Soon you will go on the biggest adventure of your life. One that will test you to your absolute limit, one that offers every emotion from the deepest of lows to the highest of highs.
You will be given every ounce of advice, some maybe helpful, but most not. Some from people you love and a lot from people you barely know.
You will be made to feel like you need to categorise your parenting style to fit the norms and surely be judged on everything.
You will be told the “right way” to do everything, but yet it’s still not good enough.
For some reason everyone thinks they can poke their head inside your pram and touch your baby, everyone wants to know how old they are, what their name is and if they are a “good sleeper”.
Strangers will ask you when you will have another baby! (I know that seems ridiculous buts it’s true), other mothers will start comparing stats with you like your just casually talking about a game from the weekend and you will walk away feeling like a failure every time.
You will be up all night, sometimes for days. If you try breastfeeding, it will hurt, like toe curling hurt for weeks, could be up to 6 weeks, at least every 3 hours if not more.
You might hate it, you might love it.
You might resent everyone around you for what seem like the most ridiculous reasons.
And this is just the beginning.
But I’ll tell you now, it’s all worth it.
You’ll walk away from your birth feeling like you can conquer anything irrespective of how you get that baby out. Through the miracle that is life, that baby will know exactly who you are the minute they come out, they will feel calmed by your smell, your breath, your voice and above all your heart beat. The closer to you the better, and if anyone tries to tell you, you have a Velcro baby tell them to get lost.
You will gain a sense of responsibility like no other, the clothes on your back can become non-existent if you needed to, and your protective instinct will kick in. Listen to it, it’s their to protect you and your baby.
If you don’t feel comfortable, say something and say it proud. Don’t be afraid to make decisions that will be different to others, you know what’s best. And trust me, you do know, just listen to what your inner motherstinct is saying.
It’s ok to sit and cry for no reason, or for every reason, it’s hard.
It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Find a mother’s group and fall for them, they will be your place of sanity, your circle of trust, somewhere you can just talk and not worry about offending anyone, and then keep talking to them, stay in contact, they will be the ones up at 2am when the rest of the world is sleeping. Use them as your tribe, they will validate your feelings and support you in the moments you just can’t explain.
Remember that every night spent up changing, burping, feeding and holding your crying baby is another step closer to a first moment.
Take photos, lots of them, but make sure everyone around you takes photos too. You need to be in them, so when the hard times are over and the kids are older, you can look back on the memories. At the end of the day all they will have one day are photos, are they are more precious then anything.
And finally, its ok to feel lost, to feel like you don’t know who you are any more. Becoming a mother changes everything, your whole world changes, yet everyone else around you seems to stay the same. It takes time to feel like you again, to feel like the different you that motherhood has created.
Im here to cry to, celebrate with, ask questions, or just talk if you need to.