Jo, Finn and Elliot

Name: Jo 

Children: Finn, age 3.5 and Elliot age 7 months

Location: Glossop

Expectations of Motherhood: My mum was a single parent, she worked hard but wasn’t around a lot – I missed her. Then she died when I was 14 and so I always thought that motherhood was not a joyful thing, but more like hardworking. Thankfully I was wrong.

Reality of Motherhood: Tiredness like I’ve never known, but motherhood has healed my heart. I remember waking up early one morning to just watch both my sons as newborns and my heart was just full up and I thought, ‘So this is what it’s like to really be happy.’ 

Taking my children home for the first time: I was terrified. There was no way I could keep this little human alive without the help of a team of medical professionals was there?! I think my husband and I stopped the car 3 times on the way home from hospital just to check Finn was still breathing. I was a little more relaxed with Elliot – but only a little…
The best / worst advice: Best advice – pick your battles and let the little things go, and worst advice – don’t spoil your baby by picking them up and cuddling them…

The hardest parts of being a mother: My own mum died when I was 14. I have so many questions about being a mum that I would love to ask her, and she’s not here. Being a mum without my mum is often incredibly lonely. Sometimes I feel like a real fraud – surely everyone who sees me knows I don’t know what I’m doing… 

The best parts of being a mother: My children have filled a hole in my heart and life. My father left when I was very young, and my mum, both my grandmothers and my aunt all died within a few years of each other. I was left bereft and with a seriously hardened heart. 
I never thought I wanted to have children – I didn’t think I would make a good parent as I didn’t have parents to show me an example of what to expect. 

But being a mother has literally filled me with love and given me a new, more positive outlook on life. It’s also hard work, and challenging everyday, but it forces me to look at myself and work on my attitude and outlook.

Has becoming a mother changed you: YES!! I have never been tested as much, or worked harder on myself to try to be positive and mindful – its the biggest challenge of my life and the biggest joy.

Hopes for your family: To laugh a lot, love each other and have fun adventures as often as possible. I want to laugh with my sons everyday.

What advice would you offer to new and expectant mums: Don’t rush – whether it be out of the house or into your old life – take your time and enjoy the loved-up bubble you live in with a newborn. Stay in your pjs, ask for help and just cuddle and love that little thing. Before you know it real life kicks in and your newborn is nearly ready to go to school…

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