10 things motherhood has taught me.
A lovely mum blogger called MumAmie.com challenged a few of us mummy bloggers to write about things we have learnt since becoming a mum. Here’s mine;
1. To accept myself
ditch the guilt and doubt, it’s okay not to be perfect. This is definitely the first thing that I would advise even though it’s probably the last thing I’ve done. I’ve learnt to accept my stretch marks, my parental imperfections, the fact that I parent differently to my friends yet can still be friends, and that I have gained some amazing friends on my journey as a mum. The fact that I make mistakes and say sorry, often. I shout and give lots of hugs afterwards. I mop up tears and spend most of the time feeling like I’m the worst mum in the world. But I know deep down I’m not and its the harsher judgements of my own mind which are set to send me into a guilt trip. Most of the time I can quash these thoughts, only sometimes does that doubt seep through.
2. To have patience, and some more!
Oh gosh if I told you that you needed to stock up on a whole lot of patience and then some more just for good measure then you’d think I was joking. Being a new mummy challenges you to say the least. Negotiating two families from you and your partner to the approaches of random strangers and their well meaning advice. Stock up and then get some more for when you get to the next milestone of weaning, walking, the “why?” Question and then moving into toddlers, Tweenies and teenagers it’s enough to test the patience of a saint!
3. Having postnatal illness does not define me
I used hate feeling so different to other mums not knowing that each and everyone mum that I meet is going through their own journey. Each stage can be difficult or all of it can be hard. I found it particularly so and talking about it helped. At first I thought it was me and then I discovered that it was a part of my journey but having had postnatal
Illness, it does not define me but has helped to create who I am now.
4. Enjoy the moments but don’t strive to enjoy every moment.
So many cliches. A random stranger in a Supermarket, your mother or well meaning friend. Motherhood is bloody hard work. You do not have to enjoy every moment. But do take the time to be real and even if you did have a really hard “bad mum” day. Try and see a positive in that day too. Even if you can’t there’s always tomorrow.
5. Be prepared to cry, lots
Tears of joy, tears of sadness, tears of exhaustion, tears of laughter, tears of frustration. I’m pretty sure I’ve shed them all. Always have tissues on hand because if you’re not crying your friend probably is, and that will make you cry!
6. Sharing is caring
There is no such thing as TMI (too much information) in the life of a mother. From the moment you divulge the horrific internal examinations to discussing your own and your baby’s bowl habits you will find a new high and/or a new low of conversation. But believe me it bonds you to your friends. If you can talk about the nitty gritty of real
Mothering then you will pretty much have a friend for life.
Sharing your life with a tiny human is epic but it’s also a challenge, sharing your body, mind, time, bed and food. There are sacrifices to be made but without doubt the best thing about sharing is that you never have too much love to share around.
7. To feel love like no other
It may not happen instantly, it may take time but this little human loves you unconditionally. Sometimes it will creep up on you, for others it’s a gushing waterfall. Sometimes you only notice the feeling after a sense of danger has occurred or perhaps a protective mummy bear and her cub moment. Even a proud mama moment knowing that the baby smiled because they were copying you. However you feel it, whenever you feel it hold on to it as it is the best feeling in the world. It is also okay to only feel this when they are asleep at the end of another exhausting day.
8. To laugh and gain those laughter lines and be proud of them.
It is only when you get accosted by the perfume girls in the department store spaying yardley lavender spray or offering you the latest cream for the mature face that you realise that you may need to accept that we grow old so you might as well do it gracefully. I know that there’s times when during a poo-nami moment in the basement toilets of a restaurant in London with no baby change facilities if I didn’t laugh about it afterwards I would cry (see above!) or that I may have sniffed a stain on my shoulder to check if it was passable to go out the door in that if I didn’t laugh I would’ve cried. But the best thing is sharing those moments with friends and knowing that we have all been there and have got stories to tell.
9. It’s good to Talk;
Talking is good, I don’t just mean the niceties but really get below the surface. Once you open up then others will too. Mums hide behind the Cliche phrase ” it’s hard” [eyes roll and smile]. Be honest and say “yes it’s bloody hard work” or words to that effect. To share that with another mum who might be thinking it’s just her that is feeling this way and everyone else seems to be able to handle being a mum just fine. Could be the lifeline they need and you never know you could just find a friend for life. I know I did just that with a random mum in the local park.
10. To know that our great, great grandmothers probably felt the same at one point in their lives as you do now.
Take away the new technology and inventions of today’s world and just think about the nitty gritty of a mum and her child and family. Not much has really changed. The internal worries and thoughts your great great grandmother had were the same as what you have now. Remember your gut instinct is your best form of parenting. Just like you are doing now. She did the best she could and now you are doing the best you can.
This isn’t an exhaustive or comprehensive list, it isn’t ordered or set out in preference, it’s just some of the things I’ve learnt along the way. I’m also still learning and probably always will be. I hope so. Being a mum is challenging in so many ways and life has a fine way of stopping you in your tracks. It’s challenging and rewarding at the same time that sometimes my mind can’t comprehend it. Would I change it? No because even though I’ve sometimes wanted to get off the roller coaster of parenting. It’s my roller coaster, so in the words of Ronan Keating Life is a roller coaster and I’m going to ride it.
Here’s the other lovely mum bloggers I have been tagged alongside, step over to their blogs to see what becoming a mum has taught them.
Emma from Mummy Em Blog
Rachel from Our Rach
Emma from The Non Perfect Parent
Rosie from Life Through Rosie’s Lens
Emma from The Mini Mes and Me
Laura from Mumma & Co
Gem from Life with Katie and Pip
Karen from The Mad House of Cats and Babies
Charlotte from It’s a Mum’s Life 2016
Cassandra from Lily’s Little Learners
Hannah from The Simple Things
Jenna from Chic Geek Diary
Samantha from Stressed Mum
Sarah from Run, Jump, Scrap!
Melissa from Fruity Flamingo