Welcoming a new baby into your family can be a shock – even when it’s not your first child.
You’d think having another baby would be easier – after all, you’re an old hand at parenting.
But navigating those first few weeks as a family of four (or more) can be just as emotionally and physically exhausting as it was the first time you had a baby.
You have to juggle looking after the new baby with the existing demands of your older child (or children).
Just to complicate things – you’re still physically recovering from the birth, and probably running on very little sleep.
And you probably won’t get to hibernate at home in a bubble for the early weeks like you did the first time around.
Whose idea was it, again, to have a new baby?
10 Things That Happen When You Take A Baby On The School Run
You’ll be cluster feeding in play centres, dragging your sleepy newborn on the school run and trying to cook dinner with a baby attached to your boob.
To sum up: a new baby ain’t easy but it’s worth it.
If you’re like me, you have always found the school run something of a challenge. Where are the school shoes? Why is there toothpaste down her jumper? Oh no, late again!
Well, it will be even trickier with a new baby in tow.
In fact, it’s going to be downright impossible for you to arrive at the school gates on time.
And you can forget about looking good. You’ll be high-fiving yourself if you manage to put a bra on before rushing out of the door.
Here are 10 things which happen when you take a baby on the school run
#1: You Will Forget About Yourself
You’ll spend all morning rushing around like a mad woman, making sure everybody is properly dressed, well fed and ready for a day of learning, and you’ll look the part.
If you do manage a quick glance in the mirror before you leave, you will wish you hadn’t.
Hair – unwashed, unbrushed and unkempt. Dirty clothes – maybe even pyjamas. Eye bags – excessive. Make up – ha! The kids will just about pass as functioning members of society, but you won’t.
#2: You Will Leave Late
You will leave late every day, no matter how hard you try. Even if you manage to have everybody dressed and waiting by the front door in time, your new baby will decide to unleash the poo-explosion from hell all over herself and you’ll be back to square one.
Or the baby will scream with hunger and you’ll sit down to feed, mistakenly thinking it will be a short feed, only to end up trapped for half an hour under the world’s hungriest newborn.
Perhaps you’ll get halfway to school before realising you’ve forgotten the bookbag or the packed lunch. Or you forget to take your keys out of the front door (thanks, baby brain) and have to head home and start again.
#3: You Will Walk Like John Wayne
Walking to school is a nice way to start the day, unless you’ve recently given birth and you’re walking like your insides are about to tumble out.
Walking is not easy when your vulva has swollen to the size of a watermelon. It doesn’t matter how late you leave the house, don’t even try to run to make up time.
You’ll just have to shuffle slowly forwards, thighs held unnaturally far apart, trying to avoid putting pressure on anything down there.
If you’ve had a c-section, you’ll be hunched over, hands grabbing at your abdomen for fear your stitches will burst open and you will be even later for school.
#4: Everybody Will Want To Say Hi To The Baby…
Having a baby gives you an instant popularity boost. As you’re walking down the street like a (bow-legged) celebrity, every person you pass will stop to say hi to your new arrival.
They will all ask the usual questions (sex, name, weight, and whether you remember what sleep is) and then reach out their grubby paws to grope your newborn baby on the face. If only your swollen vulva would allow you to run away, right?
The road to school has become your own personal red carpet and everybody wants to grab a quick word with you. No worries, you’re only fifteen minutes late for school.
#5: …Which Will Send Your Older Child Crazy
All kids are different. You might get the jealous rage of an older sibling or the equally difficult to navigate ‘intense big sister mode’ of a child who is desperate for her share of the attention.
And don’t expect her to play it cool. A recently dethroned kid has zero care factor about looking desperate.
#6: So. Much. Crying.
Your new baby will cry because she is hungry and cold, and has recently filled her nappy with something terrible.
Your older kid will cry because she was meant to be at school at 9am. It’s now 11am and you’re still not there.
You will cry because you don’t know what day it is, you haven’t sleep for weeks, and walking hurts. None of you will have any energy left to comfort the others so you will just make your way down the street like a blubbering ball of family hysteria.
#7: Your Boobs Will Leak
As soon as your baby starts to cry, your boobs will fill up with milk and, thanks to mother nature having little understanding of the time restraints of the school run, will leak milk all over your top.
You will probably feel the tingling sensation in your nipples as your letdown kicks in, but you won’t realise how bad it is until passers-by are shielding themselves from your spray with umbrellas. By the time you get back home, you’ll have to wring out your nursing bra into the sink. All that wasted liquid gold!
#8: Your Kid Will Refuse To Go Into School
When you arrive at the school gates, damp, shell-shocked and three hours late, your kid will refuse to go into school.
Not because she doesn’t love school, but because she knows you’re going home to spend all day with the baby and she’s jealous.
Instead of running in without a backward glance, she will cling to your leg, her arm wrapped firmly around your tender nether-regions. The teacher will have to prise her off you, being careful not to get an eyeful of breastmilk in the process.
#9: You’ll Have To Stop To Feed The Baby
Knowing you can’t make it home without drowning in the milk pouring from your nipples, you’ll have to stop to feed your red-faced crying baby. You will sit with your nipple out, desperately trying to get her to latch, for much longer than you would like.
Once the baby is happily feeding and you just wish you were at home on your sofa and not stuck in a public place, strangers will come over to give you their opinions.
Your baby is cold. You shouldn’t breastfeed in the park, there are children around. Why doesn’t the baby have a hat on? That baby wants to be at home.
You’ll try not to punch the strangers but it will be a challenge.
#10: You Will Get Home
By the time you finally arrive home, you will look as though you have survived a war, not just the school run. A soaking wet top clings limply to your scarily huge boobs, mascara is smudged down your puffy red face, and your forehead is lined with sweat.
And yet you will look at your crazy-eyed reflection in the mirror and be filled with pride. You did it! Your kid got to school! You are rocking this whole multiple kids thing.
You will fist bump your reflection, ignoring the fact her appearance is less than appealing.
And then you will look at the time and realise the morning school run took so long you only have a couple of hours before you have to do it all again.
And then you will ugly cry.