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Ok, so there are obvious side effects of having a baby, like tiredness, but then there are some less obvious, unexpected but very real ones too…
Who knew that these 6 unexpected, weird side effects of having a baby even existed?
1. Football boobs:
I choose to breast feed for the most part. This meant that in the beginning I had rock hard boobs while my milk learnt what to do and they refill every time I’m away from Rafe for longer periods. I pump in these circumstances and freeze it for when needed. This plan works well for the most part, but then I went on a much needed dancing date night with Geoff.
It reminded me of the first time I went out after Ava’s birth; the next morning I emptied my going out handbag (much too small to be practical and items often need to be culled, but looks good). Contents: lipstick, lip gloss, purse, receipt for way too many cocktails, pretty glass that once contained a cocktail that I borrowed (stole), and of course, what everyone needs on a night out…a dummy and teething gel of course.
But this time, for our rare night out after Rafe’s birth, I had to take a manual breast pump. No faulty boob this time so three hours in I was going to be in agony. So pump and dump in the club it had to be (that sounds like Destiny’s Child’s come back song – along with their former hit Pumping Pumping!). Gives ‘Body Bangers, Pump Up the Jam’ a whole new meaning.
2. Weeing yourself:
After having a baby (and the whole pregnancy), when you need a wee, you need a wee now! The other morning I was getting dressed and when I was on the first layer (big maternity bra and even bigger mum knickers), I needed a wee. I ran to the toilet, whipped off my underwear as quickly as possible and sat down. Luckily I realised my mistake before I wet myself…I hear you asking what did I do wrong?….well in my new born baby and crazy toddler induced lack of sleep, I whipped off the wrong underwear. Bra gone but knickers still well and truly on.
3. Mum tum:
I managed to sort myself out and continue getting dressed but this leads to side effect number 2, the mum tum. It’s now too squidgy to hold up maternity jeans, but too big to fit in normal ones, meaning I’m in the in-between jeggings/leggings/can’t be arsed to get out of pyjamas stage. High-wasted jeans have been a saviour though, they cover everything up and they fit after only doing the jean dance to 3 choruses of Staying Alive…most of the time…one bust zip in the middle of Tesco and I’ve figured out what fits and what doesn’t. On that note, I am always jealous of the women on Instagram who show off their non-mum tum 1 week after having the baby, seriously, where did they keep the baby? In their going out handbags? They would have definitely made the umbrella cull that day.
Mummy was busy running around the bedroom in her underwear the other day saying she’d nearly wet herself. Next time she asks me if I need the potty, I will remind her of this situation; it is meant to be me that is potty training. She should start wearing nappies like Rafe.
Daddy was being mean singing shake your tail feather as mummy was trying to pull up her jeans; I pointed out that it was a silly song, as we don’t have tails or feathers to shake. I made the song correct as I said I could shake my legs, mummy could shake her boobies and daddy could shake his willy. Not sure why they found it so funny because it’s true.
4. Baby brain:
This is a problem that I hear never goes away. As in, someone does something stupid, ah, sorry, baby brain. Right…but you’re 92? And…? And your kids are in their 60’s… So…? Or someone forgets something…baby brain, sorry. But you’ve not even had kids… Yeah, but I held one once. But, joking aside, it is a very real condition. There are woman all over the world writing to Dr Google about their latest symptoms.
The other day I was rocking the baby’s chair with my foot; queue strange look from Geoff. The baby was in my arms! And today I panicked I’d lost the baby as his pram was empty – again, in my arms!
We went to a café today for a bite to eat. Mummy suddenly got very upset, looking around the café, looking at everyone that walked past as if they were criminals. Ava asked her what was wrong and she said Rafe’s gone from his pram. Ava gave her an odd look; I said ‘er, hello…I’m here’. Ava said ‘silly mummy, he’s in your arms’. She mumbled something about baby brain and checked around her to see who was in listening distance.
I’ve also had my moments, and Jamie will say I’m using baby brain as an excuse, but just like man flu, it really is difficult! A few years ago, I was given the responsibility of locking up the cricket pavilion. 3 hours later, I arrived home looking rather sheepish. Eventually I admitted that I was trying to turn the lights off but every time I walked out, they would come back on. I had to ring the captain, who informed me through the laughter that they were motion sensor lights. And this morning I went out to a freezing cold morning, having had a little snow overnight. I tried opening my car door but it was frozen shut. I fetched the kettle and began to pour it on the door when it slowly dawned on me that I hadn’t even unlocked the car in the first place. This is definitely baby brain.
Ava didn’t exist when you were at that cricket club Geoff…
But, these do not compare to my friend’s baby brain moment. We were shopping (pre-babies for me) and we found ourselves in the tampon aisle. Back then, a new product had come out where you could choose a scented tampon! (Hmm…what a shocker it didn’t take off!). Wilko’s shelving had little buttons to press to release the scent to find your favourite. (Horrid, I know!) My friend, looking very confused, genuinely asked me how you insert the button to release the scent. As in into your body. As in into your fanny! Oh how I laughed. How the people in the aisle laughed. How the old lady, that eventually broke the news that they were just testers and ‘no dear, they don’t get put in your lady bottom’ (yes, she said that! At least 80 years old), laughed. So she said what we all would in that situation…sorry, baby brain. The issue was she’d left her baby with her husband and there’s no mum tum insight so no one believed her.
Mummy and daddy abandoned us with grandma the other night. Although we get so much chocolate while we’re there, don’t tell mummy. When they came home, she said I had to feed as her boobs were like footballs; I wasn’t even that hungry and the cheek of her, she squirted me all over the face, it just kept coming…control your boobs woman! Mummy’s new catchphrase is ‘if in doubt, whip it out’, so I get a boob shoved at me in all circumstances…sometimes I am just satisfied giving love bites (hickeys) to my own hand thanks.
5. Not being able to finish a conversation:
Whenever we try and have a grown up chat about, well anything, it is interspersed with ‘Ava, don’t do that’, ‘Rafe, do you need feeding?’, ‘Ava, eat your dinner’ and conversations about when Rafe last pooed or Ava asking a million questions about why squirrels have fluffy tails. I haven’t even told Geoff I’ve had another baby, I just never finished the sentence. Luckily, he noticed.
This is also a problem when I go on playdates with friends. This usually involves Ava and Rafe as well as an extra toddler or two, so even less chance of finishing a conversation. My friend, whose toddler is two days younger than Ava, and I, are still debating how good Titanic was at the cinema and whether Clinton did indeed sleep with that woman.
Do any of you ever get to finish a ….hold on….Yes, Ava?
Mummy, mummy, mummy, mummy. Why do you insist on talking to Rachel* instead of answering my question on why that boy is wearing blue socks? Mummy, mummy, mummy, why aren’t you listening? I need to know where the red cup is as this is yellow and I really want the red cup so you’ll just have to go home and fetch it. Get the blue one too just in case I change my mind again – save yourself a job. Mummy, it sounds like the Titanic had a predictable ending so why did you bother? Mummy let’s talk about how wobbly this jelly is, in fact let’s sing about it rather than if Monica needed her dress washing after her sleepover at her friend’s house. Mummy, mummy, mummy.
I give up. See you next week where we can chat about who shot JR and the fact that Bruce Willis was dead. (Sorry for spoilers).
6. Mum Guilt and self doubt
This could be blog post all to itself, and maybe soon it will be. But, basically everything you do after you’ve had a baby will come with some sort of self doubt. Did I do that right? Should I pick the baby up when crying or see if he settles? Should I dream feed or leave to sleep? Should I feed food now or milk? You get the picture. And each of these come with the dreaded thought that if you choose the wrong one you’ve messed your child up for life. Lots of well meaning, but very, very annoying people will give their opinion and the likelihood of it being the opposite to what you’re doing is very high. Child crying: 1st person: pick him up, he’ll get attachment issues, 2nd person: no, leave them to cry, you’ll make a rod for your own back. In reality we do something in between. If my child is crying chances are it wants something that I can provide, but I also know that Ava used to like a 5 minute cry to get her to sleep. If a child cries from their safe bed while you are on the toilet/in the shower/helping your other child etc, then they will have to wait. And let’s be honest, there aren’t 40 year old men sitting on their mum’s knees with attachment issues because they were left for a few minutes to cry. Or maybe there are… Mum guilt usually comes from a place of other people’s opinions or at least the opinion you think they might have. Go to work, you’re abandoning your child, stay at home, you’re smothering them and letting feminism down. Breastfeed and you risk being challenged for feeding in public, bottle feed and you risk being questioned for not breastfeeding. Co-sleep and you’re at risk of making a rod for you’re own back (again I refer you to check how many 40 year old men are still in their mother’s beds but that may be opening an unwanted can of worms!) or put them in their own cot and you’re abandoning them as they are only babies for such a short time. You get the picture and as you are all going through these thoughts and feelings every day, you could add so many more!
What other side effects happened to you?
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This post contains affiliate links. See the bottom of each blog post for full details.