Being a first time mum is hard. You’re constantly trying to find your feet and a balance in life while maintaining your own identity, keeping your shit together and trying to get through each day on little to no sleep while coffee and daytime TV become your new addiction, and if you feel up to it baby groups….
Groups for music, groups for swimming, groups for plunket, breastfeeding and pretty much any kind of baby social activity there could possibly be. That sounds pretty cool huh? Easy? I mean better than working full time right?
I know other Mother’s will be reading this and having a bit of a giggle, hehe. But…
What a wake up call that is.
I mean, don’t get me wrong I LOVE being a mum but those first few weeks were hell for me. I thought I could do it all… Be this perfect mother for Miller and still maintain my old life. Still continue to work on C.E.N, exercise like I used to, be social and expose Miller to all the different social groups and breastfeed on top of that.
If you can do all this and survive, go you! You deserve a freaking medal! But I don’t know anyone yet that have found those first few months to be a breeze. So first time mum’s – don’t be so bloody hard on yourselves!
As you will find there are many difficulties in becoming a new mum and adapting to your new life. But let me tell you one thing…. BREASTFEEDING is HARD.
So, if you see a Mum breastfeeding her child at the age of 2 or 3 don’t turn your nose up at her or make her feel uncomfortable… Congratulate her. She has gone through everything to give her child what she thinks is best. And, if that’s not for you that’s fine!
I wanted to so desperately to breastfeed Miller and we did, but just not the traditional way. Miller never latched and I tried every single day for 6 months. I tried shields, different positions, I had 3 lactation consultants, nurses, family and friends all trying to support and help me – but he was just not keen! There was nothing physically wrong with either of us to prevent breastfeeding he was just not having a bar of it and I felt like a total failure as a new mum and a woman.
Here I had “planned” to be this amazing mother who could do it all, I was mentally ready for this part of my life and yet I couldn’t even feed my baby! How daft is that?
Mr Miller was one of a kind. He was a very hungry baby, and wanted a feed every 1.5 hours – all throughout the night and day. At only a few months old he was having up to 2L of pumped breastmilk a day. As you can imagine, that is a lot of hours on the pump! But I was determined to give him what I believe to be the best start. So I did. I was passionate about it but it is not for everyone.
There is so much pressure to breastfed and yet so much pressure to stop.
Society seems to say: Get to 6 months, well done! 12 months, great! You’re done! 18 months, bit weird but OK.
2 years… why are you still feeding? 3 years, disgusting.
As you can probably gather I do not personally feel that it’s gross to give your baby the milk he or she was designed to have but some people do. And, that’s OK. Personal choice, yeah? We don’t really need to be a dick about it. Either way we do what we think is right for us as a parent and child. That’s something I have really learnt!
In saying that, I am sure every mother has felt judged in some way.
Every time I went out and I took out my bottle to feed Miller I felt like I had to justify what I was doing. Which was silly really. People would look and you could feel the judgement.
I just want you new mum’s to know that whatever you do there will always be judgement from someone. Whether it’s if your child is breastfed, or you co sleep, you vaccinate or you don’t, you’re a young mother or an older mum, a working one or not. Trust me you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. So just trust yourself and own that.
If I could give you any words of wisdom it would be… just do you! You will know what is right for your baby. Not your mother, not the nurse, not even your husband or partner. Only you have carried this child, you birth your baby and you will love it like there is nothing else. Listen to your gut and it will be OK.
My other words of wisdom would be to remember to look after yourself first. If you try to do everything like a superwoman you will end up burning out and trust me it’s not fun.
It’s not selfish to take an hour out for yourself, run a bath and have your support network help you. Your baby will be ok and you will be better off for it! Sometime we need that time to recharge so we can tackle the next day. Don’t ever feel guilty to give yourself the love and care you deserve.
I could write a book about my struggles that I had experiencing motherhood for the first time, there even a few funny tales but I’ll leave that for another time 😉
If you need some help or someone to talk to please check out these links.
I have personally used some of these myself when I needed too. Every little bit of support helps.
When you have no idea what the F you’re doing just wing it and hope for the best because trust me, none of us have it together.
Enjoy the journey and know that you got this. You’re not alone.
Baby Miller I love you so much! You have made your mama and daddy so very happy and I would never change a thing about our life. You complete us X