I wrote this blog a few years back after visiting a friend who had just had her first baby. I posted the blog to social media and didn’t think more about it. The next day I checked my phone and was astounded to see that it had gone viral; liked and shared by tens of thousands around the world.
It seems that the simple truth of this blog resonated with Mums around the world. Let me know what you think!
I recently went to visit a very dear friend who has just had her first baby. My kids are now 7 and 5 years old so I am well and truly out of the baby phase. However, working with new Mummies almost daily, I am constantly reminded of how hard that first year is!! So I packed my two kids into the car along with a pile of food to deliver to my gorgeous friend.
As she opened the door, I grinned as I recognised that face.
What face you ask??
I call it the new Mummy face. That smiling new mummy face that is trying so very hard to look like they have it all together but deep down they’re thinking, WTF just happened!!!
Will I ever sleep again??
Why doesn’t my husband hear the baby cry in the middle of the night??
What’s with thinking I can hear my baby cry every time I jump in the shower?? Have I clipped up my bra??
What day is it??
Will I ever get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes??
Will I ever get out of this house??
Will I ever sleep again??
Will I ever have sex again…. will I even want to??
Should it still be hurting to breastfeed??
Is it wrong to feel anger and frustration towards my baby??
My baby is being an arse hole, is it ok to say that??
So, being the experienced mother, I did what every new mother needs. I offered to take her baby, showed her a few good settling techniques, swaddled her baby & put her down to sleep. We had a little chat and I told my friend a few brutal truths about early motherhood.
1/ It’s hard!!
2/ You’re doing an amazing job!!
3/ There is a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form or torture!!
4/ Sometimes you want to call your baby an arse hole, of course you don’t really mean it & you love them!!
5/ It’s ok to stop breastfeeding if it’s not working for you!!
6/ It’s ok to ask for, & accept help!!
7/ Feeling smothered & over touched is a common feeling!!!
8/ It gets easier!!
IT’S ALL COMPLETELY NORMAL!!
I made my friend a herbal tea & sent her to bed. Her little lady slept for 3 1/2 hours!! Woo hoo!
All new Mummies need support & nurturing. It takes a village but unfortunately in our society that’s not common practice.
But why isn’t it??
We are often our own worst enemies, putting such high and unrealistic expectations on ourselves. We are reluctant to open up and share that we are finding it tough, struggling, and needing some help. We wrongly perceive this as failing or showing weakness. We want to look like we are superwoman, totally in control!!
The truth is, none of us know what we are doing when we bring our new baby home!! It is such an intense period of adjustment for the modern day Yummy Mummy. Many of us go from getting dressed up in the morning and heading out to our paid jobs where we talk to adults, contribute to society, take lunch breaks, gosh, we even get to go to the toilet by ourselves!!! Suddenly we find ourselves are at home alone, trying decipher the different cries of our babies!! This doesn’t look like the ad you see on TV with the glowing mother and new born baby?!?! Resilient mothers are mothers who are not afraid to reach out when they are struggling and ask for help when then need it. And real friends tell the truth and the truth is…..
MOTHERHOOD IS A TOUGH GIG!!
We are all in this together. So here’s my challenge to mothers of older kiddies like me…
Reach out to a new mummy you know. Let them know it’s hard, tell them that they are doing an incredible job, let them know that it get’s easier, bake them some bik-kies. It means the world to have feelings normalised & not feel alone. Sometimes all we need to hear as mothers is,
‘You’re doing an amazing job’
‘I’m so proud of you’
‘You’re not alone.’
And always remember #ittakesavillage