Earlier this week, my niece and her partner welcomed into the world their very cute and precious son. It got me thinking how the circle of life continues.
I always thought that I would have boys, for no other reason than the fact that I have 4 brothers. For me, I was lucky enough to have 2 beautiful daughters - maybe this is to make up for not having a sister, they are my world. I would've loved a sister, I remember crying when my dad told me I had another brother!
Seeing photos of my niece so happy, I started to reflect upon my own amazing journey of having the girls and becoming their mummy. A role I am so lucky and privileged to have.
Becoming a new parent is a rollercoaster full of emotions, expectations, excitement and fear.
I remember thinking how everyone else seemed to have their shit together and was cruising this new mum stuff. I struggled. I gave myself a hard time - I’d been a midwife and could enable the families and in particular give mum’s permission to be kind to themselves, to take it easy, something I was unable to tell myself.
I believed that I had to prove to the world that I could do this on my own, without help and support, to prove that I was a good midwife and a good mum. The reality of it was (although when I reflect back I realise I was good at it), I gave myself a very hard time. I felt I’d failed on so many levels.
It took ages to get up showered and dressed in the morning, feeding every couple of hours taking it’s toll. I don’t think I managed to leave the house for the first week; sitting, weeing, walking and feeding were all so painful. But I did it!
If I was able to give my new mum self some advise it would be - “Looking after a new baby is a full time job and boy is it tiring. The cleaning can wait, accept help whenever it’s offered. You don’t have to be ‘supermum’. Sometimes just looking after your new baby, meeting their needs of nappy changes, feeding, winding, rocking, cuddling, taking photos, beaming proudly at the bundle you have created, sleeping, and repeat, is enough. You ARE enough.”
Take your time. If your little one falls asleep on you, enjoy the moment. Perhaps it’s Mother Nature’s way of telling you to slow down. To rest and recuperate, try not to compare yourself to other mum’s and perhaps the best advise is it’s ok to find things difficult, tiring and emotional and it’s DEFINITELY ok to ask for help.
Just a thought - Perhaps if we as mums were more honest with each other about not coping or finding some days harder than others, we would make things a whole lot easier for ourselves and each other. Be kind to yourself and each other. You’re doing OK and that is enough.
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I am a counsellor who wants to empower individuals to be the best version of themselves.