Child: Henry, 5
Location: Gorton, Manchester
Expectations of Motherhood: Of course I knew Motherhood would be hard work but I assumed, naively, that at least on some level it would all come naturally and I would feel some kind of instinctive feelings about what I should be doing.
Reality of Motherhood: The reality of Motherhood? It’s a lot of hard work, sleepless nights and this endless worry that never seems to go away. However out of everything I have ever done in my life it is by far the most rewarding and worthwhile thing I think I could ever or have ever done.
Taking your child home for the first time: When we first brought Henry home it was simply the most terrifying experience of my whole life. I remember thinking ‘Is this legal? This shouldn’t be legal? Letting a newborn baby go home with two unqualified people!’ When I woke up the next morning I was still in shock from giving birth a day earlier and running on caffeine and pure desperation alone and I felt absolutely freezing. So I did the logical thing and cranked up the heating. When my husband got back from a quick shopping run he felt like he’d walked into a sauna! He still jokes about it today, referring to it as ‘The time I almost cooked the baby.’
The Best Advice: Don’t be too hard on yourself or your body. Women today seem to put so much pressure on themselves to juggle everything. Your body might not bounce back straight away and that’s ok. It just went through a huge ordeal when you gave birth! You might not have as much energy to run a duster round and that’s ok too! That dust will still be there tomorrow or next week or if you’re like me when your child turns five! I’m exaggerating of course but things need to be prioritised and dusting and cleaning can be put of for a day and you shouldn’t feel bad for doing that! Give yourself a break, don’t compare yourself with what you think you should be doing and take everything day by day.
The Worst Advice: Listening to everyone. Whether it’s your mother in law, your best friend Jennifer, or that random stranger in Tesco, believe me when I say EVERYONE has advice to give. The absolute worst thing you can do is take any of it too seriously. Every child is different and what worked for Jennifer’s angels won’t necessarily work for you and your little one. I tried to listen to everyone and ended up kicking myself wishing I had followed my gut instincts and gone with the flow like I was originally.
The hardest parts of being a mother: That gut wrenching worry you feel at the pit of your stomach. All you want to do is protect them but you realise that eventually there will be situations you can’t protect them from. Fall outs with friends, teasing at school, getting their hearts broken. I’d take every sleepless night going to be able to stop him feeling pain like that.
The best parts of being a mother: That’s easy, it has to be the unconditional and overwhelming feeling of love I get for him. I didn’t think it was possible to love anything or anyone like I love him.
Has becoming a mother changed you? More than I ever thought it would. I look at the world a lot differently now and I worry a whole lot more than I ever have before. I used to be impulsive and carefree and now i’m much more cautious but I’m also a lot happier than I thought I could be.
Hopes for your family: Mostly I hope for good health and continued happiness. Maybe in the future Henry might have a little brother or sister to grow up with.
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