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"There are many things I expected about motherhood. But here are 5 I didn't."

There were many things I expected about motherhood, thanks to friends, family, TV and movies. I expected to be consumed with love, spend hours talking to strangers about the frequency and consistency of poo, to passively aggressively tag my husband in the meme instructing dads to ‘take the damn photo’. 

I’d heard whispers that taking a trip alone to the supermarket had the potential to be the highlight of your week. That when your baby had finally fallen asleep you’d spend hours looking at photos and videos of them.

However there have been a few things that have caught me completely off guard. Let me explain.

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1. I can no longer listen to true crime podcasts.

I spent many a weekend in my twenties lapping up Law & Order SVU marathons nursing a hangover. I, like so many others who consume this genre, have a morbid curiosity when it comes to murder. Before I became addicted to true crime podcasts, I would watch Criminal Minds, Crime Investigation Australia, any crime doco I could get my eyeballs on.

My love of podcasts was ignited by the first season of Serial, an investigation into the murder of highschool student Hae Min Lee. I was hooked, and from there I listened to Sword & Scale, Australian True Crime, Casefile and True Crime Conversations to name a few.

During my pregnancy all I wanted to consume was baby content, so I saved a whole heap of episodes to listen to while on those really long walks I was apparently going to be taking

Turns out not only did my son hate the pram, but that I can no longer listen to anything that revolves around murder or kidnap, or crimes involving children. My heart starts racing and I start picturing a world in which this may happen to my own child and that’s it, I've gotta switch it off.

2. I can’t get through a birth scene without bawling my eyes out.

From Charlotte’s “I curse the day you were born” water breaking scene in Sex and the City to Kourtney Kardashian pulling her son Mason out of her own vagina. It doesn’t have to be the storyline and sombre music featured in One Born Every Minute to set the scene. If there is even a whiff of a birth, I can feel the tears come on instantly.

There’s something so beautiful about watching a baby come into the world now that I'm a mum, it really hits me straight in the chest.

3. I’m still afraid of needles and discomfort.

After going through childbirth I was expecting to get over my fear of needles. I know *logically* that they’re quick and it’s only a sting for a split second (depending what type of needle you get) but before going to the doctor for any blood tests or flu shots, I would feel a pit forming in my stomach.

I noticed (especially when complaining about pap smears to my mum friends) they would consistently say, “Wait until you have a baby, you won’t care one bit.” I felt relief; I looked forward to the day I could go through labour - something so painful that it would raise my pain/discomfort threshold to a new high. 

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Well I’ve given birth, 20 strangers witnessed it and I’ve been milked by countless midwives - and yet I still cringe at the thought of all of the above. 

4. I can’t stop cleaning and organising.

I thought ‘nesting’ happened while you were pregnant just before your baby arrived. Turns out I now have the constant urge to cull and reorganise. 

It might be the fact that you spend so much more time at home; you notice every little detail. There is always something to do. 

Listen: Mamamia's new podcast Me After You examines what it means to be "mum" when you're still figuring out yourself. Post continues below.

Instead of spending hours scrolling Instagram, I now live in all those mum groups on Facebook, the mums who clean, organise, cook, and show off their Kmart hacks.

The weekly planner on my fridge that was idle for the past five years is now littered with meal plans, to-do lists and chores.

I actually look at organised pantries...for fun. And one of my favourite purchases this year has been a label maker. Send help.

5. I can’t wear any of my old clothes.

Not just because I can’t get into them (there’s that, too) but because they are completely impractical. There’s a reason mothers live in activewear 24/7, and it’s not just for comfort.

Most of the day you’re covered in milk, vomit, drool or food. You need to bend, A LOT, and sit cross-legged on the ground. Climb up ladders, slide down slippery dips, sit on swings. You are maneuvering  in ways you haven’t for years (which explains why you spend most days swapping stories of back injuries with your other mum friends).

When you’re holding your baby chances are they’re grabbing at your top and pulling it down, or up. My son has taken to treating the moles on my chest as sensory play items and enjoys pinching them and attempting to pull them right off. 

So basically, goodbye skirts, tight jeans, low-cut tops, dresses, skirts, jewellery and non sensible footwear. Activewear it is.

What were some of the unexpected changes that came with parenthood for you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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