a sip of the stuff! Then a big occasion comes along and you think ok, fine, I'll have a drink and see how I feel. The first drink goes down a little too well so you have another but you barely have much more before getting tired and going home to sleep. So you get a nights sleep (well, a mothers nights sleep is never a full night, is it?) and you wake with the most horrific pounding headache and queasiness. Ah, I remember this. This is what I used to feel like every Sunday after clubbing all weekend. But I've only had a couple of drinks and went to bed early. And that's it, you know you can't handle the drink like you used to and despite this, you still go out every once in a blue moon and yet you feel exactly the same way every time. "I'm too old for it now" (at the age of 23!) and you definitely can't look after the over tired screaming baby when you've had a few drinks the night before, that is a definite no go! Now, I can't even really enjoy the taste of alcohol without worrying about how I'll feel the next day and if I stay out past midnight I'll only grab a few hours sleep since my son wakes at 6am most days (sometimes earlier.) 
So there it is, I've traded my love of a glass prosecco for a glass of squash and I'm fine with that. 

Mental state: 

It's safe to say that these days I'm a nervous wreck. I remember the days when I could hop on a plane to the other side of the world without even contemplating the dangers involved. I could ride an elephant through the jungle in Thailand and climb into an enclosure with tigers. Who was that person? These days i can't even cross the road without looking for the green man. I hold onto the buggy so tightly that my hands get sore, just incase the wind was to take the buggy away from me. I am paranoid about every little thing, seeing every danger in everything that I do. I guess it's called being a mother; from the moment that child is born you will forever be a worrying, neurotic mother. When my son was tiny I refused to sleep as I felt the need to watch him as he slept, to make sure he was breathing. He's almost 11 months old and I still check on him a good few times per night. Basically, he drives me nuts and increases my anxiety levels with every step he takes with his new baby walker, but Mother Nature insists that I protect him throughout the rest of my days.