Happy 6 months earth side little cub!
Wow, I never realised how just writing those words then would affect me, my stomach flipped, nose stinged and my heart felt like it was going to burst from my chest, what a huge range of emotions that conjures.
6 months in, 6 months of the highest highs and the lowest of lows, from feeling like I was floating in a bubble of happiness on a fluffy cloud of bliss, to sobbing into my pillow feeling helpless and lost.
I’ve learnt more about myself and what’s important in life more than I imagined and have fallen more in love than I thought possible.
I chuckle at the memory of all the books, websites and advice I scrolled through when we were pregnant, I actually believed that there was a book for parenting … what crap!!! I’m calling it, everything I’ve learnt and experienced over the last 6 months I’ve learnt “on the job” and most of the time I have been winging it.
So here are some of the “real” things I’ve learnt over the last 6 months.
Birth is just the beginning; yes obvious I know, but nothing can possibly prepare you for what you go through physically, mentally and emotionally when you bring that little person into the world. I’ve never attempted to fluff this up in anyway when I’ve been asked by pregnant friends, I don’t see the point. It was whole heartedly the most beautiful and amazing experience of my life … but in all honesty, to quote my actually response when asked about birth “it’s so fu***d up” and that’s just the start of it all. Nothing can prepare you for the emotions that flood your body after, the anxieties, exhaustion, pain, changes – it’s all just crazy and completely surreal and there you are in the middle of it with this tiny little human to take care of. The good news is that your body & mind starts to heal and it does get better (note, not easier … this brings me onto the second thing!)
It doesn’t get easier … I’m sorry, I’ve said it, I’ve broken the cardinal rule of motherhood and said the unspeakable. I was told this fable many times and read it as a response to many mama’s desperate pleas for support … it’s the biggest mama fib there is, told to give hope and comfort and whereas that’s all good and well, the truth isn’t all that bad … it doesn’t get easier, why should it – you have been blessed with this precious little life to nurture, protect, fulfill and fill with happiness. That’s never going to be easy, the job is far too precious. HOWEVER … you will adapt and learn to cope. Everything is a phase, seriously everything, and you will get trough them all; postpartum, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, sleeping, teething, growth spurts, relationship changes – then just when you think you’ve mastered parenting and are a super human, something changes and you are learning again, because that is what it’s about … you and this little one are learning about each other and your worlds are so very different, as are you wants and needs … your baby doesn’t understand the concept of mummy wanting to enjoy a warm meal with a glass of wine, because they just want mummy. Don’t worry about what other mums say or do, compare your babies sleep, eating or personality to theirs, every one of us has our days when we could prey for it to get easier, when we see the happy bouncing baby with the mummy with freshly washed hair and wish we weren’t loosing our shit … but when you get through the tough days, you realise that we are them, we are all doing amazing and yes whereas it doesn’t get easier it gets a hell of a lot more fun, rewarding, enjoyable and wonderful.
Trust yourself and your baby. You will be given so much advice, you will Google “green poo” more than once, you will worry whether to immunise or not, your intuition is better than any book … you honesty know what’s the best thing for you and your baby, listen to your instinct and you will be the best mummy you can be.
Your relationship with your partner WILL change – yes we were that couple who believed that a baby wouldn’t change us, well he has … we sulk, bicker, strop regularly, something that pre baby happened so little I can name all 3 times we fell out … now a mixture of sleep deprivation, crazy hormones and the unconditional love for this new little person in our lives causes us to get on each other’s nerves, which is just bonkers when you think about how much love we have for each other that created this life. The thing is though, we find the humour in it and our deep, loving and supportive partnership has strengthened even more from it … and I have fallen deeper in love with Mark than I thought possible, not from all the highs and good times, but how he has taken care of his wife and baby through the lows – thank you baby!
Be kind … to yourself! As I’ve said in earlier posts, one of the hardest things I’ve had to come to terms with is how much my life has changed since having a baby … duh! It’s only been these last few weeks that I have let go of all the things that are really stupid and yet made me feel like I still had some sense of control, like housework, showering and being dressed, getting to baby clubs, coffee dates, going for drinks – none of them are important especially as if you’re anything like me you feel frazzled by the end of the day when you have tried to resume “normal life” – just don’t bother with the small stuff, stay in your pjs till midday with unwashed hair, with washing to do and just feed, cuddle and play with your baby… the people you promised to meet will be there another day, as will the housework … !! I love the phrase “sleep when baby sleeps” because I don’t know about anyone else but as much as I’ve tried and no matter how tired I am it doesn’t happen, but if you find yourself baby trapped on the sofa then make that time for you, whether you read a book (if you still have the mental capacity) scroll through Instagram (never done this more in my life till now!) write down your thoughts or just lie there enjoying the fleeting time your beautiful baby is lying sleeping snuggled into you … just let yourself be, let your body relax and take a deep breathe and just enjoy you time and just tell yourself you are doing amazing, because you really are and that little person that is cossied up next to you thinks you are just doing great!
So here we are, 6 months in … the biggest thing I have learnt though about motherhood is how full of love my heart is capable of, the love for our little cub is just all consuming and out of this world and deepens every single day – being a mum is the best thing in the world, it is who I am meant to be and I have never been happier in my life.
If you are new to this motherhood malarky, please do share what you have learnt since becoming a mama.
Thanks as always for sharing this journey with me and have a beautiful & amazing day.