Dear Mummas out there…
There are many many articles that you have probably read/are reading/will read about parenting, motherhood and babies. So this is not advice, as I am well aware you probably have had a lot of, whether you want it or not.
But I only wish I had known this when the mother in me was birthed….so this is what I want to tell you.
Please don’t worry about all the bad, bad birth stories you have heard. There are amazing women who have been through really traumatic births, and there are amazing women who have been through really wonderful births. You are not them, you are you. Their experience is not your experience and fear is not something you need in your life right now…or ever. Remind yourself of what your body is capable of and let it do it’s thing. No matter what birth you have…you are going to rock it. Another human is going to come OUT OF YOUR BODY somehow and however that looks is an incredible feat. Even if it’s not the birth you want or expect, Own it! I can’t even express enough the feeling of your baby coming out and getting put in your arms for the first time ever. Take all the photos guys! You will want to remember that moment forever and ever. If I could bottle it up, I would. It’s absolute bliss.
I want you to know that you are going to FREAK OUT a little at some stage after birth. Not only is your vagina going to look…well…different for a few days, but nothing is quite as overwhelming as having another person suddenly in your lap that is entirely dependent on you. ENTIRELY. At the same time though, you are mostly going to just know what to do, so please trust that. You can have lessons in birth, lessons in breastfeeding, lessons in settling baby, feeding, massage, first aid – all the practical stuff you can think of but nothing really prepares you to the full extent of what you are going to face, and that isn’t something to be afraid of. I actually think that is a really beautiful thing about motherhood, just figuring it out with your babies as you go along, day by day. You are going to learn more than ever, so please don’t doubt yourself and just trust your instincts.
The early days feel so long, yet pass by so fast. Sleep deprevation hits so hard that you think you cannot even function for a day longer. Everyone tells you to soak it up, because these days will be over before you know it, but to be honest, you don’t want to hear that. You just want that stage to be over, but you don’t want it to be over. You want someone to take your baby and hold them so you can have a break, but when they do, you miss that little tike so bad that you can’t handle it, and take them back in your arms. You want your baby to grow up and be just a tiny bit more independent, but you don’t because they are so stinking precious and tiny and you wish they could stay little for just a bit longer. The early days are so hard, but they are so beautiful that you will wish them away one second and want to hold onto them forever the next. It might also have something to do with the cesspool of hormones ravaging your whole body too…Cry dear Mumma, you will cry at nothing, you will cry because you’re exhausted, you will cry because a leaf fell off a tree in you backyard and because the dish ran away with the spoon. You will cry because your little baby has the most darling button nose on the planet. Just go with it…your man will get used to bringing you tissues for plenty of unknown reasons, but most of all, don’t feel stupid for it. You are basically a walking milk jug of hormones, a pretty one at that, don’t forget.
I wish someone had told me that breastfeeding isn’t just wearing a weird ass bra with a boob flap to pull down so your new cub can gracefully drink from your bulging porn star boosoms while you sit in a field of daises with sunshine, glorious sunshine, glowing all over you. Remember this, It. Is. Learned. Even on your fourth and fifth babies, you may know what you’re doing but your baby doesn’t. It’s a bit like dancing the waltz with a different partner each time. You just have to find how you dance together. It’s the same dance, but a different tune. I wish someone had told me about how much it hurts for the first couple of weeks. Like grit your teeth and thank the Lord that your baby is not a piranha. But it’s only when they latch (unless you have damage) and it doesn’t last forever. P.s. Get all the breastfeeding help you can and be informed! I could go on and on about this subject for ages because I’m so passionate about it, but that’s a whole other story. But lastly, embrace the drool that pours from your mouth when you fall asleep feeding your baby. It’s so hot guys…SO HOT!
I want you to know that you never arrive at being a good parent. There is always something new to learn. There is a continual lineage of lessons you learn about yourself, about life, about priorities and perspective. You will probably doubt yourself often, feel like you’re not cut out for this, that you are failing, but none of that is true. Please remember that it is OK to have bad days, hard moments. It’s never going to be all soft baby bums and bubble baths. There is a balance of the hard and the easy, but I think we will all agree that the hard, is completely worth it. There may come times when you freak out when you hear yourself speaking and Behold! deja vu…you remember YOUR parents saying that to you. Gasp, who am I even anymore!?
Yes, you vow that having children WILL NOT change you. Until you’re walking around the house one morning with your boob flap bra half on, a tight band around your waist pulling your abs back together (oh, did I say abs? Silly me, I meant flabs), and a floor full of bread crusts and dried peas under the table. You’ll realize that you infact, have changed. One day, you may utter (or scream) the words, “I don’t even know who I am anymore!” Because so much of what you knew, is kinda gone. And it might feel like a huge negative…but it’s not. No. There is simply another part of you that was birthed when you became a Mother. A gift. Something you don’t recognize because you’ve never experienced it before. And it’s not a bad thing, it’s breathtaking. You’re walking new territory, feeling things you’ve never felt before. Suddenly things that didn’t matter before matter now. To be honest you may even mourn a lil bit for your old self, even your old life. The truth is, you will change. Your life will change, heck even your whole paradigm for your future may change. Your job is to be patient with who you are now, and all that it entails. Don’t fight the person you have become, love her just the same and welcome in the change. You’re in for a wonderful time.