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What to Expect When You’re a New Mother

Ever wondered what to expect when you’re a new mother? I didn’t quite know what to expect as a new mum for the first time in 2013. I’d read the “What to expect when you’re expecting” books which were great, but didn’t tell all.

Well, I suppose I expected the obvious things – to be up all night, to have sore boobs from breastfeeding and to have a baby join our family!

There were a few things I did not expect as a first time mum, however.

Newborn holding parents finger

What Happens When You Become a Mum:

1.  Lack of Sleep at Night and All. Day. Long.

As I’ve already said, I completely expected to be up all night with a sleepless newborn baby – that’s a given, isn’t it? I did not bargain for that same baby to survive on little sleep in the daytime either.

And for my babies, no sleep means crying – a LOT. I have been blessed with adorably cute but high-needs, crying babies.

When my babies were not being fed, pushed in the pram or walked in the sling, they were probably crying.

I expected to spend my days sitting on the sofa/in cafes/in the park cuddling my babies and us blissfully gazing into each other’s eyes. No no no.

2.  ‘Two Minute’ Showers

Ooh , how I used to love a long, leisurely shower or a soak in the bath with a book and (large) glass of wine.

Those days are over.

Well, for at least 10 more years I suspect.

With a newborn you are time-poor – to the extreme. Every second of every day revolves around taking care of your new baby and quite rightly so. I couldn’t scrimp on a shower though, I just couldn’t.

I got my showers down to a fine, two minute art.

That was just about enough time to feed the baby, put him in his bassinet, slowly and silently edge backwards out of the room, ease the door closed, turn the shower on, wash the ‘essentials’ and turn the shower off hoping, wishing and praying that the baby hasn’t awoken and screamed the house down.

Even now, showers are no longer relaxing, ‘me time’. They are a well-rehearsed, fairly terrifying, panic-inducing military operation.

3.  A Brand ‘New’ Body

Squishy tummy? Stretchmarks? Extra-wide hips? Not quite the ‘new body’ that most ladies are hoping for.

Pregnancy takes it’s toll on us all differently and thankfully those cute baby bundles are more than worth it!

Related: Getting used to Body Changes After Pregnancy

4.  Becoming Invisible

What a difference a (birth) day makes. One minute you’re pregnant and lapping up the constant attention, lovely compliments and smiles from strangers.

The next, the baby is out and way cuter and more interesting than you.

You are now invisible.

Which might be a good thing sometimes as you may not wish to show off your sleep-deprived, ‘two minute’ showered, squishy self to everyone too soon after the birth!

When the baby arrives, you hand your spotlight over to them. Everyone wants to talk to the baby, cuddle the baby, ask how the baby is and before long you might start to feel a bit neglected.

Fear not, they’re just overwhelmed by the excellent work you’ve done in producing such a wonderful, bundle of joy! Stay smiling and congratulate yourself on a job well done, even if some forget to tell you themselves.

5.  Being asked when you’re having the next Baby

I’ve saved my ‘favourite’ one til last. You know who I’m talking about – those baby ‘bullies’ who unwittingly think it appropriate to pry so far into your personal life as to ask when you’re ready to conceive again before you’ve even passed your six week check up.

I know all too well because I was once one of them. In my slightly more naive, childless days, “when are you having the next one?” was one of my most-uttered questions to my parenting friends.

I know better now.

These days, after having baby number two, I pre-empt that question before anyone has the chance to think of it, let alone ask it.

“I love my children but I’m never, ever, EVER having another baby ever again” seems to do the trick quite nicely.

What about you, what surprised you when you became a new parent?

Read next:


Baby on the way? Here's what to expect when you're a new mother. Find out what changes when you become a first time mum #firsttimemum #firsttimemom #motherhood #parenthood #mom #mum #newmum

What to Expect When You’re a New Mother That No-one Tells You – originally published on June 25th 2015.



  1. Madeline
    / 9:20 am

    “A brand new body” – most definitely! I’m sure my whole bone structure changed after having my babies! x

    • / 10:52 am

      My ribs never returned to normal! x

  2. Jodie Allen at Budget Beauty and Babies
    / 10:01 pm

    I totally agree with all of these! Especially the becoming invisible point! It seems that since we had our daughter our families no longer want to see us! haha! If we call and say we are popping round the first thing they say is “are you bringing Lexie” and when we are there…. well, i’m sure you know how it goes! #TheList

    • / 10:55 am

      Ha ha me too – it’s all about the lovely little people! x

  3. Talya
    / 10:19 am

    Oh yes this and so much more! More honesty needed on this front so less women stumble into being a mum blinded my the shock of it all! #TheList

    • / 7:13 pm

      Gosh that’s true – no one warned me…of any of it! x x

  4. Nige higgins
    / 5:28 pm

    Great list and every one so very true really good read #supersaturday

  5. Michaela YorkshireMum
    / 8:54 pm

    I totally agrees with these, especially the showering. And don’t get me started on actually trying to have a bath without someone joining me!


    • / 11:48 am

      Ha ha I would LOVE a nice relaxing bath! :)

  6. Rachel @ Parenthood Highs and Lows
    / 5:45 pm

    Love love LOVE these!!! Especially number 5 – I always pre empt with ‘yes, I have three boys, yes they are hard work like all kids can be, no I’m not trying again for a girl’. Thanks for linking up to #SuperparentSaturday

    • / 7:22 pm

      Ha ha I don’t blame you – I bet that shuts them up…for a bit at least :) x

  7. Katie / Pouting In Heels
    / 8:53 pm

    Oh what a list! All so very true particularly number 4. Life certainly changes when a baby arrives but wow, what an experience and gift x #thelist

    • / 8:58 pm

      It’s funny isn’t it – one day you’re the centre of attention and the next, you’re of no interest! No-one can resist the charms of a cute newborn :)

  8. You Baby Me Mummy
    / 9:38 am

    Yes to all! For the first 15 months of Baby’s life most of my showers included her! (as she hated the bath!) Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

    • / 9:43 am

      One day, we’ll have time for a long, relaxing bath…one day! x

  9. / 7:57 am

    I can definitely relate! I’ve never been so tired in my life until I had a baby. I love sleep! I never took short showers. Husband always let me shower or I’d stick my baby in the swing. I don’t like the squishy stomach or the stretch marks. I wish they would go away. Yes, being invisible! Nobody cares if you’re coming to a family get together.. they just want to see the baby. :( I thought more people would ask when we’re having our next baby.. but only a few have.. mostly family! Great post. I found you on #TheList

    • / 2:27 pm

      Oh thank you so much! How things change once babies arrive :) :)

  10. Claire @ life love and dirty dishes
    / 12:30 pm

    Give my stitches a chance to heal before you ask me if I am having another! Great post. #TheList

    • / 1:50 pm

      Ha ha I know! They can’t help themselves! :)

  11. Mummy here and there
    / 7:44 pm

    Totally agree and identity with them all!

    • / 9:41 pm

      I’m glad it isn’t just me :) :)

  12. Mummy's Blog
    / 4:50 pm

    Oh my goodness, those 2 minute showers! My daughter is 15 months and I’m still having them. And on the rare occasion I do have a bath, I find myself thinking that the time could be much better spent sleeping! xx

    • / 9:41 pm

      Ha ha that’s a good point – there is always something else to do and never any time to do it! :)

  13. Stacey
    / 8:35 pm

    The new body, still trying to get used to this. The baby weight is a lot harder than I thought to get rid off. It definitely doesn’t just fall off. #thelist

    • / 9:38 pm

      Oh I wish it fell off too :) we’ll get there :)

  14. Claire at Tin Box Traveller
    / 9:02 pm

    Ah yes, the cloak of motherhood invisibility. It seems to work particularly well whenever I’m struggling along a busy pavement or trying to get through a door with a pram and toddler :) I think the main thing I wasn’t prepared for was how much time a little person can take up and that it is possible to get from one end of the day to the other without getting anything done a part from feeding and nappy changes :) #thelist

    • / 9:39 pm

      Ha ha oh that’s right – change, feed, change, feed, repeat! :)

  15. / 6:28 am

    So so true. Love your answer to last question. I find it amusing to hear the parents who do not want more kids (me being one of them) because when asked if they do they say “No’ with such intensity (thats me) or slightly manic laughter. Great post. I didn’t know what had happened to my life after my first son. Amazing, wonderful and in love. All true. But my life had scarily disappeared including the luxuries of sleeping, eating meals, time off, lunch breaks etc etc. Great post. #thelist

    • / 9:36 pm

      That’s so true – our lives have completely changed forever! :)

  16. Lizzie (firstooth)
    / 11:00 am

    All very true. Having a new baby IS lovely but very. hard. work. Lots changes and the asking when our next one is, we have two! When you’re focusing on the crazy, time-consuming little lovlies you already have, no-one is thinking about more.

    • / 9:38 pm

      That’s very true – but they can’t help asking anyway! :)

  17. everything mummy
    / 10:43 am

    All so true, being invisible i totally relate with when your pregnant its all can I do this for you let me help here sit down.. when babies here its ill hold the baby you do what you want haha thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

    • / 9:37 pm

      Ha ha that’s right – completely neglected after the baby’s out! :)

  18. Random Musings
    / 2:09 am

    I love your pre-emptive answer to when you’re having your next one! I’m pretty sure I’ve asked people this, I will try not to in the future now :) #TheList

    • / 9:34 pm

      I used to ask it all the time – I had no idea how annoyed I must have made people oops! :)

  19. Eimear
    / 12:35 pm

    Couldn’t agree more!

  20. / 6:42 pm

    Yes to all of these! I’ve just become a new mum and couldn’t agree more with these! motherhood well portrayed here! I’m craving a long bath and a full night sleep…!

    • / 9:33 pm

      Ah thank you! And I second that :)

  21. Lisa (mummascribbles)
    / 8:48 pm

    I remember all of these things so well and I still get the when are you having the next one now…all the time! Soooo frustrating! Zach liked sleep, he just liked it on me. If I dared to put him down, that was it, awake and crying! So I spent much of my time stuck to the sofa watching box sets! Despite all of this though, I hope it is all going ok for you and you are loving being a mummy of two! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • / 9:32 pm

      Oh my babies are the same – they’ll sleep for hours being held! Which is lovely of course :)

  22. Emma's Mamma
    / 11:02 am

    So true! Great post! The sleep depravation and the showers get better with time though. Until you have baby no 2 lol #TwinklyTuesday

    • / 9:31 pm

      One day, when the kids leave home, then I might sleep :)

  23. Kelly Edwards
    / 10:24 am

    For me, it was the sheer exhaustion and how long it took to be able to do a normal walk without feeling out of breathe! It’s hard work this labour business. ;o) xx #TwinklyTuesday

    • / 9:30 pm

      Oh gosh that’s so true! :)

  24. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    / 7:54 am

    Haha, your preemptive phrase is fantastic!


    • / 9:29 pm

      It shuts them up before they start to talk! :)

  25. Fatima @ Baby Toddler Me
    / 12:33 pm

    I love this list! Having just had my third baby 11 weeks ago, I can completely relate. The thing that surprised me was how organised I could be (and had to be!) on so little sleep! We mamas are amazing creatures! x

    • / 9:28 pm

      Oh congrats on your third!! :)

  26. Theloveofacaptain
    / 9:03 am

    I can sympthasise 100%, long gone are the chances of us having any ‘me’ time. Makes you wonder how you filled your days before the babies came along doesn’t it.

    • / 9:27 pm

      That’s so true – I think it involved a lot of wine though :)

  27. Mum's Hideout
    / 8:20 am

    Oh my goodness, I agree a lot with all of these but I’m getting a lot of number 5 at the moment, driving me crazy! I’m still stumped at how anybody physically survives the sleep deprivation second time around…when I work it out I might consider another :-)

    • / 9:27 pm

      Weirdly enough the sleep deprivation isn’t as bad second time – I think because I’m permanently exhausted anyway! :)

  28. MyLifeMyLove
    / 9:53 pm

    Oh my gosh, you’re so right. The 2 minute showers and lack of sleep are still on going for me! I never knew that becoming a parent would mean that I would never go the toilet on my own!! X

    • / 9:25 pm

      Ha ha oh what a treat it must be to have a wee in peace! :)

  29. Katie Heels & Hooves
    / 11:41 am

    Haha, great post! I have all of this to look forward to! ;-) xx

    • / 3:50 pm

      Make the most of the longer showers now ha ha! :)

  30. / 12:08 am

    Ha ha! I love this. I love baths and I found it so hard to have to give up my leisurely soaks. Good for my water bill though :)

    • / 3:48 pm

      That’s the only positive – cheaper bills! I do miss a nice long soak in the bath :)

  31. Donna
    / 10:32 pm

    Oh yeah, all of the above! I was nodding along throughout x

    • / 3:45 pm

      Ha ha glad it isn’t just me! :)

  32. Eve
    / 9:57 pm

    Love this!
    I was surprised that I was still carrying baby weight months after (I still am, 15 months later!) – I completely thought it would just drop off me in days!! Ha ha!

    I was also shocked to discover that I wasn’t ready for a night out a week after giving birth. I thought as soon as id given birth I’d be all systems go. I still laugh about this, it took me 9 months before I had anything resembling a night out.

    I couldn’t believe how long it took me to get out of the house either with a baby – this one still puzzles me. Xx

    • / 3:44 pm

      A night out? Out – at night?? That’s definitely a thing of the past :)

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I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.