My NCT friends and I often laugh at how no one ever goes to an NCT class for their second pregnancy.
It’s strictly speaking a new mum club, so you can go through the rollercoaster transformation of woman to mother holding hands and whatsapping poo stories at 2am.
It’s a steep learning curve. No wonder you’ll never find a second time mum in an NCT class. They know too much. They can’t be trusted around the expectant mums to be.
I know I can’t.
A girlfriend gave me some wine the other night and started asking me about pregnancy and motherhood, and I’m going to blame the wine on the fact that I started telling horror stories.
I couldn’t hold back from telling her about the tiredness, the way you feel differently about your body, your relationship, your future. I told her to pop that Pill for a little longer and to “live her life”, to “be selfish” and to “make herself happy”. It’s not that you can’t do these things when you’re a mum, it’s just that the doing of them takes so much more effort and organisation.
Her other half gave me a cheers and evidently thought I was on his side, trying to keep the freedom years in check for a little longer, but the truth is for most guys their lives just don’t change as much as the mother’s. For every woman about to go through this huge life change, I feel the magnitude for them.
As the woman your body changes in ways that will never be forgotten, your heart gets bigger and your day to day life is completely different too. Your professional life changes, your emotional life and your physical life too.
Normally women take the lion’s share of the childcare and the daily worries that come with parenting. It’ll be the woman turning down invitations, focusing on the children and giving up so much more of her time and herself than she ever anticipated.
The love is so strong. The duty is so strong. You can’t get away from it. It’s what mums do.
But it’s so all encompassing that when another friend announced her pregnancy to me, I have to admit that I felt both sadness for the life she was saying goodbye to, as well as excitement for the adventure ahead.
I don’t want to be a doom and gloomer, I don’t want to be a scare monger mum. Parenting is an amazing part of my life now and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But give me a glass of wine too many and beware, I won’t hold back on the reality.
The messy, world changing, love explosion that babies bring with them will throw your whole universe into a new dimension, and once you’re on the other side, there’s no going back.
As I’m writing this my daughter has just come over to give my knees a quick hug before going to run behind the curtains with her brother laughing, and I can honestly say that I don’t want to go back to the before time.
But to every woman who’s yet to take the leap, my advice is to enjoy the scenery, take that trip, reach that goal and like they say with children, enjoy every moment – it all goes by so fast.