'The higher they come, the harder they fall.' Its a motto that is just as true of expectations as it is of financial markets and big guys with glass jaws. Which is why the first few months after your baby is born, instead of being a delirious dance of joy, can be difficult, awkward and even a little bit miserable.
Because you have waited for this, longed for it, and most of all, built it up in your head into a cross between graduation day, your birthday, Christmas and Oscar night, with perhaps a dash of last-day-of-school thrown in. And so, when finally it happens – They hand you your baby, and actually let you take him or her home – you may very well find that, once through your own front door, all that Expectation suddenly comes up against Reality, and the result is a mighty crash.
Its a bit like the irresistible-force-unmovable-object equation, except with more snot and tears.
Exhaustion you were expecting – everyone busily warns you about that bit – but probably not some of the other emotions that can come with a tiny baby. Yes, you are in love like never before, but you may also be frustrated, lonely, bored and obscurely deflated. These feelings may bother you, because they are not part of the official mantra of The Wonderfulness of Motherhood, and because they feel like a betrayal of your adorable baby. Actually, they are perfectly normal, in my experience, and will wax and wane, like the moon and your waistline, for the next year or so.
But in the meantime, here a few tips to help make those first few months more bearable, written for my favourite US site: Quick and Dirty Tips