Motherhood is the one thing you can never prepare enough for and as a first time mum it can be even more daunting. I read books, blog posts and talked to other experienced mums in preparation for the birth of my little girl and with all the information I had prior nothing still compared to the real deal. Leaving the hospital and taking your little human home and then trying to figure it all out by yourself, nothing more frightening and more rewarding. Here I have listed in no particular order the 10 things I have learned about myself as a new mum.
- Expect the unexpected: My little girl is 12 weeks old and as much as I try to stick to somewhat of a schedule (as this helps me get through the day and also stay sane!), no two days are the same. I don’t follow a regimented schedule but we try to wake up around the same time every morning and start our day even if its just a day of sitting on the couch watching Netflix or a full day of activities, I try to make sure we get naps and feeds around the same time each day. I don’t have it figured out yet as she shows me that she really runs things.
- Take it one day at a time: Some days are easier than others, some days I am in the shower for 2 minutes, some days I have dishes pilled up in the sink, some days I take a shower and put on a clean pair of pyjamas because why not and some days I’m glammed up to the nines. I just take each day as it comes, as those things don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, which are a healthy bub and mum and family. Take a deep breath and remember you created life!
- I never thought I could survive on little sleep: Speaking as someone who loves to sleep I knew this would be the biggest challenge for me but boy its amazing what your body can do. With saying that I know some mums have it more difficult than I do as my baby is a really good sleeper. We had a few rough nights the first few nights we came home but she has been sleeping through a 5/6 hours stretch at night for some weeks. My biggest tip is to try to sleep when bub does (I know this can be hard for some mums), this was my saving grace the first few weeks.
- I need to take time for myself: Oh I see you roll your eyes but this is so important for me, I am only speaking for myself as I am a huge fan of self care. With everything that comes with dealing with a newborn, it’s easy to have little or no time to yourself. When our baby was littler, my husband would take her for a walk on the beach each morning, which gave me time to sleep in and take a long shower. As a new mum that was exactly what I needed. With my husband back at work, I put the baby down for the night at 7.30pm, which gives me an hour or two to sit by myself and do my own thing, which could be anything from painting my toes, and nails to putting on a facemask or watching a corny movie on Netflix. This just gives me just enough time to unwind and recharge.
- Enjoy every moment: I remember my co-worker telling me while I was pregnant to enjoy every single stage of my baby as they grow up so fast and she was right! It is funny as I already miss my baby being a newborn, she was so tiny and just so so precious, she still is so so precious but she is getting bigger. I feel like I only just gave birth but she is going to be 3 months and I can’t believe it. I try not to rush things; I consciously enjoy each moment (even the rough days) and take as many photos as I can.
- Don’t compare yourself to other mums: You know that quote “Don’t compare yourself to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.” No? Well I’ll just leave it at that. Do what’s best for you and your baby……PERIOD!
- You are a great mum!: As a new mum it is so easy to fall into the trap of not feeling good enough, self doubt starts to creep in and to feel like a failure. I tell myself the devil is a liar; you will not take away my joy. I tell myself how great I am doing and give myself a pat on the back. On days where things might be overwhelming, I just have to look at this precious girl I birthed with her gummy smile and all is well; I see the way she looks at me and nothing else matters.
- Don’t mess with mama bear: Need I say more?
- I love my husband differently: I told my husband that since we’ve had our baby I have a different kind of love for him. Seeing him comfort and encourage me through labour to holding our newborn baby girl changed something, I can’t explain it but I love him so much more than I thought I could.
- I have found a new meaning to purpose: I knew I always wanted to be a mum but nothing compares to the immense joy and purpose this little girl has brought to my life. I feel so much pride watching her everyday, watching her discover the world, watching her see things for the first time fills me with so much happiness. I am absolutely besotted; there truly is no other love like it.