When you enter the world of parenthood, the most overwhelming and life altering time is the first two years of your child’s life. It changes you as a person. Not only your day to day priorities or your house being filled with more children’s items than “Toys ‘r’ us” and not to mention your self-grooming limited to a three-minute shower (if you’re lucky). But this time also changes your relationship dynamic with your partner and what’s important in life.
No one see’s this change coming, it’s like a gust of wind when you’re wearing a flowy skirt (unexpected and hard to deal with). And it’s definitely not spoken about enough during pregnancy. Everyone talks about how lovely having a newborn is and all the nice elements, but in reality we should be educating parents on the challenging aspects that lay ahead so they can be aware and know that it’s not just them going through it, we all are or have been there.
There is nothing worse than looking at your partner in the midst of a crying baby and no sleep, feeling like you are both failing because society has created this white picket fence idea of how life is after becoming parents. It’s going to be challenging and you will have to work extra hard at having time to yourself and giving attention to your relationship (because believe me this is vital to maintaining sanity and romance).
For a woman the first two years are overtaken by “mummy mode” both mentally and physically, so much so that we often lose ourselves and who we are because our minds are consumed twenty-four hours a day with our child and what they need. I am a mother to twin girls aged two and a half years(trust me the half counts) and it’s only recently that I have rediscovered myself and who I am.
I’ve realised that’s I’m not just a mother, that Mimi still exists and that I need her to feel whole. And that’s ok. It’s important to have time to yourself, for your career or to socialise, because after all taking care of your well being ultimately makes you a better parent. You come out of this whirlwind of babyhood and enter into a new chapter of your child’s life, they are able to do more for themselves, to communicate and are probably enrolled in a nursery. It’s an exciting time for them, and for you as parents also.
So if you’re reading this and you’re experiencing the first few years with your little wonder, or are about to embark into parenthood. Know that whatever happens in those first years, you will make it through. You will be wiser, more fulfilled and happy – just keep realistic expectations.