The first year of parenthood is full of messy surprises. While there’s no way to prepare for some of these experiences, other aspects are actually quite universal ― just not commonly discussed.
U.K. mom and blogger Gylisa Jayne got honest about these “real” parenting moments in a viral Facebook post, titled “The things no one told me.”
“There has been countless moments during my first year of motherhood, when I have thought ‘ why did no one tell me about this...!’” she wrote.
Jayne proceeded to list examples of these too-real parenting experiences ― like the “stitches in your vag” that can hurt more than childbirth, the initial breastfeeding pain, the reality of never being alone again yet missing your baby during naptime, the feelings of loneliness and fear, and more.
“No one told me that EVERYONE will have an opinion on your baby ― how to feed it, how to clothe it, how to name it, how to rock it, why you should only rock it for 5 seconds a day else it will be a spoilt little fuck, and how if you aren’t holding it 24/7 then you are clearly a Shit Mum.... and so on,” Jayne wrote, adding that no one told her a “polite way of telling said opinionated people to eff off” either.
“No one told me that despite feeling like I couldn’t do any of this, that I wouldn’t know the first thing about motherhood, actually my instincts would not fail me, and everyone is winging it,” Jayne continued. “Some just make it look easier than others. Admiring someone else’s way of doing things shouldn’t make me question mine.”
The mom’s Facebook post really resonated with other parents and received over 75,000 likes.
Jayne, who lives in Cornwall with her husband and their 1-and-a-half-year-old daughter Lily, shares her reflections on motherhood on her blog. She told The Huffington Post she was inspired to write this post and others along the same theme because she’s encountered many situations that simply aren’t covered in parenting books.
“They all tell you how to parent and look after your child, but none of them tell you how to cope with parenthood,” she said. “I started my blog to reach out to other mothers that might be feeling like I was ― overwhelmed, lonely, isolated by motherhood in general.”
Since starting her blog, Jayne has amassed over 11,000 Facebook followers. She said she’s “honored” when readers reach out to share their similar experiences and thank her for her words.
“So many women now reach out to me to tell me that I’ve written what they were thinking but never found the words for,” she said. “I’ve found writing honestly about parenting has helped so many people realize that these moments are totally normal! It’s made women who otherwise wouldn’t have spoken about it feel like they aren’t the only one,” she added.
The fear and chaos and exhaustion and doubt ― it’s all normal.