I’m 28 years old and sometimes I pee myself. Not always – but a lot of the time.
Let me back track a little. Becoming a mom at 17 years old was hard – I wouldn’t change it even if there was a way to go back, but it was hard. I was told all kinds of things when I became a mom at 17. For instance: after-birth bleeding is gross but natural, there will be a lot of sleepless nights, always wipe front to back for girls, breastfeeding is a wonderful way to bond with your baby but fed is best, and so many other things. However, I wasn’t told about all the things that happen AFTER having kids…..and that they all happen FASTER if you’re a young mom.
If you’re a young mom maybe you can relate. Or if you’re a young mom that just had her first baby…..get ready because the worst is yet to come.
The more kids you have, the greater chance of gallbladder stones. Yup, a lovely surprise. A woman has more and more chance of ending up with gall stones with every child she births. Lucky me, third time was the charm. The first time I had an attack I seriously thought I was dying. I thought my organs were giving out and it was my time to go. Dramatic much? That’s how it felt though – seriously. Long story short, I had about 7 attacks, all gradually worse than each other and after having two attacks within hours of each other I was informed that there was no more waiting or picking my surgery date, I was having my gallbladder removed the next morning. I’ve never felt better but I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone. It’s seriously worse than labour and I’ve done labour and birth with no drugs three times.
After-birth pains are worse and worse each time you give birth. You know, the contractions from your stomach, uterus and other organs all going back to normal size and shifting back into their proper place? Yeah, those pains are HORRIBLE the third time around. I barely remember having them with my first baby. With my second baby I remember having them but they weren’t overly bad, just kind of like a period cramp. The third time? They had JUST laid my newborn son on my chest when the first one hit and I was yelling for them to hand him to my spouse and give me the gas mask back. I flung up and curled myself into a ball, panting into the gas mask like I was having labour pains all over again. They lasted three weeks!
You’re going to look like a hot mess some days. Those dark circles under your eyes never go away. You’re going to deal with adult acne. Your hair is going to be a rat’s nest sometimes. You’re going to go without a shower some days, sometimes a few days. You can cover up the hot mess with makeup and hair dye, but it will not actually go away. It’ll tease you and pretend it’s going away but it will reappear with vigorous rage. And besides, after three kids who has time for all that covering up anyway? I’m lucky to get primer and concealer on before slopping that foundation on to make myself look somewhat human and not the mombie I really am (mom + no rest + lack of sleep = mombie). Some days I don’t even have time to throw on some quick mascara! So yes, sometimes I go out in public showing off my natural dark circled glorious hot mess that I am.
Mom jeans are comfortable and they help to hide that mom pooch. Sure, you can work out and try your hardest to get rid of that pooch, and you can eat healthier as a further attempt to rid that beast. But the reality? You’re a mom now, you own that pooch and that pooch owns you. You are not the flat-bellied teenager you once were (or in my case didn’t totally have the chance to be). Grab a pair of those mom jeans and learn to love them, it won’t take long and there are some really cute tops that actually cover the high-waisted mom jeans you now own. Because again, you’re a mom now and you have an I-gave-birth-inspired pooch, this is no time to be wearing those crop tops.
That perky, round butt that you had or lucky enough to still have? Yeah, after kids it’s not so round and perky. Your hips get wider, your thighs get thicker and your butt gets a little flatter. It’s like your hips and thighs take from your butt and your butt is left with nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a big butt that many women are jealous of because apparently big butts are good? I’m not sure why, it puts my back in agony. But my big butt is not the perfectly round, toned butt is once was. My three-kid butt is now wider and harder to fit into jeans comfortably and it sadly droops where it once lifted from my thighs. The same goes for your breasts! Those perky, round breasts are going to sag lower and lower with every child you have!
Your hair is going to shed worse than a golden retriever blowing it’s winter coat. I could brush my hair as soon as I wake up and I’ll still be pulling a strand out of my coffee ten minutes later before I take that glorious first sip. I once spent the time to brush my hair ten times in a day, just to see if it would make a difference. That’s a hard no, it did not make a difference. That night I was still pulling strands of my lovely locks from the living room carpet, my glass of evening wine and the pillow that I had just laid on for the first time since the morning. I have thin hair to begin with so I’m starting to wonder if I’m going to end up bald by the time I’m 40. I won’t lie, it worries me quite a bit. Oh and I started getting gray hairs when I was 22 – have fun with that one!
Your memory is going to be gone. It’s like having kids kills brain cells. I can barely remember public school or high school. Maybe it’s because I didn’t finish high school (another thing most young moms end up doing) or maybe it’s because I have three kids now and they all took a third of my brain. OR maybe it’s because the place in my brain that held all those memories now holds appointments, daily routines, immunization records, birthdays, to do lists and menu plans. Whatever happened to my brain, it’s pretty much obsolete now. It’s gone.
Your joints are going to ache; your body is going to snap, crackle and pop; and your back is going to be sore. Every time I get up from a sitting position it sounds like I’m eating Rice Crispies cereal. My knuckles and knees ache before and during storms. My back feels like it’s about to break most of the time. I can barely walk first thing in the morning because my feet are so tight and achy. I get a crook in my neck quite often because I can’t turn my head so quickly anymore. I don’t like loud music very often because it gives me the same headache as a young child’s high pitched scream. I’m pretty much a grandmother at 28 years old.
You’re going to be too exhausted to go out. You’re not going to want to go out for girl’s night or to the bar or that huge raging party because you’re going to be too tired. I get up early in the morning – like really early – so I can drink my morning coffee in peace before my kids get up. I do all the normal mom stuff through the day like dishes, sweep, laundry, etc. By the time 4pm rolls around I’m exhausted and fighting to stay awake. I normally get past it because I still have to cook dinner and make sure my children are bathed and into bed but I’m pretty much running on fumes by the time bedtime comes. Then I finally crawl into bed and my brain flicks on again. I’m thinking about everything that needs to be done tomorrow and before I know it I’m up writing another to do list. Then all of a sudden I wake up and it’s the next day. I get invited to parties and stuff once in a while but it’s usually a negative RSVP because I’m so tired at the end of the day that I can’t keep my eyes open to change my clothes let alone make myself presentable. It’s not that I don’t WANT to socialize and be with my friends, it’s that I’m a homebody now and I’m just too damn tired.
You’re going to need adult diapers (or least the really absorbent pads) by 28 years old. Why? Because after kids, you have no bladder control anymore. Right now I’m suffering from a horrible cough, I’m not sure if it’s a full on cold, allergies or something else at this point but I have changed my pants three times in the last two hours because I have full on peed myself from coughing so much. Even if I’m not coughing my brains out I pee myself. Not all the time, it’s not like I’m walking around covered in pee all day. But if I sneeze too hard, laugh too hard, jump on a trampoline, do lunges, run after my kids, and sometimes even just stand up too fast after holding it for a little too long – I’m running to the bathroom to finish peeing and then I’m running for a new pair of underwear and pants. Embarrassment aside, I now have to wear some form of anti-leakage protection.
Now, I’m not saying that only young moms go through this. It’s quite the opposite actually. A LOT of moms experience these things! I’ve realized that all of these things are very common and nothing to be ashamed of. Wear your mom jeans with your adult diaper and walk proud momma! You’re not the only one!
However, I AM saying that these things can VERY POSSIBLY happen to you earlier in your life or faster if you have kids when you’re young. Sure, we’re still going to be young enough to travel and do lots of things when our kids are grown and out on their own. But only if we don’t hit menopause first – which we probably will! We will most likely have a full head of glorious gray hair by the time we’re 35 or 40 AND we will be clearing the shelves of Poise and Depends before the average-aged mom even thinks about needing them.
What I’m trying to say is, that young mom that you’re so keen on looking down your nose at or think she couldn’t possibly be going through the same things as you – just stop. We ARE going through the same things, and we’ve probably started going through them before you! We’re just too embarrassed and want to pretend that we aren’t because we feel like we ARE too young for all these experiences. Please stop telling us that “we’re so young” or “we have our whole lives ahead of us still” because we don’t feel like it…no matter what our ID says.
If you’re a young mom who just had her first baby: get ready and get prepared. The worst is yet to come.