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Why Being a Mother Is Kind of Like Being Drunk

First Time Mother, my beautiful daughter 'Quinn' born in September 2019.



Pregnancy is a bittersweet combination of excitement, fear, of being spiritually content whilst also experiencing some pretty unpleasant symptoms. It's the pre drinks of motherhood! When you can still get to the party on your own accord, feel positive about the times ahead and are if anything anxious to get things started.

It's a wonderful time of naivity. The calm before the storm. I remember eagerly preparing everything for baby in the end, impatiently attempting to naturally induce labour and eventually pushing for an actual induction. It's like that glorious first glass of champagne that makes you feel the warm and glowy, while you and your girlfriend's put the last touches of make up on before going out, ready for the town. Never anticipating just how messed up you're going to look at the end of this!

A Big Night

You know those nights that dragged on to the next morning? When you have partied all night, had the time of your life and are now just hungry as hell and exhausted, feeling a bit worse for wear. That's a bit like the birth and the postpartum period. I'll explain why.

Sure, birth is beautiful. But only because of the massive dump of oxytocin we receive at the time. Besides that it's a messy marathon that closely resembles a severely drunken state. And that's with or without the loopy gas!

For instance, mother's begin to feel so out of this world uncomfortable in their own bodies that they are unable to properly stand or walk. After a while the pain infiltrates the mother's other brain functions and renders her unable to effectively communicate with others around her. Like being intoxicated, painful contractions have a way of making you aggressive and hostile also with others around you. But the good news is, they can't kick you out of this club!


One Heck of a Hangover!

The moment you've been waiting for. Your beautiful baby has arrived. But man does your lady bits (or tummy) hurt! Like the morning after a big night, you are exhausted. You probably haven't slept. Your probably starving hungry. You feel like crap but try to keep with the momentum of the warm glowy feelings known as the 'baby bubble'.

I remember the first food served to me after having my daughter. It was the same thing they'd served me for dinner at the hospital the night before that I had projectile vomitted all over the room during induction. Half way through this awful food, that I was too hungry not to eat, my sister kindly points out that there's poo on my shoulder. My daughter's poo. I was too hungry and tired to care! Welcome to motherhood. Am I right?!

The postpartum period is hard and were often not prepared for it. It's like the ultimate hangover but you can't just lay down and die! Your body still sore from the birth. You might have had a tear, stitches, episiotomy or a caesarian and all hurt. You're even more exhausted after another night or two's sleep deprivation. And kind of stressed out too, because this little babies a lot of hard work and you're new at this. And to top it all off, on approximately day 3 of the postpartum period your milk supply comes in. Meaning if your nipples weren't already killing you from the latch, they're about to bring you a whole new batch of uncomfortable! And they leak..

You try so hard to enjoy this time but it is tough. Hang in there! Let time do it's thing! Just like a hangover, this too shall pass.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I was a little bit naive at the end of the post partum period. When that baby bubble broke after the first couple months, I ignorantly figured the hardest part was over.

Unfortunately this is far from the truth. If anything, things can actually get a bit harder. Your baby starts to spend more time awake and becomes more and more mobile all the time. As your child grows and develops they continuously keep you on your toes, finding new ways to challenge you as a parent. It can become increasingly stressful especially if you expected things to get easier.

One minute you have a newborn that sleeps a lot. The next, you're going through regressions and having rough nights. With a new baby, the hardest part can be holding them all the time. Well as they grow and put on weight, the hardest part is still holding them all the time!

In the beginning you're allowed to be unorganised, it's even expected. But as infants begin to roll, crawl and cruise.. you can't leave a cup or glass on the table, leave anything on the floor, or your handbag unzipped. You become hypersensitive to danger, avoiding anything that could be considered a choking hazard, potential head bang or sharp edges in general.

You might have thought having a baby would be meeting up with other mums for playdates and taking your little one for outings. Well you soon find that it's so hard to get out the door that it's almost not worth going. You could be out the door and have a code brown situation unfold. Just like that! You'll be another fifteen minutes late. But otherwise face the alternative of being stuck at home alone with babe, which lets face it becomes painfully repetitive and somewhat depressing.

So in many ways, being a parent in the long term is very much 'one step forward, two back'.. but at the end of the day. They grow. They learn. We age! And the circle of life keeps spinning. I'm sure as individuals we can become more productive once our children are ya know, in day care.. primary school... Okay maybe by the time they get to college? I don't know yet, I've still got a ways to go before I find out.


© 2022 Stephanie Purser

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