Yes, it’s a love fest when your first child arrives. The baby is born. A couple of months go by. Life goes on. Maybe you are back at work. And there are a few details that are brand new at this stage.
Here follow 11 impacts I felt when I returned to my pre-baby routines.
People start asking “what about the next one?”
It’s tempting to reply back “what about you?” or “what about shut up?”. You may still be breastfeeding ou in your maternity leave. But there will always be someone who’ll want to know when the next one is coming. A smile might not be enough to deter these nosy people.
Friends don’t ask about work and ask about the baby
It’s like we stopped having other dimensions or goals. We have a label on our forehead that says “mummy”. They tell us about their love lives, work and holidays. And then they ask “What about you? How’s the baby?”.
Your body gets really soft
Every thing that grew to fit the baby and its entourage shrinks. There’s skin to spare. Parts of the body that never were never soft start to be. You fear being as soft as a an old lady at thirty. Going to the gym is on the to-do list. But it ends up getting replaced by stuff like sleeping. Or “going outside to see the dog”. Or sitting on the bed, wrapped in a bath towel, looking at the wall.
You get calmer
Paradoxically, your first child being a life that depends on you, your anxiety diminishes. Your hormones work in mysterious ways, in this case for the best. It’s like there is a bigger purpose behind each day. In my case, I feel the little things don’t bother me as much.
You can do the same amount of work in less time
The productivity of women who work outside the house should be studied. They want to leave early to be with the baby before bedtime. Or you have errands to run at lunchtime that don’t fit anywhere else in your schedule. Work gets done regardless.
Everyone assumes that you’re not available at night
You start to be invited to afternoon teas. Or breakfast. You find out there was a dinner last night when you see the photos on the following day. “We didn’t tell you because with the baby and everything…”
And sometimes you really can’t (or don’t want to) go out at night
The first child is at home. And he’s the cutest baby. You’ve been away all day. The baby cries if you leave a room. 30 euros to have dinner at that place? And they said it would rain. Tomorrow it would be good to wake up early. I rest my case.
People ask wether it’s easy to juggle maternity with work
But only if you are mother. If you are a dad, people just assume you can do it. Or that you don’t care. A first child also opens this window. People feel like they are legitimate to ask personal questions. Where does she sleep, with whom. Who gets up. Kindergarten or home?
Over the weekend, your rest your head but not your back
In a regular weekend, on Sunday evening you can’t remember the world you left on Friday. And you’re already in the naps and diapers rhythm. But picking up a baby is like lifting weight with your back. If you were at the gym, and instructor would come and correct your posture. Back at home we do it with our eyes closed.
You cry over diaper commercials
These days, any old Pampers commercial makes me cry. Or anything that has babies in it. Or stories of parents and children or a child suffering. But it doesn’t need to involve suffering. The other day I cried watching a baby clapping his hands.
Watching pregnant women makes you nostalgic
You may not know if you want more kids. Or not want the second one so soon. You might have had morning sickness, heartburn, insomnia and hot flashes. You may have thrown up outside your house, because you couldn’t reach the bathroom. But a pregnant woman walks by and you miss it.
I blame hormones.