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Why dont we talk about it?

Yesterday at our Christmas lunch I was chatting to a collegue who has just returned from maternity leave and she is having a rough time.

She didn’t “bond” immediately with her daughter, is feeling overwhelmed and as if she has no idea what she is doing.

I went through much the same as she did and when I was sharing my experience with her she asked me “WHY does no one talk about this?”

She is so right – no one does talk about how hard the first few months are. There is very little honest writing out there about the realities of having a new baby. The images we see are happy, smiling mommies and perfect babies attached beautifully to their breasts. It all looks so perfect.

The reality is that it’s NOT like that but no one wants to say that. We all joked about how we never got to pee or sleep or eat but it’s all said with a smile and joke and I never really understood until I went to the loo for the first time with my newborn firmly attached to me.

There were times when Cameron screamed and screamed that I wanted to close the door, put the TV really loud and not deal with it. Nothing had warned me about this. I have chatted on parenting forums and parenting blogs no one posts about having a crap time or wanting to run away and if they actually do everyone immediately says “shame” maybe see a Doctor. No one says YES I felt like that too – lets do lunch with Cosmopolitans and Martinis and we can vent a little.

WHY? Why aren’t we just honest about the fact that while it is the most amazing thing to have a child and be part of that process it is also the most frightening, hardest thing.

My colleague feels like she is failing. She feels her daughter will hate her. She is reading everything she can get her hands on and instead of that making her feel more at ease it is making her feel like more of a failure when actually she is doing just fine.

The Reluctant Mom wrote this post and we honestly need more posts like this. That tell us how it really is and prepare new moms so they create realistic expectations for themselves.

Why do you think we don’t talk about it?

Also go and share some thoughts on my post here



  1. 18 November, 2010 / 10:10 am

    I have no idea. A friend of ours had a baby recently and J and I had the same convo. I make a point of telling new parents my experiences having a newborn because no-one also told me that it isn’t all rainbows and unicorn poop and I am brutally honest. When we had our first child we were both shell shocked and our relationship took such a knock we are still recovering from almost 8 years later.

    I think also new parents or people expecting their 1st have a bit of chip on the shoulder LOL (no offense to anyone I was also there). You think argh “how bad can it be” or “maybe they just had a difficult child” and you tell yourself it can’t be THAT bad. So maybe we are told but we just don’t listen…

  2. 18 November, 2010 / 10:22 am

    Just surviving the first six months – IS doing a good job. You can tell your colleague that from me. I read another post this morning about how becoming a mother was like whiplash – and I thought it’s SUCH a good analogy, because no one prepares you for that moment when you realise your life will never be yours again.

  3. 18 November, 2010 / 10:46 am

    I think it’s because… if people did tell the truth.. no one would have babies?
    I dont know why women do this to other women… there’s nothing shameful about asking for help. I’m not a mother but I’ve studied enough to realise that it does take a village to bring up a child. In the “old days”, it was common for moms and aunts to help a new mother. These days moms are left on their own.
    Even without a partner, we all need someone to help us.
    Ask for help. And Help a sister out!

  4. 18 November, 2010 / 10:50 am

    Oh yes Laura, this is why I love you and Reluctant mom. You are nopt shy to say it out loud. I would like to think that I also say it like it is – gosh, some of my posts are horrid especially the sleep ones. But yes, I was not blogging when I had newborns, maybe I should do one now, for twins – even more harrowing.

  5. 18 November, 2010 / 11:00 am

    I think us bloggers talk about it a lot more!
    I see a lot of those posts floating around. Margot at Jou Ma se Blerrie Blog also had a few posts just now about the second one (when she gets the time 😀 )
    I was not blogging when I just had my baby, but I REMEMBER how hard it was. Not sleeping… I am still saying to this day that I haven’t caught up with my sleeping lost during those first 6 months!
    And you never knew before the time that you could pee with a child on your breast, did you? 😉

  6. 18 November, 2010 / 11:39 am

    I think ome of us don’t want to talk about it much because we’re afraid that it will be seen as not loving our babies or we’re bad mothers. At least, that’s how I felt when I was a new mother.

  7. 18 November, 2010 / 12:58 pm

    I think it’s because we are scared of being judged. There are so many people who judge and say that they have bonded with their baby immediately and that you hear no one that say the opposite ever.
    I feel sorry for this woman you’ve blogged about now, but atleast you shared your similiar experiences with her and I’m sure she feels more comfortable now. Good for you.

  8. 18 November, 2010 / 1:12 pm

    Baby Girl screamed 24/7 for the first three months of her life. It was so bad, that to this day, Hubby and I still can’t talk about it. I would hold her for half an hour, then he’d take her, then I’d take her. We did everything we knew to do, but it was an impossible situation. I only really started bonding with her when she smiled at me for the first time (at 03:00 in the morning, after a particularly bad night). No body told me it would be THAT bad. No one told me what sleep deprivation would feel like. No one told me how I would cry day after day, because I didn’t know what to. Looking back now, I realise that I did the right thing – just taking things one step at a time. Well, I didn’t really have a choice. But, when I look at Baby Girl now, I wouldn’t change her for anything in all the world. She is so beautiful – but I wouldn’t want those early days back (except for maybe cuddling little infant Baby Girl – minus the crying and screaming)…

  9. 18 November, 2010 / 4:56 pm


    I too was a frightened-out-of-my-mind first time mom. So lonely. So scared to admit that I didn’t know what I was doing with my son from one second to the next. I remember staring at him and thinking WHO ARE YOU? He didn’t seem familiar to me at all!

    It’s taken me three years to grow into motherhood. There . I said it. And now I now what all the “fuzziness” is about.

    Please, please show this to your collegue. She needs to know it’s all normal.

  10. 18 November, 2010 / 9:10 pm

    I think people do talk about it, but moms only read, listen and absorb that information that is immediately applicable to them, so when pregnant you blissfully ignore all the ‘negative’ sharing because it is not going to be like that for you or you brush it off as “it cant be that bad” etc.
    People talk about it, we just dont really want to listen to the bad parts

  11. 19 November, 2010 / 8:55 am

    It isn’t spoken about enough. I don’t think it is ever featured in any of the parenting magazines either. There’s the bliss and excitement of pregnancy, and then birth plans and how to continue having a normal sex life after baby, but nothing on how your first couple of months will very likely be hell on earth with baby and mom wondering WTF happened!

  12. 19 November, 2010 / 10:24 pm

    It gets a LOT easier after the first 3 months that’s for sure. I love my baby more than I thought it was possible to love another person, but I honestly don’t know how people can put themselves through it more than once.

    It’s rough rough rough!

    Saw an episode of Desperate Housewives the other day where Lynette is chatting to a first time mommy-to-be and scaring her, and the one thing she said really had me crying with laughter. she said, ” There will be times when you feel so very alone…but you will never be alone again.” Too funny. You actually have to see her facial expression that goes with it to get the full effect.

  13. 20 November, 2010 / 1:31 pm

    Lol at Louisa’s Desperate Housewives comment!

    Absolutely agree – women should talk about it more, or at least be open to letting new moms vent and share and question without fear of judgement. Many new moms to be simply aren’t open to being confronted with the negative – and they shouldn’t be, in my opinion. They should be allowed to try and prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for a safe and positive birthing experience first, and _then_ they should be encouraged to be as honest as possible and ask for help when they need it. And then, more importantly, they should be given the support they require on a case by case basis.

    Personally, I dunno how I would have coped if it weren’t for my mom, who supported me in every way possible and made a point of reminding me when I judged myself that having a new baby (and then another and another and another) was a HUGE deal and it would be abnormal for me to NOT feel overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, lonely and confused…

    She made sure that I ate enough for me & baby, that I forced myself to rest as often as possible, that my older kids were cared for, etc.

    Every new mom should have someone around to do those things for the first 3 months. Fact.

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