There is actually no simple answer to this. Motherhood has been a rollercoaster of emotions, high and lows.
But one feeling I've encountered, which took me by surprise is guilt. Here's why;
A while ago I wrote a blog post for a bunch of mum's which you can read here, about how I'd planned to make my time off work, power maternity leave. There was something about this concept that resignated with me and it made me feel empowered that I could achieve this too.
I've always known I wanted to be mum. I had maternal instincts but when I fell pregnant I also knew I'd struggle to be a stay at home mum.
This feeling of guilt then… well, there's something about arranging coffee dates, taking long walks, scrolling through the peanut app to find new mama friends and sitting on the couch all morning long, that I just feel like I'm being terribly lazy. Especially when Michael is going to work every day to earn money for us to live. Granted, I am also completely aware that being at home with a newborn is not lazy!
There's just a feeling of… I could be doing so much more but my new lifestyle is not permitting me.
Maybe it's because the arrival of our baby was so early that I had to finish work so abruptly and so I didn't have any time to get closure on what I was working on. Or to prepare my mind and body for what was about to happen and that's why I have a slight craving of getting that fix of worklife?
Although, my biggest problem in life is not living in the moment. I'm always busy thinking of the 'next thing', planning ahead.
Nothing has changed in this situation of having a baby either. I mean seriously what is wrong with me!?
Writing my blog, starting a course with digital mums, scouting for mama tribe and coming up with ideas of potentially a new business are like little voices in my head. I miss that side of things from my life, where I have a 'business' head on and being creative.
Top this off with a baby who doesn't sleep 85% of the day, and so wiping your own arse seems like a luxury, you are left with a new mama trying to achieve the impossible.
But Seriously though, put all those ambitions aside, with your partner around or a family member it feels like a breeze. As soon as your on your own, those walls close in on you and everything heightens! Or so I have found.
You have zero time to do anything, you have no time for your self and there is definitely no alone time. I'm writing the majority of this blog post at 3am with my baby on my chest crawling on me like he's running a race up Mount Everest! Take the time where and when you can!
As soon as my son finally goes off to sleep, it's basically like a ticking time bomb… how long will this nap last? Shall I eat first? Shall I shower and get dressed? Shall I do some washing? Tidy the kitchen? Oh yeah, maybe I should wee first? And that's after I've dried my boobs out with the pump. Once you've done the basics it's time for another feed and that battle with a baby fighting sleep starts again.
With having little family close by to lend a helping hand it's a case of suck it up and mother the shit out of life.
Just getting through the everyday stuff on your own is hard enough let alone then starting to think about blog writing or that idea you have to work freelance. Or for now it is anyway.
I keep hearing that it gets better after 3 months. First of all, what's 'it' and secondly, roll on the 9th September if that's the case.
I haven't given up on my 'power maternity' I just need to ensure that I take a step back and embrace my boy, sleep fighting, gorgeous boy. At the end of the day, I'm basically his little bitch at this age and so instead of getting frustrated that I can't get him to sleep, I just need to entertain him and give him what he wants. At the end of the day, it is fun.
New mamas to be.
If I can offer any advice it would be this.
• Be prepared to put your life on hold and live in the moment.
• Learn to have patience. Your day will rarely go as planned. And honestly, take each hour by hour, rather than day by day. Newborns are VERY unpredictable.
• Get out on those coffee dates with other mamas because it will bring you sanity.
• Get some support where you can. Those weeks Monday to Friday when it's just you and your baby is tough. You need a release and a break.
• Don't set any expectations. For you or your baby. It's so easy to look at social media and think every other mama is handling this mama life better. Or they've managed to establish a routine within the first few months. They aren't and if they have, that's quite rare. They may not have the same issues as you, but they will be struggling. Talk to them though. Get ideas and see what they are doing. Communicate and build a good network, even if it's just through social media. I've found so many lovely mamas through Instagram and they reassure me daily. Not only with advice but that they also lose their shit too sometimes.
And a note to myself… stop feeling guilty. No one but myself is putting pressure on to do anything but take care of my baby. It's about trusting that it will all work out and it will all fall into place.
All that aside, I can tell you this: Any good day and that first smile and all the other smiles outweighs any of those crappy 'for the love of god someone help me' days xx