But nothing could prepare me to become a mother. No book. No blog. No well meaning stranger with too much advice. No antenatal class. Nothing. I had to learn to be a mother at the same time as my baby girl had to learn about living outside of my tummy.
Hard doesn’t even start to describe my journey into motherhood. My labour was less than ideal, I cried pretty much every day for the first six weeks and then our girl developed reflux and I had to ditch the dairy. I ended up having to turn to some sleep techniques to get Mackenzie learning how to sleep and fought hard against some pretty annoying opinions about how I should stay at home and nurture my baby, oh but I should also contribute to the household because money is apparently everything. In the midst of it all I started this blog and then went back to work, juggling all of the various aspects of my life with reasonable success. Having lived and survived it, I almost can’t believe where I am now, and kinda feel like superwoman..!
But my experience is so similar to many other new mothers and for that I’d like to say, if you are a parent, well done. You have achieved something that many want, would do anything for and fear not having in their lives. Parenthood is immense. Immense love, fear, laughter, exhaustion. Immensely fulfilling and yet somehow draining, life changing and life affirming.
Whatever way you became a mother, father, step parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, or grandparent and whatever way you choose to impact on a tiny humans life, I hope you know that by wanting to do the best, no, by NEEDING to do your best, that you already are the best parent you can be.
If I could go back to a year ago I would tell myself this:
– Yes pregnancy is hard but parenting is for life. Have another nap, while you can.
– Do not fear labour. You will definitely cope with whatever comes at you.
– Put down the parenting book. You only need to learn your baby, and no book will teach you that. Getting through each day will help you figure out what works for you and bub.
– Tone down your need to be perfect. Stock up on frozen meals and make life as easy as possible as it’s about to get a little harder.
– You will be fine. life as you know it is going to change in unexpected and amazing ways. Enjoy the ride.
Here’s to another amazing, fun, challenging and life changing year ahead!
Happy new year!