Let's get the not-so-great bits out of the way first, shall we?
Incidentally, these are the best and the worst bits for me. I know, for example, that a lot of people would have "The crying! Oh my god, the crying!" at the top of this list but - so far - Matilda is not a very weepy baby; I can't really complain about her occasional grump. On the other hand, some people manage to cook fancy meals whilst looking after a newborn, whereas I can't seem to make myself a sandwich.
So. Here are the things which I do find challenging:
The Worst Bits of Life With a Newborn
Dirty NappiesIn particular: dirty nappies at 3am. Self explanatory, right?
The Mad Housework DashAlthough Matilda sleeps well at night, through the day she will only really nap in my arms. As a result, the mountains of laundry and the forest of dirty baby bottles get dealt with in the evening or at the weekend and I always feel a tiny bit stressed about potentially falling behind - I'm totally(-ish) fine with the flat being a little grottier than usual but the things which allow me to keep Matilda alive and healthy have to get done somehow.
The Steep Learning CurveI'm used to feeling like a competent, capable person but suddenly I'm having to learn how to do everything. I don't just mean the baby-specific things like reading Matilda's body language, putting the ideal number of sheets on her bed and buying the correct size of nappies - I mean such simple, everyday things as catching a bus (with a pram!) or nipping to the corner shop (with a pram!) or going to a cafe (with a pram!). It's odd, not really knowing what I'm doing half the time.
The ExhaustionI don't mean the sleep deprivation (that's tough but I'm pretty used to poor quality sleep); I mean twelve hours a day of caring for and attempting to entertain a baby. Things get a bit repetitive, waving the same toys around on the same playmat in the same flat, day after day. It's getting easier now Matilda and I are better able to get out and about (I'm stronger; she's calmer) but I still hit a wall about four o'clock most days and feel very, very ready for Steve to get home from work.
Sharing a BedroomPartly, this is because babies can be restless and noisy - the best description I saw on a parenting forum was, "It's like sharing a bedroom with a very noisy badger". Spot on. It's taken me a while to start sleeping through Matilda's non-urgent snuffling. There's also the question of what it is and is not appropriate for two grown ups to get up to with a baby sleeping two feet away...
Realising That I Have Nothing Else to Talk AboutNot that any of my friends expect me to talk about anything else right now, but I still find myself worrying that I'm boring them and apologising for my single track mind.
But it's not all tricky stuff. In a lot of ways, the past nine weeks have been incredible.