There’s one question that gets asked a lot by new mums and it is this: does it get easier? I pestered anyone who had reproduced with this very question. Obviously I was desperate for the answer: “Yes. It. Does”.
Most people see the look in your eyes as you ask and as such will answer the question by saying, “oh absolutely yes it does of course it does yes yes yes!!” This is a good thing, as you’re generally asking the question when you’re still telling anyone who asks (or doesn’t) about your ‘birth story’, your weird midwife and how your nips are toughening up. (I remember being delighted to chat about my birth with a woman I’d never met, who was wearing her pyjamas in the corner shop. Seriously.)
In the beginning the days felt long and arduous. As full of happiness as they were, I couldn’t believe how tough I found everything. This out-of-my-depthness led me to question whether I was cut out for motherhood, and when and how I could cut the mustard. My boy seemed to know better than me. And although friends report that I came across as calm and confident, inside I was a heart thumping, mind bending wreck whose mind sounded something like: “AAAAAH WAAAAAH SHIT AAAAH I JUST DID THAT WRONG AM I ALLOWED TO DO THAT WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK FUCK DO I DO NOW”. After a while the tables turned and instead of being terrified by little bundle of baby I suddenly thought “AHA! I DO know better than you.” And for me, it was at that point that things got easier. It wasn’t necessarily about more sleep or fewer tears. Instead it was like a switch being flicked that enabled me to get-the-fuck-on-with-it and stop looking back.
And now? I am the one being asked this question. I’m only 10 months into motherhood, which is but a scratch in time, but as babies explode out of my friends vaginas and stomachs like t-shirts at a baseball match, the question gets asked again, and again, and then once more. I was asked just last week by a friend who has twins. And to her, really, I had nothing to offer. I have one baby. She has two. Two! So really, I don’t know hard.
I have no doubt I’ll look back on this first year and wonder what I was complaining about, and that’s kind of why I’m writing about it on this here blog. Because I don’t want to forget how intense, challenging and insane this time has been. I don’t want to become one of those “just you wait” kind of mums (that’s a whole post in itself). The adjustment to motherhood, parenting and all that comes with it has been the best headfuck I’ve ever had. And it ain’t over yet.