After-belly blues

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There's something really lovely about having a big, round pregnant belly. Yes, it's hot in summer, uncomfortable at night and disappointing when your favourite top no longer fits, but then there's the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with pregnancy. Strangers smile sympathetically in the street, friends and family rally around and your partner offers to make you cups of tea (occasionally). But once bub is born, all that seems to change...

Strangers now glare as you run the stroller over their feet; little do they know how hard it is being a virgin stroller-pusher. Your partner suddenly forgets how to make tea and grocery shopping with a screaming baby is enough to push any sane person over the edge. Give me my big belly back – life was kinder back then.

When you first become a mum, it takes a while to adjust to the fact that it's not just you anymore, and it's more responsibility than you could ever have imagined. 'Fast' is no longer in your vocabulary; there is no such thing as 'nipping' to the shop to buy a new lip gloss. The rigmarole of fitting the car seat, fastening bub in and stuffing nappies, wipes, formula and everything else a baby could possibly need into a bag makes 'nipping' anywhere a thing of the past.

As for 40-minute showers, forget it. Spending 10 minutes with a body moisturiser is now an occasional luxury (possible only if you drag yourself out of bed at the crack of dawn before bub's had a chance to stir). And a relaxing trip to the hairdresser's? You must be joking! Rocking the stroller backwards and forwards with one foot for an hour soon takes its toll on your ankle joint.

So to all the big bellied women reading this, I say stock up on lip gloss while you can, train your partner in the art of tea making and relish saving a fortune on illuminiser. No skin glows more radiantly than a mum-to-be's.


Member Comments (36)

Posted by: sharnsb (Member since 2007, Australia)

This gives me something to look forward to!!!
cannot wait to be a mum it has been a really long
and bumpy road for me and my DH
but finally we may be getting there!
Thanks for this article, i felt lilke you were talking to me!

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 7:57am)

Posted by: Princess75 (Member since 2007, Australia)

so true Leanne. i made sure i bought shoes and clothes and beauty products by the bucket load when we had 2 incomes to ensure i wouldn't need to after bub ( hasn't stopped me yet though). but when the time comes i don't really need anything except the occasional update. it's good to be prepared, but i wouldn't change it for the world.

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 8:04am)

Posted by: Beauty Obsession (Member since 2007, Australia)

I became a first time mum last year and it does turn your life upside down (for the good though!!). Both my partner and I do become forgetful when there's a screaming bub around and a simple errand turns into a huge drama! OMG Princess I did the exact same thing as you and I stocked up on all my beauty essentials and clothing whilst still working. I felt like I was shopping like it was Y2K again. he he :). I have my showers down pat to 10min or less which I guess I'm now doing my bit to save water now! I miss my long pampering baths which I used to take weekly but I try and make the most of "me time" whilst my daughter takes her nap or my partner does baby sitting duties when I go to the hairdressers or do some shopping.

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 8:13am)

Posted by: Gem xxx (Member since 2007, Australia)

I don't know why it's so hard to some - it just all came naturally to life really hasn't changed that much...the only thing I woud love to do is travel...but thats O.K...I can still do that too...there is no better and fullfilling job in the world than being a mum...just those adorable little smiles and cuddles make it all worth while...except for changing those horrid nappies...and lack of sleep...but yes I loved being pregnant...glowing skin, hair and nails...a glowing mum is just beautiful...appreciate it and it doesn't last long...and all that beauty sleep is out the window...its like a mission you have to down pat to get out the front door...and at the end of the day thank goodness for that beauty cream you stocked up on...because believe me your going to need it!

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 8:46am)

Posted by: sharnsb (Member since 2007, Australia)

Are you all trying to put me off it!?!?

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 8:53am)

Posted by: gorjus (Member since 2007, Australia)

Yeah it feels like the only stories are bad - don't do this to me, I was looking forward to it so much!

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 10:16am)

Posted by: lgauci (Member since 2008, Australia)

Your right leanne it is a big responsibility being a mother.True pregnant woman glow with radiance too.

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 10:22am)

Posted by: Beauty Obsession (Member since 2007, Australia)

I agree with you Gem that a glowing mum to be is beautiful. I lost that glow after the birth :( Don't feel scared ladies!! It's fantastic being a parent and sure there are ups and downs but that's the joys of parenthood. Before I had my baby, people would tell me that I'd be living like a lady of leisure and parenting would be a breeze but that just wasn't the case for me and it's a juggling act. Everyone's experiences are different. While I was pregnant I noticed that strangers would come up to me and comment about my weight or swollen ankles.

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 11:21am)

Posted by: glamourcat (Member since 2007, Australia)

You know what Gemini, first of all I will credit you with being Super-Mum! :) and it sounds like you were a mum at a younger age, and I think it is easier (just my opinion) to take in your stride if you do it younger (of course there are exceptions to this!)... ;) from seeing friends and cousins who had kids younger, they just seemed to cope a lot better too, like yourself... :)

I was 30 when I became a mum and I was at the peak of my career, bubs wasn't planned, she was a lovely surprise, and once she was born most of it came naturally for me but then I hit a wall when she was 6 weeks old and I thought "I should have done this when I was a lot younger!" because it dawned on me that this 'job' was 24/7, I could do my career-job, but this was so much more demanding (I knew it would be a whole lot demanding) and I realised that there is no degree or apprenticeship for being a mum. We spend years studying or doing apprenticeships for whatever career choice we make, but no-one teaches us how to be a mum! So in this era when by late 20's/early 30's we finally have kids we have mastered everything else except for the one thing that our bodies were actually designed to do...

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 11:38am)

Posted by: softness (Member since 2007, Australia)

So very true! I was 29 when I had my first bub and it was a massive shock to me - it is basically like living on a completely different planet to the one you get used to in your 20's which is totallys self-indulgent. Being a mum is completely self-sacrificing - I should know, I have been doing it for 11 years! I am so glad I did start back then though because I don't think I'd have the motivation or energy for it now I'm 40. (It would be different if you had the money for a nanny etc etc).

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 12:13pm)

Posted by: Rebecca V MUA (Member since 2007, Australia)

I had my first at 23 and like Gem it just came naturally. Although I studied when I finished school I never thought of myself as a 'career girl' - I just wanted to get married and have babies - which I have done. But now my kids are almost school age I am starting to think about what 'career' I'd like to persue and I feel I have the world at my feet.
I can so relate to Leanne - 'just nipping to the supermarket' is an hour expedition, I feel the staff at my local woolies knows my kids by name now - all I seem to do is scream at them 'where are you, come back, put that down, no you can't have that...etc' and going to the supermarket with no kids is just bliss - I float around looking at 'stuff' and take my time, I just say to the hubby 'jeez it was busy at the checkout' if he wonders what took me so long! hehe

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 12:41pm)

Posted by: tazza1 (Australia)

Having babies can seem daunting but there are so many positives, and Im sure you would all agree you wouldnt trade it for anything. I had kids when i was young and they are all grown up now but its so much fun going shopping, testing out makeup etc with both my girls. I actually feel younger because of that. Im looking forward to the grandkids but I think I will be waiting a few years for that to happen.

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 1:24pm)

Posted by: Gem xxx (Member since 2007, Australia)

Oh...Glamourcat I wouldn't exactly call myself a super mum...but thanks for the compliment, its made my day! - I just get on with it and do what I have to do - its not all 'glitz and glamour'...but its not 'gloom & doom' either...
(refering to the othe girls being put off...its just reality really)
Yes I did have my first pretty young...21 to be exact...but then again ive missed out on the other great things that you other girls have eldest is 17 and just moved out of home and my youngest is 1yrs its a big contrast of having to deal with teenagers and babies all at the same is a juggling act...but we do it because we love them...its unconditional love...and thats the way it should be.

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 1:30pm)

Posted by: sharnsb (Member since 2007, Australia)

now i am scared....
i was actually looking fwd to it!

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 1:44pm)

Posted by: Gem xxx (Member since 2007, Australia)

Women have been doing this since time began - its just the natural process of life.

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 2:39pm)

Posted by: Rebecca V MUA (Member since 2007, Australia)

Gem you sound like one of my good friends, she has four kids ranging from 15 years to 7 months. And of course you are a super mum, anybody that can handle that many kids is freaking fabulous! AND pesonally I think the 'missing' out of stuff is over rated - all those things you can do when you like - you can still travel - the world isn't going anywhere, and you can have just as much fun as any 20 year old, come on Gem - you're still a spring chicken! I plan on travelling when my kids are grown up - in fact I plan on backpacking around Europe with the hubby when we retire - the only difference is we will have the funds to stay in better accomodation - we'll still be in bars and disco's ( whoop whoop....whoop whopp.....doof doof doof) hehehe

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 2:59pm)

Posted by: Rebecca V MUA (Member since 2007, Australia)

And Sharna, it is EXCITING, and you should still look forward to being a mum - it's the most rewarding thing in life. Like anything parenthood has it's ups and downs, but even on the worst days, when you look at your sleeping baby at the end of the day you can't help but feel so happy that, that gorgeous little creature is all yours. Congrats by the way :)

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 3:04pm)

Posted by: Beauty Obsession (Member since 2007, Australia)

I agree that being a parent doesn't mean there's going to be an end to your world. I think being a mum opens the door for more opportunities and to me being a mum just makes me feel even younger as I am re-living my youth through the eyes of my daughter. It's such a joy seeing her happy which makes me happy and she is the perfect pick me up when I feeling down and gives me an instant boost. There is always time for travel, work or anything else. I believe you're never too old!!

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 3:14pm)

Posted by: gogirly (Member since 2008, Australia)

We may not have time for ourself after the bubs come, but they make up for every minute of beauty sleep lost, just by the smile on their face.

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 4:37pm)

Posted by: sharnsb (Member since 2007, Australia)

thanks glitter!
it is all still new but very exciting

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 4:52pm)

Posted by: renee.t (Member since 2008, Australia)

:) I will keep all of this in mind next time I see a mum with a baby rather than be annoyed at her pushing in front of me at the shopping line

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 6:37pm)

Posted by: glamourcat (Member since 2007, Australia)

itseternity, yes! :) a new mum kinda feels like she is in this weird alternate reality trying to protect this tiny new little creature from all of the dangers of the real world, so it's almost like they lapse into a semi-conscious state when in reality it's that they are still having to having to function as normal but the brain is doing all of this other weird "higher functioning"... I think I have described that correctly hopefully without offending anyone! lol :) it certainly describes how it was for me... haha... ;)

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 11:11pm)

Posted by: mina (Australia)

having a baby really changes your world. i had my daughter when i was 22. i tell you what its the best thing in the world. when i hold her in my arms it makes me realize she's the reason that i am alive. its an unconditional love.

Posted on: April 07, 2008 (Apr 7, 2008 11:42pm)

Posted by: melmeko (Member since 2007, Australia)

Wow, one thing I can say is it's true. I am flat out getting a shower some days, and when I do it's only for about 2 mins. As for the joy of shaving my legs or washing my hair, that is sometimes next to impossible. No time left for myself. As for the virgin pram pusher, try doing it with another big belly, you get plenty of looks then.

Posted on: April 09, 2008 (Apr 9, 2008 7:19am)

Posted by: Cass666 (Member since 2008, Australia)

So true! LOL Things are so much easier and care-free while your pregnant.
Took me a while to get used to having a child to care for and still after 2 years of being a mother, I'm still sleep deprived and take no time to look after myself!

Posted on: April 09, 2008 (Apr 9, 2008 12:13pm)

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