Rewind 3 years..... I was a first time mum. I had read articles, advice and information that came with my maternity pack, listened to the midwife and i genuinely thought i was prepared for my new arrival especially since my pregnancy was quite daunting , difficult and full of complications , i felt i needed to be FULLY prepared.
I couldn't have been less prepared!! Not 1 of the things i had read felt real once my gorgeous son was here. I need to be honest, the reality of being a new mum smacked me straight across the face and i wasn't ready for it at all. I was seeing other mums on Facebook and Instagram looking amazing, i mean, why wasn't my body back to normal like theirs, did they not get any stretch marks? how have they managed to get their baby so settled? the questions would just keep coming, But in reality they were only the smallest things, inside my head was exploding with insecurities.
Why cant i settle my own baby but other people can?, why cant i produce enough milk to feed my baby, why cant i understand what he needs? why am i sat crying, dammmm i forgot to do the pots, i have a huge pile of laundry to get through, why doesn't he love me, i m not good enough to be a mum, im not good enough to be his mum, he deserves so much better than me, everyone deserves so much better than me, i cant show that im not coping, i cant let people think i dont love him, because i do, so much, but he would be better with someone else, why am i crying again, why does no one else feel like this?
My partner at the time, my friends, my midwife, all started to see there was something wrong, in the end i finally realised i needed help. I was diagnosed with post natal depression, started medication and attended family action groups once a week. The road to recovery was long but the fog started to lift and i started to enjoy my baby. I don't think we are ever really ready for the huge list of jobs we inherit as a mum, when you walk out of the hospital with car seat in one hand and baby bag in another, do any if us really know what the next few days, weeks, months and even years will look like ?
So here are a few top tips that helped me get through after the fog lifted.
1. Read about postpartum recovery. This was something i didn't read about anywhere and had no idea about what could happen after birth, how to correctly look after myself, what to expect and what was/wasn't normal.
2. ASK FOR HELP, Talk to friends and family about how your feeling, ask them to watch the baby whilst you take a shower or have a nap, ask advice on breastfeeding or if your stitches look normal. Having professionals involved says zero about your ability as a mother - trust me!
3. Build a routine, look for cues from your baby around feeding, sleeping. I ended up writing a diary on these to make it easier.
4. Allow 30 minutes a day for you - this could be ten minutes for a shower in a morning and ten minutes in the afternoon reading during a nap or even ten minutes to put your make up on even if your not going anywhere. This will make you feel a little like yourself and not just mum.
5. Take charge. Do what you thunk is right for you, your baby and your family. Everyone will have an opinion on how you should hold your baby, what to dress them in, dam even what car seat they should have. But do what is right for you!
AND REMEMBER........ We all only put what we want others to see on social media, so just because sarah from playgroup posted a gorgeous photo of her looking amazing , baby well settled and the house spotless, doesnt actually mean she has it all figured out ...... for all we know, her partner had the baby for 30 mins so she could do her hair and make up, and she could have just pushed all the mess out of camera shot for the sake of the photo.
Soak up every minute....... they grow way to fast!!!!
You will hear from me again next month