Liz and August

Name: Liz

Child: August, 8 months

Location: Manchester

Expectations of Motherhood:
I knew it would be tough, but to be honest I couldn’t actually picture myself as a mother so it all seemed a bit delusional. I tried not to think about it too much and just hoped a healthy baby would appear at the end.

Reality of Motherhood:
The first 6 weeks…………… horrific! I could not believe nobody had pulled me to one side and warned me about this while I was pregnant.

Obviously the sleep deprivation is a killer, but absolutely nothing prepares you for this. You would never be put in a situation (unless as a form of torture) where you are woken every 2 hours. It was around week 2 that I realised I would not be having more than a 3 hour block of sleep for quite a while! This would be bad enough on its own, but add to it a bruised and battered body, plus learning to breast feed and its even worse!

Now 8 months in…… motherhood is still exhausting but so much fun! 

I feel so privileged to spend everyday with August.

Taking your child home for the first time:
After spending three days in a shared room with 4 other women (one of whom was in labour!) with August screaming the place down and demanding a feed every 30 minutes I was ready to get the hell home! My partner and dad picked us up and it felt like a getaway car. We shoved all my stuff into a bag, grabbed the baby and fled! I was sure they’d made a mistake and if we weren’t quick enough they would change their minds and be after us.

As soon as we got home I started cleaning…..I went into hospital on the Monday morning and didn’t get home til the Thursday evening, so nothing was how I left it. Two grown men had been living at home while I was away so let’s just say standards had slipped a bit!

The best/worst advice:
The worst advice was from a breast feeding counsellor who said, ‘if it hurts your doing it wrong’. I did everything I was supposed to but it still hurt. A lot! 

I stuck with it and after about a month things fell in to place. I think August and I were just getting used to something that was new to both of us.

The hardest parts of being a mother:
No matter how much help you have or are promised, in reality it all comes down to you. I think it was around the third month I suddenly realised, ‘Oh my god I am the one who has to do everything!’

The best parts of being a mother:
The bond I have with August right now. 

I know as she gets older this will be split more equally between her father and I, but while she is still a baby and so dependant on me I’m enjoying the rewards of being the apple of her eye!

Has becoming a mother changed you?
In some ways yes but these could be temporary as it’s still the first year. She is my number one and it can be hard to concentrate on much else. The idea of going back to work at some point scares the hell out of me and I’m lucky that I can take my time a bit. I do look back on things I used to worry about and think, ‘WOW, you had way too much time to think about things!’

Hopes for your family:
I just want to raise a happy, healthy, and confident little girl and hope that I can be there as much as possible for her.

What advice would you offer to new and expectant mums?In the first few weeks only surround yourself with people who will be 100% supportive of you. You will most probably be exhausted, depressed, highly strung and extremely emotional, so anyone judgemental need not apply!

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