Child: Oliver, 6 months old
Expectations of Motherhood: I didn’t really know what to expect. I guess I was worried that ‘The fun years’ chapter would close, i.e. no more nights out, hanging out with friends or trips to the cinema, and that I somehow would go through a quick metamorphosis into a very mumsy mum, which didn’t happen. Phew!
So far we are managing just fine, with small adjustments here or there, and so I feel like I’m enhancing the fun years chapter.
Having said that I have some expectations of myself as a mum and how I want to raise my little boy. He’s only 6 months old, so we are still yet to see how many of those are just ‘ideas’ that will not work in real life.
Reality of Motherhood: I love being a mum! I still go ‘Am I really a mum?’ every time I say this. The reality of being a mum is an emotional rollercoaster, you have good and bad days. You’re constantly learning on the job, worry a lot and have little sleep. Some days you feel like “you’ve got this”, and the others you’re a total mess in pyjamas at 5pm…
There are two surprising things for me. Firstly, that I love like I’ve never loved before, and somehow I love my baby more and more each day, and secondly, so far, I have been able to stay super calm in stressful situations. For example, when we needed to take him to kids A&E when he was 4 months old. With a sudden great responsibility over someone so vulnerable you stay focused.
I was very happy – emotional after the childbirth – which I found amazing, beautiful and life changing, but also felt totally shell shocked… On top of that I was also quite worried about bringing our son home, as we have a very possessive Springer called Emma, who loves her human daddy a lot!
The best/worst advice: The worst, or maybe just annoying advice was ‘sleep when baby is asleep’. How about… ‘I want to sleep at night! My body clock is telling me to stay awake because it’s the middle of the day, and I need to sterilise the bottles’!
The best advice, would be to listen to your intuition. As soon you’re pregnant, people feel entitled to impose their experiences, opinions and advice on you. I know that people are trying to help and also re-living their early parenthood, but as a new, and first time mum, I want to get to know my baby and learn to take care of him, which comes often from my intuition.
The hardest parts of being a mother: I’m quite an anxious person as it is, but when you’re a mum, you worry all the time; ‘Is he warm enough?’ ‘I hope he’s not too hot’. Any rash, cough, sneeze…
I’m not as bad as I was when he was only days and weeks old, but as my mum said, this feeling of worrying never goes away. To be honest, I am not entirely sure how my mum has allowed me to live in a different country!
Disturbed sleep is a killer. It makes you tired, grouchy, snappy and not yourself. This has an impact on your relationship, which is always quite rocky after having a baby. I had never ever expected that I’ll be arguing over who had more sleep! I’m actually giggling writing this.
The best parts of being a mother: Being able to love someone so much and being loved! My heart melts every time Oliver raises his hands towards me. I feel like I want to turn round in a double-take like, ‘Is he talking to me?’
And finally, being able to rediscover the world through your child’s eyes and be silly. I’ve always been very silly around my friends and quite professional (for the Ad industry anyway) at work.
I have never been around children and so I never knew how to interact with them, and any attempt of interacting with them made me feel awkward. As I am on maternity leave now and spend a lot of time around kids and babies I’m getting totally relaxed and silly around them.
Has becoming a mother changed you? Totally! My priorities have totally shifted, my routine and the way I spend my time have changed. I want to make the world a better place for him.
Hopes for your family: I want my family to enjoy simple life, things that we took for granted when we were young. I want our son to play outside, climb trees, eat healthy food, not care about taking selfies (that his mum’s job ha ha) or spend days in front of the telly. I just want us to be happy, healthy and have fun.
What advice would you offer to new and expectant mums? To new mums, go with the flow, enjoy every second and do not wish for another milestone. Although, I know how difficult this is. They change so quickly that you should enjoy every split second!
To expectant mums, please do not worry about giving birth. For some reason, people always share horrific stories about childbirth, and our culture is full of them too. Does it hurt? Of course, it hurts, but our bodies have been designed to do it. Trust yourself, your body is powerful and it will amaze you!
Extra Info: I’m currently enjoying maternity leave and pretty much the best time of my life! I have set up a fitness & lifestyle blog to document this year, which ended up being a great platform to meet many wonderful mums! Follow me or message me! Let’s unite, inspire, collaborate and empower each other!
My blog – www.53weeksoff.com