Being a mother is hard. In all circumstances. Single Mums. Married Mums. Mums of multiples. Adoptive Mums. Every situation is different, but we all face the same or similar challenges. I found that being thrown into Motherhood, without the faintest idea of what I was doing, was the hardest of all. So here’s my advice; What I wish I knew when I was a new mum.
– YOU ARE DOING IT RIGHT. I know that it feels far from it, but you really are. You might feel like you’re completely and utterly clueless when it comes to taking care of this new little bundle (or bundles, for some) and you know what, maybe you are. But the thing is, we all are. You could have read every book, asked every person you know, researched your entire pregnancy; and still feel utterly dumbfounded at the sight of your baby. I personally believe that there is only a certain level of ‘prepared’ you can get to before the real deal arrives. Whatever you do, Do not doubt yourself. Your baby can feel your love. As for the rest? It will all come with time.
– YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE ON EVERYONE’S OPINION. Here’s the thing, EVERYONE has an opinion. Which they are most certainly entitled to. But unless you had some kind of role in the conception of my children, it isn’t warranted in these parts. You know what I’m talking about… “Oh when so and so was a baby, I used to do this….’ And ‘This is the only nappy rash cream you should ever use, it’s the best that there is’. Now I understand people are just trying to help, however there is a fine line between sharing your experience, and forcing your ways down someone else’s throat. Just remember, this is YOUR baby and YOU get to decide which damn nappy rash cream that you’ll use.
– DON’T BE SCARED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE. Or do be scared. Either way, leave the house! I know, it’s the last thing you feel like doing. You’re covered in spit up, you have mountains of washing, a baby attached to your breast, bottles to sterilise… but as the saying goes, JUST DO IT. I can 100% guarantee that you will feel better for it. Now I don’t mean that you have to dress to the nines and head off to your local shopping centre (baby steps, right?), it could just be taking a picnic rug and laying out on the grass with your bub. Go for a walk, you may only make it a few blocks, but it will have given you time to clear your head and get some fresh air.
– DON’T SAY NO TO HELP. I think we’re all guilty of it at some stage. Your sister in law might offer to cook a meal for you, your friend might offer to do some washing; and your instinct is to say “It’s ok, thanks though’. You might feel like you want to do everything yourself. You might not think you need help. You do. You have a newborn. Accept the help!
– MAKE TIME FOR YOU. Yes, that’s right. YOU. It may seem like doing something for yourself when you have a new baby is leaning towards impossible, but try to make it happen. It’s so easy to become completely consumed by motherhood. Your new baby is all you think about, every waking moment (and considering the way newborns sleep – that’s A LOT of waking moments). Your child is the centre of your universe. Just remember, YOU are their universe. You have to be happy and healthy, for yourself and your little one. Also, there is to be no guilt or shame during said ‘You’ time. You gave birth to a child (or two) and you bloody deserve a break from time to time.
– TAKE MORE PHOTOS. Yes, I know that you feel/look tired. I know that you haven’t showered today. I know that you feel there are more productive things to be doing. Just take the photos. Furthermore, be in the photos with your baby. I can 100% guarantee that in a few years time, you will be thankful that you have them.
– DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER MUMS. This goes for all circumstances. Whether it be that Mum who had her baby around the same time as you and is now already back to her pre-baby weight, or that Mum whose baby breastfeeds like a dream, or even that mum who just has it all figured out. Remember we are all in different circumstances. We all have different children. We all parent different ways. None of that makes you a lesser Mum. We are all just doing the best that we can, with what we have.
The Twin Mama Diaries x