Pregnant ladies, you’ve been put on notice.

Big Yawn

Wake up! For-the-love-of-God WAKE UP! *Insert vigorous shoulder-shaking here*

Sorry for the outburst of violence pregnant ladies, but it’s for your own good. You see, apparently some of you first-time mums-to-be are wandering this earth, zombie-like, in a haze of sunshine, lollipops and teeny weeny shoes that look oh so cwuuuu-te!

You’re all dosed-up on those pregnancy hormones, sipping your decaf tea and musing about how (obviously) perfect your little bundle of joy will look with his daddy’s eyes and your button nose. You’ve done the hard yards: trawling baby name websites, pre-washing a wardrobe of itty bitty clothes and timing how long it will take to race along your preferred hospital route …

…and in the process, SOME OF YOU HAVE LOST YOUR FREAKIN’ MINDS!

Excuse me while I jolt you to your senses.

You see, motherhood is like one of those crazy army obstacle courses; it will steal the wind from your lungs, force you to scale walls and crawl through mud, and demand you grit your teeth and hold back tears while you do it. It will make your bones ache, your body bleed and cause you to swallow (or in my case, verbalise) the odd obscenity along the way.

Contrary to nappy ads, you won’ spend all day giggling with your baby on a nicely made bed, patting their chubby rump as you lift them above your head in a simulated plane landing. In fact, you may even abandon your screaming baby in front of the TV and barricade yourself in the bathroom with the shower on (to drown out the wailing) – just so you can EXPRESS. IN. PEACE – only to accidentally tread in the generous pool of wee your toddler left NEXT to the toilet and curse like a belligerent sailor…

…or something like that.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually the last person to heap horror stories on unsuspecting mothers-to-be (motherhood is a truly fulfilling, exciting and invigorating experience) but it seems there are a whole bunch of you out there who will feel completely and utterly unprepared to cope with the realities of motherhood. (Like Beth Macdonald, who recently shared her experience here).

I’m talking about intelligent, savvy, successful, loving, wholly capable women collapsing into a fear-induced heap of despair when they discover it’s up to them to feed/clothe/nurture/love and be on call 24/7 FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

Why are we so scared? How does this even happen?

In my experience, there were a raft of mums who were all too ready to tell me how positively awful it would be.

There would be weight gain, pain, swelling, vomiting, a marathon labour, tears, more pain, tearing, bleeding, sleep deprivation, countless nappies, fear, more tears and then the four horsemen would trample my living room, the earth would crack open and it would rain hail and fire.

So I went into it expecting the absolute bloody worst, prepared to make the best of an obviously shitty situation, and do you know what? I was pleasantly surprised. It just wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was enjoyable*.

Sure, dragging your beaten body out of bed at all hours isn’t going to be your favourite pass time, but why not get stuck into an e-book or the latest ep of True Blood while you’re there?

Not quite sure what to do about screamy’s tummy pains? Jump into a warm bath with your little noise maker and have a cuddle (even at 3am).

Take every opportunity to be pampered and waited on by your other half (if you can’t claim a neck and foot rub now, then when?)!

And most of all remember: CALM THE FUCK DOWN.

There’s nothing to worry about. You’re not an idiot and they’re not impossible to figure out (typically a combination of milk, cuddles, fresh nappies and sleep will get you through the first month or so). Hell, our mothers and grandmothers did it – without the sleeping sensors, designer cots, specially made 100 per cent organic cotton swaddles, internet message boards and mountains of parenting literature. It might take some time to find a rhythm and learn their likes and dislikes but that doesn’t make you a bad mum and it won’t do them any irreparable damage.

Yep, life will be different in a myriad of ways but if you didn’t already know that I’m afraid you’ve bought a ticket for the wrong bus.

*Some women  – through no fault of their own – suffer serious medical and mental health issues after the birth of their children, making for a significantly less “enjoyable” experience . If you or someone you know is suspected to be suffering postnatal depression please seek professional help (PANDA and beyondblue are a good start).

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