I am one of those people who thought parenting was an easy job and that I would handle it just fine and that I would be back to my normal routinity in no time.
You see, I am a textbook person. I like everything to go accordingly to the textbook, I plan everything waaaay ahead and got stressed out when things don't work out the way I plan (which usually the way they end). This is why my friends said I am a control freak and that I would be a 'stepmother' (like the one in Cinderella) to my own kids trying to be in control.
Even before Oli was born, I had my plan on how to look after him perfected in my head. You see other women having babies and you think it's easy, but now I'd say you have to spend at least 24 hours with them to know how it is like exactly being a mother. If you were like me, you'd judge those mothers for only a small amount of time, and already you'd think about things that you would do and would not do if it was your own child -- then your baby comes along and nothing works to your list.
I knew the first few weeks were going to be hard and that I would loose some sleep but I was being a smart ass thinking that it would be a piece of cake. Actually I was being a smart ass about the whole 'I'd be a good mother straightaway' thing and that I can fit the baby in my schedule. It takes a lot of work and practice and it takes your (and his) whole life to learn it.
Going out after the initial shock and restless nights doesn't get much better straight away as well. My baby is such an angel (like all other mums would say about theirs), we generaly don't have any difficulty putting him down for a nap or nighttime sleep. He's been following some routine since he was 3 weeks old, which is great because all we need to do to make him sleep now is by putting him in his cot and he's been sleeping in at nights since he's 5 weeks old but of course there are some odd days when all he does is crying and that is something that we need to be flexible about when planning our day (or mine during weekdays).
The other day Sharon and I planned our first outting, which ended up just having coffee at her place because it all got too hard. You see, you can plan your schedule around, but babies don't have regular schedule. You can plan to go out and come back just in time for his next scheduled feeding time but then he wakes up half an hour earlier than when he's supposed to be up - would you tell him to follow his schedule and go back to sleep?). It takes a lot of organisation and planning to go out. He would need to be fed, changed and by the time we're ready to go, we would only have 1-1 1/2 hours before his next feeding time (three hours slots really doesn't mean anything if you actually only have that much time between each feeding to do your chores in between) . I still can't be bothered to try to feed him outside (eg at babies room in the malls etc., since that would mean spending at least half an hour feeding & changing gim in these early days)
At the end I really don't want to do it to my baby anyway (well, not yet). I would go out and rush my way around just to be home on time for the feeding, or if I go out with him, I would rush my way around so he doesn't wake up on the road and crying and I had no way to console him (Mum said, "Shopping is fun, but not with you because you always in the rush to go home". Hey, don't blame me, it's only 5 weeks since my life changed forever.) It breaks my heart to see him crying either in pain, in hunger, or just searching for comfort. Call me soft, call me undiscipline, tell me that I am making it difficult for myself, but wait until you have your own child and you'll call it mother's love.