Where do I start? Becoming a parent is something I always hoped would happen for me. I never took the idea for granted. I was fully aware that maybe it just wouldn’t happen for me but I really hoped that one day I would hold a little bundle of joy in my arms. That one day I would have a squishy little face gazing up at me, knowing I’m their mummy.
I would consider how life would be as a parent…through rose tinted glasses may I add. Life would be complete and wholesome. I would take walks looking the proud parent. I would join baby and toddler groups and educate my little me. I would get into a routine, they would sleep well and be well behaved. My child wasn’t to have dummies, I would breastfeed, they would have manners, I wouldn’t bribe or pacify them with foodstuffs, they would have home cooked meals the majority of the time and the list goes on. I actually thought my ideals were pretty realistic, not crazy stupid!
Fast forward a few years to meeting my lovely OH. We knew early on in our relationship that we both wanted children at some point.
We were lucky enough to go on to having 2 gorgeous children. It transpired that my ideals whilst still there at heart were pretty far fetched to say the least. Children DO NOT follow this imaginary rule book. They are individuals with individual needs. Guess what, they can’t even tell you what these needs are for a few years. You have to figure that one out. Whilst you are busy trying to figure these needs out they cry. It’s the only way they know how to get a message across to you that they need something. Now on the whole you can pretty much guess that it’s either hunger, sleep or comfort. But it’s not always that straightforward.
Add into the mix the crock pot of emotions that you, as a new parent will experience. Guilt, despair, tiredness, exhaustion, elation, love and perhaps even grief for your former life. The result can be messy.
I may sound like I’m painting a pretty grim picture but here’s the thing, it’s ok to feel mixed up, it’s ok to feel like you haven’t got a clue and wonder if you will ever get the hang of it all. You feel like this because you love this little person and that’s why it means so much to get it right. But getting it right doesn’t mean getting it perfect because perfect doesn’t exist. It can sometimes feel like the world has it’s eyes on you judging your every move. In reality most people aren’t judging, (those that are can simply go on jump off the high horse they’re on) they are probably admiring you and your bundle. The stares are usually people commenting on ‘what a cute baby’ or ‘that baby must only be a few weeks old how sweet’. Admit it, you’ve sat in a coffee shop and done the same thing. Smile at your onlookers
Allow yourself time to adapt and adjust. Trust me, this doesn’t happen overnight and can sometimes take months! This is a new role you are suddenly trying to get your head around, give yourself a break. Accept help, seriously why not? I didn’t accept help out of misplaced pride. If help is offered – take it.
Get out of the house every day. Even if it means a walk in the rain. The exercise and fresh air will do you good. Join some baby groups and meet other mums. I know this can be daunting but the other mums will be in the same position as you. Any more judgy pant mums – well just don’t waste your energy on them but I promise there will be a mum out there in need of a friend to talk to.
Being a parent is a rollercoaster, just as you think you’ve got one issue sussed and mastered another issue comes along to bite you on the bum. However, putting all this aside the pure joy that being a parent gives you far outweighs all this mess. The smell of their hair, the touch of their tiny hands, a smile, the call of ‘mummy’ or a big cuddle and your heart feels the warmth from a thousand suns and all is good. Being a parent is immense and beautiful.
You can do this, go mama.
Thank you and please do get in touch if you need any further information or would like to use my post.
A group of mums sharing their experiences on pregnancy, post-birth, breastfeeding, work-life balance, and more.