15 things nobody tells you about the first week of parenthood

…Because it’s important to the survival of our species that some things remain a secret.

And here we go…

1. There is nothing that can prepare you for the emotions involved. You will cry. A lot. You will scream. A lot. At your baby, your partner, your partner’s parents, and most likely, yourself. You will feel fear, rage, anxiety and love in measures greater than you have experienced or imagined possible.

2. You will think ‘Why did we do this?’ and ‘Can we take it back?’ at some point. Probably more than once.

3. You’ll look at your tiny, perfect little baby and never want them to ever, ever grow up.

4. Apart from the fact that you can’t actually wait until they grow up and this time is over.

5. Getting every little thing right is so stressful. Is the bath water exactly 36 degrees? If I leave the room is my baby going to just burst into flames? Possibly, better keep watch at all times just to be sure. Sometimes you’ll go hours without going to the loo, just because you can’t leave the baby.

6. You’ll want to kill anyone who comes to visit for longer than 10 minutes without doing anything useful. And ‘useful’ does not involve cuddling the baby while you make them a cup of tea.

7. Also, if you’re breastfeeding, anyone who comes to visit in the first week, WILL see your boobs. They’re always out. And you don’t care.

8. If you get more than one consecutive hour of sleep in a row, you’ll count it as a ‘good night’.

9. You’ll wake up in the morning (/middle of the night/middle of the day) and think ‘no, I’m actually too tired now, I can’t carry on’. But then you will just carry on.

10. At some point you’ll probably hate your partner for being 50% responsible for creating this little bundle of screams. But don’t turn on each other. It’s what the baby wants.

11. You’ll more than likely, at some point, ask your baby: ‘But what do you actually want, though?’

12. You will think you’re doing everything wrong. You’ll feel like an imposter, a pretender acting out the part of a parent.

13. You will have a flashback to your life before the baby when you could take a leisurely bath, watch the television in peace, see your friends, hell, leave the house, and wish you could have it back.

14. You’ll then feel insanely guilty for thinking it.

15. You’ll also feel guilty that you’re not enjoying being a parent. People tell you it’s the most wonderful thing in the world. They’ve forgotten about that first week. That long, hard, painful first week.

But yes, at some magical moment that you can’t quite pinpoint but that definitely happens, it does actually become the most wonderful thing in the world. Promise.

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