Top 12 things you wish you had been warned about before having a child

” You’re pregnant ? But it’s geniaaaaal you’re going to be perfect as a mom and then you’ll see it’s only happiness hahahahahahahahatuezmoi”

These are the kind of playful phrases you hear when you have the absurd idea of ​​announcing your pregnancy. But is life with a little baby really that great? Wouldn’t we be turned upside down with all this maternity story? The journalist Renee Greusard examines these taboos in a book as funny as it is fascinating Choosing to be a mother: everything you haven’t been told about parenthood.. A book that can be put in everyone’s hands, whether you have children or not, whether you like it or not. It is above all a brilliant reflection on the expected role of mothers in our society and the nameless mess that represents our life with this new roommate who cries, who vomits and who shits in your bin.

1. We freak out a lot about giving birth but we forget to freak out about what happens right after: the child

As Renée Greusard quite rightly reminds us, there are as many possible pregnancies as there are women. “There is no equality when it comes to motherhood. It is a country in which we arrive charged with who we are. From our childhood. From our parents. Of our sorrows. Of our joys. of our traumas. of our needs. Of our rigidities. Of our flexibility. of our temperaments. »

So it’s not a question of saying “hey the zouzes, motherhood that’s how it goes” but rather of preparing for the idea that motherhood is not a daily renewed fulfillment where happiness rhymes with joie de vivre (it doesn’t rhyme at all, are you bad at French or koua?). The more we are informed about all this, the better we will be prepared for this new life.

top 12 things you wish you had been warned about before having a child

2. Even taking a shower will become a hassle

An infant requires constant attention. He sleeps a lot, of course, but he also wakes up a lot. It is very difficult to leave it unattended. So you will say to me “yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss”. Haha. Well yes, but no, because the co-parent’s leave, although it has been extended to 28 days, is not equal with maternity leave, so most often you find yourself alone having to manage something that would require the attention of many people.

You find yourself having no time to do anything, neither take a shower, nor make yourself a meal worthy of the name. That’s why there are plenty of real services that we can provide to young parents, such as shopping or preparing a week’s worth of meals in the fridge.

top 12 things you wish you had been warned about before having a child

3. Baby cries drive you crazy (everyone)

From the outset we must make a distinction that we too often forget: the baby does not cry, he cries. I take here the quote of a pediatrician who speaks on this subject in the book “A child cries on average 2 hours a day. It is necessary that these cries exist somewhere and sometimes it is the night. Babies who are not held in their arms will cry, four o’clock… A baby cries and that’s normal” What we are less prepared for is our ability to withstand this strident sound biologically calculated to make us act.

Especially since we can’t let him cry baby, at least for the first six months. Period during which the WHO recommends sleeping with the baby in the room. So yes these cries are difficult and can make you crack, know that there is no shame in going to put your baby in bed and leaving the room to take a breather it is even highly recommended for your mental health !

top 12 things you wish you had been warned about before having a child

4. No you won’t be a perfect mother (and even that doesn’t exist)

You may have had a lot of educational principles before joining the parent team yourself, know that you will make a lot of compromises with yourself. You’ll screw up (often), you won’t necessarily experience things the way you had planned to experience them, in short, it’s normal there’s nothing programmed, let yourself be carried away, in the end you’re bound to end up get out of it (and no, it won’t be perfect, who do you think you are first?).

5. “The night of Java” a concept much less nice than it looks

You thought the worst would be childbirth? FALSE. The worst usually happens one or two nights later, it even has a name: Java night. With the postpartum excitement, you’ve hardly slept in 24 hours. So you’re super mega ultra exhausted on this second night (or third night, it’s not an exact science). For his part, it is precisely at this moment that the baby is in pump it up mode and chooses not to sleep AT ALL. It is the baptism of fire.

Why is it important to talk about it? Already to prepare for an exhausting event that is often badly experienced by distraught young mothers who think they are useless when they are just at the end of the roll’s. As Renée Greusard reminds us, it was traditional before staying with the mother and the baby for the first few days, never to leave them alone, but today maternity wards do not always accept that the co-parents stay to sleep.

So IT’S OK, don’t hesitate for a second to contact the nurses and childcare workers in the service. You may be afraid of getting drunk after the 40th time, but all these pretty people are there for that too, and above all they have the experience (and fewer hormone peaks than you).

6. Whatever you do, you’re bound to get bored with breastfeeding.

While many studies tend to say that breastfeeding is the best choice for the baby (the WHO even recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months), you may not feel up to it. comfortable with this practice which can sometimes be painful (hello crevasses, ouch). If it is chosen, no problem of course and many mothers keep happy memories of this gesture, but never, oh never, breast-feeding should be suffered.

top 12 things you wish you had been warned about before having a child

7. Not sleeping can really lead to depression.

As Renée Greusard reminds us, the lack of sleep is more quickly dangerous to health than the absence of food. You understand how this “little” problem of crying children risks becoming infernal if we don’t organize ourselves in such a way as to recover as we can.

To better understand this difference in rhythm between you and the baby, it is useful to know the explanation. In reality, the baby’s sleep is fixed on 25 hours (and not 24 hours like us civilized people). And guess what, the baby is right. The 25-hour rhythm is actually the one we have lived with for a long time.

Before the arrival of electricity in homes, for example, we had two-phase sleep: we went to bed with nightfall, we woke up around midnight and then we began our second night around 2am. Ultimately it is our sleeping pattern that disturbs the baby (naturally accustomed to sleeping as he wants in his mother’s womb) and not the other way around.

top 12 things you wish you had been warned about before having a child

8. It’s possible that you have impulse phobias and it’s a mess

What are impulse phobias? Basically you imagine the space of a quarter of a second that you throw your baby out the window or something absolutely abominable. Young parents are totally freaked out to have these images even for a micro-second, but in reality they are normal.

In Sweden they are even called “twangstankar” (“forced thoughts”). It’s a bit like a waking dream that is justified by the enormous fear of harming your baby that our brain constructs a horrible scenario precisely to circumvent this fear. It is simply a mechanism of protection and empathy. Don’t worry, you’re not really thinking about throwing your baby out the window.

9. Yes, you may find your baby ugly (and that’s okay)

Already because babies can have a whole host of benign illnesses but which make them unappetizing (gerboss this roseola), but also because in the same way that it can take time to love your own baby, you can also put time to find him as charming as we imagined.

Again, do not panic, it is very common to consider this weird thing as a foreign element that hits the encrusted in your couple and behaves a bit like an “attention whore”. Patience, over time your roommate will end up going well.

10. The human body takes time to recover from childbirth.

We see this moment as the ultimate outcome, but the trauma suffered by the body takes time to subside (again, there are no rules, it depends on each person). Some speak of a feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen, for example, urinary incontinence problems are also commonplace, back problems (due to carrying your child and sometimes poor positioning when breastfeeding ) and we save the best for last: the first time you poop after giving birth, it may feel like a second delivery. YAY. Long live the suppositories to limit the pain.

To this is added the impression that our body no longer belongs to us. And in fact, this body has changed. Maybe you’ll never really get back to your “before” body, but in reality it’s normal, your body did something WOW, it can’t go completely unnoticed.

11. You can feel lonely, very lonely, totally lonely

“Maternity leave? Too good vacation plan! »

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. So it’s great how we have framed by law the loneliness of young mothers. Admittedly, as we have said, the 28-day paternity leave is already a small victory. But we are far from equal… The co-parents find themselves going to work, are jealous of not seeing their baby more, while the mother, confronted only with her baby, is jealous of her spouse who has found a “normal” social life again. Not to mention that this injustice also puts on the shoulders of the mothers the mental burden to come, as Renée Greusard says “Alone with our baby, we become the reference person, the one who knows best. Maternity leave makes the child our competence”.

12. It’s a big storm for the couple

Here again, I can assure you, it is not systematic, but once again, the more you prepare for it, the better you face it. It’s worse than breaking down an open door than to say that the arrival of a child disturbs couples. It would even be very weird if that were not the case. The desire, the desire to share moments just for two, the ability to resume sexual intercourse gently, all these things can make a hell of a mess so I’m going to take care not to bring you any solution here.

top 12 things you wish you had been warned about before having a child


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