Motherhood can seem daunting, but one new mum has given her honest account to More FM of what the first seven weeks truly feels like, while she's still working from home, being a wife, and adjusting to a new little human at home.
Read her account below.
It's going to be fine....
If I had a dollar for every time I said these few words to someone or said them to myself, I'd be on a lounger on my super yacht in the Caribbean sipping a fruity cocktail getting a mani-pedi from my on-board beautician. However that's not the case, I'm not one of the world's mega wealthy under 40-year-olds who travels the world on my private jet or floating palace. But I guess it’s how you define ‘wealthy’. I might not have squillions in the bank but I did just hit the jackpot recently when I became a parent.
At the time of writing this, I'm a mother to a 7-week old baby girl and she is absolutely adorable. 10 perfect fingers and toes, super long eyelashes (that a Kardashian would be jealous of), a little button nose and artistically designed heart shaped mouth. Her smile makes me well up with (happy) tears, the facial expressions she makes when she stretches, the blissfully peaceful look on her face when she sleeps, even her passing wind, all bring a smile to my face or make me laugh out loud.
But what about those moments when she’s unsettled and she's not a content, smiling little bubba.
I've fed her, changed her and burped her but she's still not happy. What am I doing wrong? Am I even fit to be a mother? Does every mum to a newborn go through this and ask these kinds of questions or am I just some stupidly insecure 38-year-old first-time mum who should’ve really thought long and hard about doing my bit for humanity.
Never in all of my life have I second guessed myself as much or thought 'I actually don't know what to do or how to fix this'. On the whole, I'd like to think I'm a fairly confident, level headed girl but add a newborn into the mix and things have changed. My (normally) logical brain has turned to mush and my anxiety levels are through the roof.
Can I blame it all on those crazy hormones racing through my overtired body? That's what some people put it down to or am I just really incompetent? And speaking of hormones and their side effects, I didn’t actually think I had more tears in me. I should be like the Sahara desert because I've already shed so many tears, but no, I've cried rivers over the last few weeks. I've burst into tears when I'm happy, sad or just somewhere in between those two emotions. When the tears come, there's often no logical reason for them, they just appear. Mascara is not recommended at this stage in my life.
My poor husband too! I think he's questioned who he's married to in the last 7 weeks. I'm totally fine one minute then a blubbering mess the next and if I need to snap at someone, he's my go to for that 100% of the time. The amount of times I've said sorry to him (after I've composed myself), is ridiculous. The term ‘fire breathing dragon lady’ comes to mind sometimes, gosh what a lucky guy to be coming home to that every night…. He has been amazingly patient and understanding though. And he's cooked and cleaned like a modern day Mrs Doubtfire. I never would have coped without him. He's also got the 'over the shoulder burping' mastered and I'm so grateful for everything he does. I tell him that one day soon we'll look back at this time and laugh and that it's going to be fine.
And to add another element of madness into my current life, what muppet chooses to continue working when you have a newborn? Just call me Miss Piggy... This was entirely my call (my bosses have been amazingly supportive and I'm so lucky to work for them) but I choose to be on email daily, replying to clients queries, sending off proposals, booking in campaigns and trying to keep fully up to speed with my workload. Maybe trying to be a mum and work at the same time was not my smartest move but blame the ‘wannabe perfectionist/slightly OCD/don't like sharing my toys’ nature that I've decided to do both.
On the plus side, praise the lord for modern technology, enabling me to work remotely. I can even work from my super yacht in the Caribbean as mentioned in my opening paragraph, oh wait, hang on....
Picture this; bubs on my boob supporting her little body in one hand and me writing emails one handed on my iPhone, now that's a sight for sore eyes. I was one of the few women in the world who could not multi-task pre bubs, but wow wee, I sure can now!
Nobody really talks about how hard it can be to have a newborn, it's like the topic of miscarriage, people don't mention it until you bring it up or until you're going through it yourself. Why does this happen?? One of my besties told me being a mum is the hardest job you'll ever have and boy she was right.
Babies don't come with a user manual, they can't tell you what's wrong with them, it's a guessing game a lot of the time and my guessing has been well off the mark on so many occasions.
I guess mums don’t go into detail about the challenges of raising a newborn for one of two reasons; they don’t want others to think they are not coping as a mum or they don’t want to put others off having babies! And I have also come to realise that there are babies who actually are quite dreamy and that some mums do have it pretty easy - sleep, feed, poop, repeat. Oh, imagine that ideal scenario…
On a super positive note, I am one very lucky girl to have a mum in my life who lives close by. Mum has been my guardian angel since I gave birth, answering my plethora of questions, telling me I'm doing a good job (probably when I look like I'm about to crumble), appeasing my anxiety levels and essentially being at my beckon call. I can categorically say I would not have gotten through this time without her. Our little girl has a very special nana that's for sure. I heard recently (on a reality show of all things) that even if a mother and daughter are close, when the daughter has a baby, that bond becomes even stronger and I 100% agree.
After all of the questions, uncertainty, anxiety and tears, it’s all a million, billion, trillion times worth it and I thank the man upstairs everyday for bringing us a perfect little angel. After miscarrying a few years ago and having to accept that maybe we were just one of the unlucky couples who wouldn't be able to conceive, we are eternally grateful that we could bring a baby into this world. In fact, I can safely say that 7 weeks in, I still pinch myself, knowing how lucky I am to say I'm a mum.
This is not a cry for help, nor is it requiring praise and it's absolutely not a whinge about raising a newborn. Like I've said, I'm extremely lucky and eternally grateful that I'm someone's mummy. I just felt compelled to write this all down in the hope that other mums can read this and understand where I'm coming from and that maybe others can get a little insight into what newborn motherhood can be like, well they can hear my personal experience anyway. Maybe it's my Jerry Maguire mission statement, or maybe it’s a written piece of therapy, who knows!
And in the end, I know it’s going to be fine...