By far the biggest life changing event I’ve experienced is when I became a mother. There was no way anyone could have said or done anything to prepare me for the change that is becoming a new mum… even though I am sure they tried. For me at least, I couldn’t truly understand what I was signing up for until I experienced it for myself. That being said, after our daughter (Little R) arrived and I got to experience the sleep deprivation, complete change of priorities, isolation, self-doubt and a whole slew of other emotions that seemed to take me over for a while, I started to wonder how in the world had I been so unprepared for this major life changing event?
Image: Fruit Monkey via Flickr
Confessions of a new mum
Even as I write this I feel ashamed, embarrassed about my feelings and for dwelling on them when I know that I am truly blessed. There are people out there who would love nothing more than to have a family or who might not have someone in their life to help them. So please know, if you are reading this, I am truly grateful for my life and the love, laughter and fulfilment that my daughter brings. However, if there is a chance that there are others out there who might read this and realize that they are not alone in feeling lost, uncertain and drained by what is often invoked by a sleep deprived stupor. I just want you to know that you are not alone, having a baby is hard, constantly questioning yourself is hard and adjusting to your new life is hard.
There have been many moments when I have felt completely overwhelmed. Sometimes, those moments require some much needed ‘me’ time, sometimes all it takes is one look into those beautiful, innocent, trusting eyes, full of unconditional love that I am able to take a deep breath be present in the moment again.
I know this journey is far from finished, in fact it has only just begun. I have no idea what I have to look forward to, but I know I will soon find out. As I reflect on the last year and a half, one thing I know is that all of the difficulties including those sleepless nights, pale in comparison to experiencing that first smile, hearing their first chuckle and discovering their first word. Watching them try their first foods, take their first steps, run towards you with outstretched arms and experience life with awe and wonder is by far the greatest moments of my life.
So please know you are not alone and you will be ok.
Here are some things I have learn’t over the last two years:
- Surround yourself with people you love. Be it friends and/or family. One thing you probably should know about me is that my husband and I are Australian but we currently live in Canada, so ALL of our family including both sets of Grandparents all Aunts, Uncles and Cousins are back in Australia. So this particular one is so important to me. In the last few months we have had to move from Alberta to Ontario and it has given me such a new perspective on how lucky we were to be surrounded by friends who were always supportive and ready to lend a hand. Moving to a new town, where we unfortunately do not have this support network has definately been a difficult adjustment for us.
- As soon as you think you have it sorted, they (the babies!) will go and change the rules on you. Without any notice, without any regret.
- Know that this is not forever. I am sure we have plenty of other challenges around the corner, but I for one can say, as long as I am getting a full nights sleep, I will at least be a fully functional adult when I have to deal with it.
- Every baby is different and every parent is different.
- Do all of the research you need to feel informed but at the end of the day trust your instincts and do what is right for you, your baby and your family.
Since the early days of becoming a new mum, I’ve since come across some great blogs that always make me feel better. Scary Mommy is always full of great resources, often with a humorous take on being a parent (also check out this Doodle Diary of a New Mom). I recently came across a video of this super mamma who is particularly inspiring! If your after some more educational websites Imperfect Families is great and Busy Toddler is my go to website for fun activities to do with Little R!
Until next time. Thanks for reading from one new mum to another!