Today I received the nicest message from one of my followers, thanking me for my blog as she can find Motherhood hard at times yet she seeks great comfort in reading my blog. Well those who know me will know that first of all this nearly made me CRY. I was so touched and overwhelmed by her kind words that I wanted to write a post dedicated to her, so this one is for you – not everything is as it seems, I can talk the arse off of a donkey & my Instagram videos may portray something completely different but I have been there, as have so many other Mamas – you are not alone, you are human but most importantly you are still you as well as a Mum x
Many girls grow up planning their dream Wedding whilst I grew up planning the day that I would become a Mum. Ask a Bride about the day she got married and she may say ‘It was everything that I had planned for it to be’ – ask a new Mum and she may say the opposite, nothing in the world can fully prepare you for it, not mentally anyway. You can’t plan for Motherhood and there is only so much you can prepare. The best thing I can say is to keep an open mind on things. When you are getting married you can plan and organise the most intricate of details; table arrangements, music, food, venue, outfits and most of it will go to plan but when you become a Mum it is completely different. I may aswel have chucked away my birthing plan after the first contraction. That was just the beginning. I was faced with things that no amount of planning could prepare for.
Whilst the love and everything that comes with having a baby was all that I had dreamed of, no amount of ‘baby books’ could prepare me for the anxiety and loneliness that I would be faced with. In my head the months to follow with Joseph would be winter walks, summer strolls, soft lullabyes whilst he fell asleep in my arms – and yes this was all very true however inbetween these lovely moments when my Partner wasn’t around I felt lost, lonely and helpless. I was becoming too dependant on his company and felt like I was losing the independence that I love.
Although I had found this new identity in being a Mummy, transitioning from the ‘me before‘ to the ‘me now‘ was something that I hadn’t even thought would be an issue or something that I would have to deal with. I just assumed I would slip into the role that I had always longed for, and that would be it. What I hadn’t realised is that all the stuff that you ‘learn’ in the baby books, wasn’t going to be the stuff I would have a problem with. It wasn’t the ‘becoming a Mum’ that I would struggle with, it was everything else that came with ‘Motherhood’ It isn’t something that necessarily happens over night, you have to learn and you have to work at it.
I was in my own wonderful bubble for the first 6 months but then the days started to feel so long, I would count them down hour by hour from 7am – 7pm until my Partner would return from work. I missed work, I missed being a social butterfly, I missed my spark, my belly laugh – I missed me. I had withdrawn myself without realising it. A lot of people dealing with mental struggles become professionals at putting on a mask – and I was no exception. This was all I had ever wanted, this was my purpose, and I would die for Joseph in a split second but why was I feeling all of these things? Why didn’t I speak out? I felt ashamed. I felt like this wasn’t normal behaviour. I was just plagued by loneliness. I was just so tired, and we all know that with tiredness comes emotion. It probably didn’t help that although I had just passed my driving test, I was too scared to actually drive so was getting the bus & walking everywhere which was tiring in itself. I started baby groups, but when you get used to being on your own it can make you a bit reclusive. I was started going to them but I felt incredibly anxious, like everyone was staring at me. This was all until I decided to do something about it. I set goals, got myself up and out, really pushed myself to find myself again. Faced some demons I had been ignoring for years and made peace with alot of issues and I haven’t looked back since. It wasn’t easy. Last year was a tough old year for me but I got through it and am full of mischievousness again!
Being a new Mum is shit scary, let’s be honest. Not just for the fact that you are learning every day and looking after this tiny little human, but what they don’t prepare you for is what it can do you to mentally.
It is the biggest transition you may ever go through in your life going from ‘you’ to ‘Mummy’ but I can promise you, it will get easier. In my experience it has anyway and I love the person that I have become from it.
The first year is the hardest but you do get into the swing of it more, you just have to let people in. There is no shame in any of it – it doesn’t make you less of a Mum, it makes you a better one for caring so much and wanting to make positive changes. The biggest piece of advice I could give you is to try to make time for yourself. You still matter at the end of the day. Steal that odd hour when you can. Have a bubble bath, read a book – anything just to get a bit of solace.
I joined the gym, pampered myself – done things for me and it made the world of difference. I hate the thought of anyone feeling lonely so please bite the bullet and reach out to someone, anyone – communicate. I really think it could help you, or reach out to like minded people on Social Media. I honestly think if I had been blogging at the time it would have helped me hugely.
I want to dedicate this post to the lovely ladies that have reached out to me on Instagram. So, a couple of months ago, I reached out for my followers to message me and introduce themselves. As my followers increase, it is harder for me to always catch peoples pictures etc and I figured that so many people take the time to reach out to me via comments, likes and feedback from my blog – it is just as important for me that I get to know them too, afteral I wouldn’t be building this up like I am if it wasn’t for them.
These ladies have inspired and touched me so much, thanking me for my blog as they don’t have many/any mummy friends. This strives me to keep at it, and touches me beyond belief. Today I reached out again and have been receiving the nicest messages. It’s OK to not always be OK – it doesn’t divine you as a person. At one point in the first year of Motherhood I was being plagued by loneliness and anxiety, but now I feel that I have such a healthy balance and have learnt so much, I couldn’t be happier in myself. I have my confidence and spark back and you will too. In order for things to change, you need to make stuff happen so I want to inspire you to do the following things, should they apply to you;
Feeling sluggish – Join the gym/ youtube exercises / run / squats https://www.puregym.com/
Feeling anxious – Talk to a friend/ speak to a Doctor/ breathing exercises / yoga (I do mine from Youtube videos) / meditation https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/headspace/id493145008?mt=8 John Wort tablets (they cancel out your pill so be careful, but they are amazing)
Feeling lonely – Let your partner/family/friend know / join a baby group (look on netmums for any in your local area) / baby cinema http://www.odeon.co.uk/newbies/Download ‘Mush’ App http://jaxandjoseph.co.uk/days-out/mush-tinder-for-mums/
Socialise through Social Media. There are so many other Mum’s in your position, you are NEVER alone. This will pass, but it will pass quicker if you take the right steps. Most of all, try to still embrace.
Girls I have been there. I have been that Mum who has people around her yet feels so lonley. I have been that Mum that cant find the strength to change another nappy – everything that you may be feeling I have felt.. and so are a million other ladies. You are not alone.
Throughout it all, try to embrace every second you can with your baby, it wont last forever and you will be longing for these moments in years to come x