When I think back of 26-year-old pregnant me and the worries I had of becoming a mother, I have to laugh, because it is without a doubt one of the biggest achievements I have had in my life.
Now that I have two children I can think of many things I would tell my ‘first time mum’ self. Although Joe may disagree 😉 I think I was pretty calm about pregnancy and childbirth. One of my major worries was not being around my family for the pregnancy and birth.
Going through pregnancy and birth and having a newborn without your mum close by is a sad feeling. Fortunately both my parents were in Canada for the birth of Noah and again my mum was here for the birth of Siena but then, of course, they had to go back home. And then it’s just me. I remember when my parents left after their visit for Noah’s birth I cried all day long. It took me a good week to get back into the swing of things. Even though this was a new normal to get into the swing of things for, I was home with a newborn.
As much as I would give anything to live close to my family again, I think living away from them has given me a new independence. Something a soon to be ‘first time mum’ I never knew would come. Obviously, it has all come with the help from the most wonderful partner in life. Together we navigate parenthood. All the ups and downs, milestones and achievements. We are in it together. Although, I am well aware, this wild roller coaster has a long way to go!
12 Things I would tell my ‘First time mum’ self
- Your body will change and stretch and hurt but it will go back and none of it will matter.
- You will not sleep in again, maybe for a little period of time but baby number one will not be a good sleeper and continue right through to toddler-hood, sorry to say but get use to it. It’s surprising how you can survive on such little sleep.
- Your child WILL know their family over seas, do not even worry about it.
- Breastfeeding is hard. So so very hard. It will hurt, it will push you to your very limits and it is more than ok to not continue.
- You won’t have your mum or sister and it’s hard, sometimes lonely. But motherhood will come naturally. You have more strength and resilience than you knew.
- Saviour those middle of the night feeds. All those people are right, they pass quickly. Enjoy those newborn snuggles.
- Take in all that you can with your first and only child. Once a second one comes along some of your special time and moments disappear.
- Look after yourself. Be mindful of your health.
- It’s okay to ask for help.
- Go to baby groups, mum groups any social groups. Put your nerves aside. You and your baby need it. Amazing friendships will be formed.
- Worry is a new emotion that will always be around, you will worry about everything when it comes to your children; if they are gaining weight, growing, learning, reaching milestones, sleeping right, eating right, talking, walking, making friends, the world they are growing up in. It’s endless. But it’s okay. It’s parenthood.
- There will be so many times you will cry, you will tell yourself you are the worst mum, that you are failing your family, you will be in situations where you don’t know what to do. But you pick yourself up and you do it. You are strong and you are the best mum for your kids. It’s not easy. No one else knows what they are doing. Your kids are so loved, happy, healthy, protected and learning you are doing a good job.
Is there anything you would you tell your ‘first time mum’ self?