Child: Oscar 15 months
Expectations of Motherhood: I expected hard work. We used to lie in bed and talk about how much fun it would be to have a little one snuggled between us – a full and noisy house. I probably didn’t think much further than being on maternity leave with a baby, but thought it’d be a jolly old time!
Reality of Motherhood: A million times harder work! A shock to the system even though it was all planned and expected.
Taking your child home for the first time: Terrifying, and not because I didn’t know what to do (I felt very confident in myself as a mother), but I just felt very vulnerable in the world and like I was the only one who could protect my baby. Unfortunately it was the day post-natal depression set in (which was fortunately very fleeting), but my house felt wrong (like the weird feeling you have when you get when you come home from a 2 week holiday, only magnified a thousand times); the world felt wrong. I didn’t feel sad or upset, I just felt nothing (then that made me feel guilty!). What was always evident was that it was a given that I would do everything within my power to look after this little person. It was also a big relief to finally have him at home with us after all those months of waiting.
The best/worst advice: The best advice came from a brilliant midwife who told me, “You’re his mother, you can do anything you want!” – I’d only asked if I could use baby wipes instead of cotton wool on his bottom, but by saying that I realised I had permission to take control and just do it.
Hopes for your family: More babies! 2 or 3 maybe. I just hope for me and my husband to do the best to raise our children with confidence, determination and to be kind. To be happy.
What advice would you offer to new and expectant mums?: Hide away for 6 weeks, be just a mummy, recover, eat, drink and sleep. Snuggle and kiss your baby. Don’t have too many visitors unless they run around after you. Don’t put too much pressure on your yourself. It’s hard and if anyone says they found if easy, they’re lying. Trust yourself and do it how you want to.