Today my little one is 12 weeks old. As she sleeps in my lap and I try to awkwardly type over her whilst pressing the keys ever so gently so she doesn't wake... #mumlife I wanted to share and reflect the mindset pointers that roll around in my mind whilst transitioning from a very free and frivolous life to being a new mum.
Some of these things of course are not re-inventing the wheel, but it’s always nice to refresh!
You’re tired, stinky and hangry, they’re cranky, they've vomited in their own eyes and you've just stood on the cat and feel that they are now plotting your death (true story). It's times like this that it would be easy to go down the FML thought route. Instead, I always bring myself back to gratitude and remind myself how much I love her. I hold her teenie little hands and think how lucky am I to have a healthy daughter that smiles back at me, a loving supportive partner and a cat that will forgive me. Some families are not as blessed, I never let myself forget that.
Don’t Lose Yourself
Be assertive to get what you need, for you. Before you were a mum you were a multifaceted person with passions, a social and work life! Yes some of that has to slow down now but you are still entitled to have guilt free me time! Don’t let anyone make you feel like your baby is solely your responsibility 24/7. It may be your number #1 job in your partnership but you still need to clock off at some point.
Embrace the Challenges
I admit, I was a wee bit naieve going into motherhood, It’s not all giggles, peekaboo and darling outfits. Its challenging! But how you react to the challenge is always your choice. I choose to embrace them (most of the time😬). In every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow. And while they’re not at riot at the time haha I know that this too shall pass and next week we’ll be faced with a new challenge, wishing we could just have that last challenge back again.
It Could Always Be Worse
This is a catch phrase in our house! Every time she’s kicking off we always say to one another, this could get a lot worse and somehow, it makes whatever it is manageable. So rather than building up the current sitch to be THE WORST thing ever, we think, is this all you’ve got?! And consider it training for when shit really hits the fan.
As soon as I realised that my daily “to do list” was probably never getting done, I was so much more relaxed. I stopped watching the clock and thinking to myself, I’ll do some work when she has her next nap because most of the time… that next nap never comes and you begin to feel impatient, overwhelmed and resentful. You have to surrender to the fact that life isn’t as productive for now and just go with the flow. Then if you get 10mins to tick some things off, call it a win!
Embrace Slowing Down
Many of us live too fast without taking the time to be still. The great thing about being a mum in the beginning is, there is a lot of downtime holding that feeding and sleeping baby. Don't fight it. Relax into it. Be mindful and take in their peaceful, innocent lil presence. Just embrace and enjoy this precious time before it’s all mum, mum, mum, MUUUM!!
No One Ever Died of a Dirty House
If they did, my partner and I would be on our deathbeds haha! Once again surrender to the fact that some things aren’t going to be done. You’re not a bad person for having an unkempt home and you will one day get time to clean again. Stressing about it, isn’t actually mopping any floors clean, its just draining you of precious energy. Not ideal when you're staring down the barrel of sleep deprivation.
Take the Help
This one is obvious but if someone is offering, they sincerely want to help and if they don’t, they asked the wrooong lady, now mop my floors!!😆
If you need it or even just if you want it, take it!! You’re not letting the team down if you wanna take 30 mins to wash your hair.
Communicate Openly and Honestly
Having a baby is a testing time for any relationship. The ones that crumble are those that are not communicating their feelings and needs to one another openly and honestly. If you can have a baby together, you can manage an honest conversation. Don’t let your feelings build up and fester, if you have an issue knock it on the head immediately and go back to supporting one another. Try starting with I feel… when…
Mindfulness, Be Present
How often to do you hear mums say, oh they grow up so fast! If we’re not paying attention, we miss it!! I try to remind myself to be in the moment with her as much as possible, let go of the distractions and anxieties, catrophising the future and over analysing the past and just be with them, there in the moment. Get drunk on that sweet concoction of baby/milky vomit smell!!
There is no Perfect
How would one even measure what it is to be the perfect mum? That’s a science studies worst nightmare, far too many variables. Yet we think, that we know what it takes and funnily enough, we’re never good enough to get there. Drop the chase for perfectionism, it’s as futile as baby Daddy getting a new born into a press stud suit correctly first try.
You Are Not Alone
I’ve been told off for googling but I can literally type anything into the search engine eg: my 10 week old vomited in my nose and there will always be some other mum on a mummy forum with the same issue. Knowing that other mums and babies have been through the same thing and survived to share their stories on the internet sure is comforting.
My sister and I were identical twins and you couldn’t even compare us as babies. So why on earth we let our minds wander down this path of comparison is crazy! Comparing won’t make your babies behaviour change but it’ll change yours and not for the best. Accept what is, let the other mummies deal with theirs and you deal with yours.
There Will be Good Days, There Will be Bad Days
I had to give myself a pep talk the other day. My nipples were in agony with blocked ducts, my back was aching, I desperately wanted a shower and a nap and it just wasn’t happening. So I reminded myself that I had plenty of bad days before being a mum to. This is not new. This is simply the ebb and flow of life. We have the bad days so that we appreciate the good ones.
They're Human to
I credit my partner Sean for this one! He continually reminds me that she is human to.
They are going to have good, bad and ugly days just like adults do, only they will scream instead of having a wine and watching 8 hrs of Grey's Anatomy. Try not to get too caught up in what they did or didn't do yesterday and just accept the bubba you have for today. Just because they slept through the night last night does not promise you a solid sleep the next night. If you hold onto to expectations that they'll make life easy for you everyday, it only makes the bad days feel worse.
You Have to Compare your Gains to your Losses
You might be looking at your body postpartum and feel a great sense of loss. It’s true some things will never be the same but we’ve gotta compare our losses to our gains. Sure I’ll probably be able to fold my boobs into origami when we’re done with our family… but I’ll have a couple of mini me besties and someone to offload the dishes onto!! And that’s way better than perky boobs.
You are not a Bad Mum
Say iiiiit, you are not a bad mum. Funnily enough, this thought has very rarely entered my mind. That’s what a rock solid self-esteem will do for you haha.
All your baby needs is your best. I don’t know one single mum that isn’t doing all that she can to help her little one feel safe and loved. You mamma, are doing just great!!
Annnnd end pep talk. You’ve got this!