Meet Steph. She’s a new mum to a gorgeous, smoodgy, newborn baby boy named Evert. Together with hubby Mark, they are learning the ropes of this new parenting gig. Here she shares some observations – and some really great advice – for new mums and mum-encouragers alike.
With the arrival of Evert comes the all too familiar question:
“Are you enjoying being a Mum?”
It feels like a trap, like you have to be beaming and say “YES! OF COURSE! IT’S THE BEST THING EVER!” or you’re a bad person…
I never quite know how to answer because I’m still adjusting to this dramatically different day-to-day life. Change isn’t bad, although that’s often the assumption. It’s simply different and I think every new mum could benefit from being kind to herself during the transition to motherhood.
My advice to new mums? Be kind to yourself.
Maybe the following statements are just me talking to myself, but hopefully some other soon-to-be first-time mums will get something out of it too.
Be kind to yourself
It’s ok to not instantly love motherhood, it’s a jarring change after all and a brand new experience.
It’s ok if you think your newborn is boring and it’s ok if you change your mind the next minute because they smiled (even if it’s just wind).
It’s ok to cry because you love them so deeply and it’s ok to cry because you’re exhausted and it’s ok to cry because you’re so darn happy you don’t know what to do with all the joy. If you feel the urge to cry, just do it!
It’s ok to be exhausted and it’s ok to be full to the brim with energy (even if everyone insists you should be tired).
It’s ok to love getting up to your little one in the night and it’s ok to want just five more minutes snuggled in bed.
It’s ok that your latest conversation topics are about vomit stories and hilarious baby farts. It won’t be forever!
It’s ok to want to get out and about without your baby, to hold on to your independence and individuality.
It’s ok that you’re nervous to breast feed in front of others. Yes, it’s natural, but it’s also a brand new skill you’re learning! And to be able to do it discretely… well, that’s next level.
It’s ok that your outfits are limited to what’s easy for discrete breast access.
It’s ok that you can’t wait for your husband to come home and pick up the responsibility of caring for your little person.
It’s ok that your to-do list has gone from being a boss lady running your own business to remembering to shower and eat.
It’s ok that you’re excited to go back to work and it’s ok if in the next breath you’re not.
It’s ok if you want lots of visitors to keep you company and it’s ok if you don’t want any at all.
It’s ok that you struggle to ask for help. Just be sure that you do.
It’s ok that you’re calm when your baby cries (that doesn’t mean you don’t care) and it’s ok if it sometimes stresses you out.
It’s ok if you can’t instantly understand all of your new baby’s cries. It takes time and practice to learn a new language!
Whatever you’re feeling, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t fit into the stereotypical ‘stoked to be a mum and I have this all under control’ mold.
Be kind to yourself.
So… Do I love motherhood?
One thing I do know for sure is that I love being Evert’s mum. We were chosen for him and we’re the perfect parents for him. That much I’m absolutely sure of!
Need help in your pregnancy or early motherhood?
Find a pregnancy support centre near you.