Sunday, September 11, 2011

WHAT TO REALLY EXPECT





I remember being given a copy of ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ when I was first pregnant.  On the front cover, sat a serene woman in sensible shoes, rocking away in her wooden rocking chair with a fairly sceptical look on her face.  Clearly she’d already read what was going on inside, i.e the very vanilla, straight laced version of what was actually going to happen when she got pregnant, had a child and then raised said child (followed up in the aptly titled ‘What to Expect in your first Year’ and ‘What to Expect in the Toddler Years’.  I can save you forty bucks. Just expect your life to change.  Massively.


But here are a few more expectations I personally have found to be true:




EXPECT LABOUR TO HURT – A LOT


Pinch that soft fleshy bit under your arm. Hard. Harder. Feel that? Hurt? That doesn’t even come close to the absolute agony that is labour.  In fact, go outside, put your foot under a 4WD tyre and ask someone will very few scruples  to reverse over it a couple of times. Painful? Nope, still not even close. Shit out a watermelon. Yeah, that comes kinda close.




EXPECT TO NEVER SLEEP IN.  EVER AGAIN


Look, just think of those last uncomfortable months of sleeping whilst pregnant as training. Training for the Tired Olympics. Believe me, your training will be so intensive you’ll be almost a dead cert for the Gold medal. Expect to never sleep in past 6am ever again.  Oh, wait, I take that back, *just* when your body is used to waking up at that time and can no longer physically break the 7am barrier, your child will start to sleep in. Until midday. This will enrage you.




EXPECT TO BE EMBARRASSED IN PUBLIC


“Mum, why is there a snake coming out of your bottom?”  I’ll set the scene.  Public toilet at some brightly lit Megaplex in the burbs.  Me, in sudden need of a toilet and believe me, if it could wait until I was in my own home, it would have.  The 3 year old, standing in front of me while I try to efficiently do as nature intends.  He, when not trying to escape under the door, is peering into the toilet and in his best big boy voice, alerting my stable mates that I am doing a massive shit. 




EXPECT TO NEVER SEE THE BOTTOM OF YOUR LAUNDRY HAMPER. EVER AGAIN


You know, if someone was smart, they’d make a laundry hamper with a big picture of your celebrity free pass at the bottom.  Give you some incentive to make your way down there.  Mine would be Jason Bateman or Mark Ruffalo.  If someone was doubly smart, they would make it your husband’s Free Pass.  Therefore I would find Natalie Portman at the bottom of ours.




EXPECT TO NOT HAVE AN ORGASM DURING CHILDBIRTH


I know, I’m totally bursting your bubble right?  Oh, but if you do happen to reach the Big O during birth, congratufuckinglations, you’ve just won the equivalent of OzLotto.  I mean, I don’t think I even orgasmed when I conceived, let alone when my vagina was being ripped apart.




EXPECT TO FEEL GUILT AT CODE RED LEVELS


Mother s guilt really needs its own postcode.  Are we working too much, feeding them too little, not enough? Allowing them too much screen time? Are they eating enough dirt?  Too much?  It’s guilt central and we are our own harshest critics.  




EXPECT TO BECOME THE MASTER OF EMPTY THREATS


You will need to find your currency when it comes to kids and threats.  ‘Stop it or you go to your room’ rarely cuts it. 'So freaking what, all my toys are in my room, do better Mum.'  So you have to find what they love the most and threaten to take it away from them.  More often than not, these are empty threats.  I mean you want to go to Dreamworld just as much as they do, but you can’t let them know that.  




Expect to lose your train of thought.  Which has just happened to me right now.  




Feel free to add your own advice to the list....

38 comments:

Norlin said...

Lol! Love this list and so very true!! Don't you just love it when you child just share your most intimate moments in the public toilet?!

Alexandra said...

You are way TOO funny.

In other news, I won't be having children.

Naomi said...

How about expect to not care so much about bodily fluids. Like when you're so tired from lack of sleep and your child wees in your bed, because clearly your bed is a much better place to spend the night than their own bed, you'll be tired enough to justify a somewhat cleanish looking towel as good enough to cover the piss patch until some more reasonable hour, when you can change the sheet. Like about a week later.
Ah, the joys of parenting.

Diminishing Lucy said...

And you cheerfully wave at the neighbours even though they hear your kids screaming "Mummy stop hurting me" at the top of their lungs daily. I shit you not. (Lexie does this every day. As I brush her hair. She runs to the front door and screams like I am a child batterer.)

Smudgeblurr said...

Hey Bern,
Loved your blog as always - i've been told having a dog is good training but I don't see a lot of similarities to your list - esp as I didn't have to birth the puppy!!!
Wx

bigwords is... said...

Expect to age 20 years in two. Grey hair, saggy boobs, wrinkly belly, dark rings under your eyes. And you'll start wearing clothes out of the house that you swore you wouldn't. Trackies, ugg boot, daggy jumpers and your hair sticking up everywhere. Sad. Sad. Sad.

Jess@Diary of a SAHM said...

I wonder how many people would actually have kids if this was a real book?

Absolutely hilarious!

mamabook said...

Some idiot gave me this book too. And when it instructed me not to eat carrot cake while pregnant I chucked it. ANd skipped the rest of the sanctimonious drivel they have dished out since!

shesaid said...

What I didn't expect - to feel so damn proud of myself...And don't worry I keep it to myself. But I can't believe how clever I feel to have a) created life b) survived childbirth and c) created such a beautiful little person.

But back to tone of thread....Anyone else get occasional flash backs to their labor, like as if they survived a battle field. Before I gave birth, I loved watching SBS show One Born Every Minute. Now I don't think I could.

macsnorky said...

I'm sure I'd have heaps to add... if I wasn't so fucking tired.

But one important thing you've left out is alcohol. If you don't drink, by the time your kid is 3 you will. Or you will require medicating. Or both. I'm yet to meet anyone who can do the parenting thing without the aid of mind-altering substances of some kind, at least some of the time.

Is it too early for vodka?

kurrabikid said...

What a most excellent post!!

And I totally agree with Macsnorky's comment on the booze. Some days 5pm don't come soon enough...!

Jody said...

GUYS, although we have can't compare at all to what women have to go through during pregnancy you should prepare as well. Will you endure as much pain as your wife or partner during the birth? Not a chance. Will you see things you hope to NEVER see again? Yes. Will you witness something more incredible than life itself? YES! Life is beautiful; witnessing birth is cool as hell. Just know that strange fluids,fish hooks, items resembling hamburger, and lots of swearing/screaming are likely to be involved.

Mum In The Burbs said...

Giving up on rules of hygiene almost completely. I regularly use the ends of my long cardigans to wipe toddler noses.
Also how many kitchen implements have to be sacrificed to scoop poo out of the bath and random objects out of the toilet.

Nathalie said...

What a fabulous real post, I'm sure there is an underworld conspiracy that doesn't let the truth about motherhood be known, otherwise they would be no future generations. Yet through all the downs, those connecting moments we have with our children, in the longrun make it all worth while.

MaidInAustralia said...

Not much to add except no subject will ever be off limits again, you will be coated with bodily fluids more times than you will ever count, and a moment to poo or pee in peace will be like winning the lottery. And just as elusive.

Madam Bipolar said...

This post is great.
My addition is - expect lots of midwives to grab your nipple and start squeezing it like a zit to get the drops of life out of them.
Also breastfeeding fucking hurts and we are not your real friends if we don't tell you that.
xx

Penny said...

You can orgasm during childbirth???? How could I have not noticed that while both kids were busy busting my perineum open into tiny pieces?

SometimesKaren said...

My kids thought I was joking the other day when I told them how many times they'd each vomited in my lap. But thank GOD none of them ever shouted about a snake coming out of my bum!

Melissa said...

Too funny and so true... Can't believe I'm having another one!

Cheryl said...

Oh god, i think i just pulled something i'm laughing so hard!

Brilliant post. Say it like it is!

:o)

Melc_1911 said...

Ahhh thanks just had an out loud laugh on the train! People think I'm strange. Great blog - what those books don't tell u. All very true! That snake story hilarious! My friend had a similar thing happen when her daughter announced " mum why do u have hair on your bottom!" obviously still at the stage where everything down there is easier to call a bottom. Motherhood such fodder for comedy!

Mrs Woog said...

Please please please please write a book!

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

Fantastic. Nothing to add here. :-)

fifi_labelle1 said...

You are one funny lady Bern Morley !!! :-) But the list was waaaaayyy to short.....xxxx

Jess WhoaMamma said...

What Mrs Woog said!
My ultimate fantasy in life (apart from achieving the celeb pass from the bottom of the laundry hamper: Javier Bardem) is a sleep-in. That's all I dream about. A whole day in bed, not having to get up for anybody. When? When!!!!!!!!!!!

Mich said...

I've just sent this link to a friend who is 34 weeks pregnant with her first baby. I added the phrase, It will either give you a giggle or scare the crap outta you.

Great post as no one 'really' tells us how its going to be.

As a teenager that caused my mother alot of trouble, she cursed 6 daughters on me. All the be as bad as I was. I have 3. And these 3 are a handful and I absolutely refuse to have anymore!

Mrs MummyMegs said...

Bloody brilliant! Spot on. Have re-posted to friends who are new Mum's also ... hilarious xx

Wanderlust said...

Bern, this is gold. I laughed my way through the whole thing. I'm with Mich, I just want a day to sleep in. Literally an entire day. To sleep. Alone.

CATE PEARCE said...

Nail. Head. Perfectly hit.
And i'd totally do either Jason Bateman or Natalie portman if they were at the bottom of my laundry basket and I ever made it down that far.

Angela (Solo Mum) said...

Love this! So true. I read that book back in 1995 and it neglected to impress on me, that a 'stretch and sweep' maneuver would feel like grievous bodily harm, or how permanently sickening it feels to have your heart walking around outside your body forever more. And it was all down hill from there lol.

Parental Parody said...

Bloody genius.

"Shitting out a watermelon" - most apt description ever. EVER.

My kids also give the loud blow-by-blow of my public toilet usage. And, inevitably, one of the 3 always does escape under the door, and I have to cut off mid-stream to burst out after them.

One of us always ends up with wet pants as a result. Often, not the toddler escapee.

Can you please put this into a book, so I can buy many copies for every girlfriend who is yet to procreate. Seriously, it would be the best birth control ever.

BeeJay @ Never Had So Much Fun said...

Great reading, I'm 3 months pregnant and I know that I'll be the exception. I'll breeze through this pregnancy and labor and spend lots of time on the beach (in my gym gear) looking fantastic with my baby and a book. I can't wait!

Ouchy Mumma said...

Utterly hilarious, the coffee (CAN'T FORGET THE NECESSITY FOR COFFEE!!!!!!) I am pouring down my throat nearly poured out my nose from laughing so hard.

You can't forget the various veins or haemorrhoids you might be lucky enough to experience during pregnancy as well!!

Oh shit, number 3 is due in Nov...what the fuck am I doing??!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I had mine over thirty years ago, and while i do remember all this stuff (witht he teenage years to follow - (oh yeah, they are the hardest of all), the main thing that has stayed all through is the pride. All three of my kids continue to amaze and delight me (as do their children).

Veggie Mama said...

Ok I think I win some sort of prize here, because I just tattooed that EXTREMELY SENSITIVE FLESHY PART OF YOUR UNDERARM for three solid hours. And when people ask me how it compared to childbirth, I still say not only was it not in the same ballpark, it ain't even in the same CONTINENT. fuck.

Meanwhile, I didn't mind this book overmuch, but If I so much as see the cover of Kaz Cooke's Up The Duff I fly into a murderous rage. Worst. Book. Ever.

lisasdream said...

Never did read that book "What to expect when you are expecting" - the front cover put me off!
After our last boy (who is now 6) we are used to never sleeping in, waking up during the night, having no time to ourselves and reading about "What To Really Expect" was the best! Loved your toilet trip - been there and done that (with one of our boys trying to escape while I am trying to wee!)

Cheers
Lisa

Being Me said...

Funny. As. Hell!!! Which, let's face it, is what parenthood feels like occasionally. Except the "funny as" part.

Elise said...

I can't remember the last time I laughed so much. My husband thinks I'm a lunatic.
Don't forget to add the joy and completely surreal first time you breast feed and you realise - OW - MF - that hurts. There is no bonding when you are staring down going WTF? Those expectation books paint rosy pictures of bonding and love during breast feeding, they don't mention the pain at first and the part where you end up feeling like a barmaid on tap.