Silver, red, and purple balloons

Almost One Year of Being a Mum

My baby boy will be one year old in over a couple of weeks. Wait, how, what, when? Yep, he’ll officially be a toddler and I’ll be wondering where the last year went.

I never knew how much stronger I could be until I gave birth to Freddy. The light in my life, the littlest person with the biggest smile, he is our (mine and Danny’s) everything. I’ll be honest, sometimes, I’ve woken up and wondered if I have the strength to deal with whatever the day will bring. But no matter what, I’m reminded that I am a mummy and I can do this.

Motherhood brings a whole lot of changes. For me, it’s changed how I think massively. Being a parent has shown me what’s important and what really matters when I have a bad day. There’s always a tomorrow and for each one that comes to see our baby boy grow, is something I’ll forever be thankful for.

The cries, tantrums, neediness, and seeing your baby unwell is hard, it’s tough. You feel hopeless because all you want to do is make everything better but I’ve learned that sometimes, just a cuddle and soothing Freddy with our voice is all he needs.

I’ve challenged myself mentally since becoming a mum for the first time. I wonder if I’m doing things ‘right’, especially in front of people. It has made me feel a little nervous at times, you know? Then I stop to think, I’m our baby’s mummy and we, as a family, know what he needs.

I’ve noticed that it’s harder to judge someone since becoming a mum. Sometimes, it comes no naturally to us, that you can do it without realising. It doesn’t even mean you’re not a nice person but I’d be lying if I said I’ve never done it before. I just feel as if I am more considerate of what someone might be going through, no matter how their life seems on the outside. And that counts for whether their child cries in public, isn’t acting their usual, or whatever. You also realise that not everyone has had a great night’s sleep.

I remember not knowing how to feel about the judgements of formula feeding versus breastfed babies. Let me tell you something, our baby had his 10-12 months check last week and the health visitor said, “He’s doing absolutely fantastic. I’ve heard words, I see he loves moving around and he is a very happy baby.” Day made.

Another huge thing – the role of parents as a mum and dad. I get it, mummy has a hard day but why isn’t there a lot of credit out there for daddies too? Everyone’s parenting experience is different, including when it’s for the first time. But I’ll be 100% honest, I couldn’t have imagined having a more loving and supportive man by my side, my Danny. It’s 50/50. I wouldn’t be the mum I am without Danny. Our son, Freddy, is a part of the both of us (even if he’s the double of his daddy). It’s our aim in life to give him our all. And when the tiredness hits, we know the other is there to help.

I’ve had days where I’ve felt alone but I know there’s other mums out there who will relate to this. I know some things are hard to explain. And through it all, it’s the most magical time of my life. In just over a couple of weeks, the baby I gave birth to, our handsome baby boy, will turn one year old. A whole year and more in our lives (including pregnancy).

Believe people when they say, “It goes so fast.”

mental health blocks

Maternal Mental Health After Pregnancy

Once you have given birth, you learn that there a quite a few appointments in the weeks afterwards, including midwife visits and a 6 week check up with your GP. I didn’t have the typical visit on day 5 then day 10. Instead, a midwife visited me for 10 days to monitor my blood pressure. It wasn’t pregnancy induced as I’ve had hypertension for around 4-5 years now. Because of this, I was under a clinic called MAViS who were absolutely lovely and also checked in on me while I was in the postnatal ward.

How do you feel?

During the appointments, you’re asked quite often how you feel. The truth is, I was a bag of emotions. I felt like a yo-yo constantly going up and down, happy then sad. Of course, fluctuating hormones play a part, and you feel like you can’t escape them. Looking back, I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself and maybe I wouldn’t be containing with similar emotions now. How was I supposed to really know how I really felt at 6 weeks? Motherhood was still very new. My body was and still is recovering – mentally and physically. I’ll be honest, I didn’t speak up earlier on, it took me until I was 3-4 months to have a couple of phone calls with a doctors which led to a referral and then another referral again. I’m not in a place to talk about it in great depth but I can tell you, it’s all very raw, and most of my feelings towards every day things in life seems to stem back to my younger days, perhaps high school.

I’m 9 months postpartum and I see a lot of posts on social media that still pressure me – it’s just how my mind can be. I used to read posts like, you’ve got this or it gets easier. And they are absolutely right even if I lose perspective a little on the tougher days. I have created an Instagram account focus on the truth and positivity that surrounds me on my motherhood journey. You can follow me @_hellomorningtea. I don’t have any weaning or sleep tips but my aim is to focus on topics that you, my fellow mamas can relate to.

It’s okay to say no

One thing I am telling myself more often is, it’s okay to say no. This has made a difference. I used to find it hard to come away from being the new mum who says yes to everything. I like to think I have find my place in motherhood and I see myself a lot stronger even though there are anxieties underneath it all. Visits from family and friends can be overwhelming as much as you love those people in your life. It’s okay to be honest and say you’re not feeling up to it. If I’ve had a day where I haven’t felt comfortable in my own skin or I am anticipating seeing someone and wondering how they are going to comment on me, baby, life in general, I will get sad. It’s not always easy to explain but the littlest of things can make me this way.

Your life has changed in the most incredible way. There are challenges, tears, frustration but above all, there’s wholeheartedness. A love like no other – with your child/ren. Having a baby isn’t for some people but I am so lucky to have my baby boy as what we have as our little family, is something more than I’ve ever dreamed of. I hope that one day in the future, I can take everything I’ve learned from my first pregnancy and having our first child into a new strength when we have a baby brother or sister for our son. Every single day is an experience for something new and another day we love and know our baby boy.

I know that each and every one us are different, including the wonderful daddies out there too. And for the support side of life, I am lucky to have my partner by my side – the one person I can rely on 100%. He always tries his best to be patient with me and understands that sometimes I just need him to listen, as much as he wants to find a way to take everything away from me.

Useful links

Image credit: Vie Studio on Pexels.

two soft cuddly teddies on grass

What Motherhood Has Taught Me About Self Love

If you’re a regular reader on my blog, you know that I have a constant mind of a worrier, I struggle to see myself through the eyes of people who love me the most, and I always have something circling in my brain.

Since becoming a mum, these thoughts and feelings have been challenged. There are (still) a surge of hormones going through my body as expected. I have become better in some ways and feel like I have weakened in other areas. That’s what I am going to talk about in this post.

Becoming a braver woman?

In ways, yes, I am stronger and braver since becoming a mum. Those instincts to protect your child wherever possible and speaking up hit me from day one, even when our baby boy was in my tummy growing. In other ways, I probably haven’t grown in ways I wish I could. Maybe I had too many expectations that my pattern of negative or worrying thoughts would lessen a lot or maybe even come to an end. I know now that’s way out of reach but I am still learning and growing where I can. There are things I do now which I was terrified of e.g. 1) going for walks every day with baby without wondering about people’s judgement, 2) meeting up with other mums for baby activities, and 3) having the confidence to speak out loud wherever it concerns my health or my baby’s.

I would be lying if I said I have hit all 3 things above perfectly. I am still working on them all in some way or another but I will get there.

Image isn’t everything

Another one that I am still learning to remember. I am very critical about my appearance, whether it be my hair, skin, weight, anything. Some days I might ‘like’ myself a little more than others but I don’t feel like the woman I used to. Sometimes I feel a bit lost then I try to remind myself that how I look isn’t anything to worry about. I need to be kinder to myself. I wouldn’t say the things I say to myself to anyone else so why should I be any different? I might not get in those same size skinny jeans at the moment or ever but it’s okay. I need to stop beating myself up and work on the things that matter.

Danny and Freddy love me for who I am so that’s what I think about whenever I start to feel down about my appearance. It’s so easy to criticise yourself. I want to set an example to our son that he should love who he is so I am doing my hardest to follow that too.

A different perspective

Becoming a mum hasn’t only changed how I feel about my body but it has changed my perception on a range of things. It can relate to things like work, social life, day-to-day chores around the house etc. And prioritising what needs to be done the most. Some days I might not be able to whiz round the house as quick as I used to but it’s okay because being a mum to Freddy is making sure he’s fed, clean and happy with lots of love around him.

I can see what’s really important and what matters to me the most – our little family. Our son comes first and the 3 of us are a family unit who share smiles but let’s not forget about the tears.

Becoming a mum has given my life a whole new meaning and I am so grateful that I have our beautiful baby boy. I fall in love with every little thing he does – learning something new every day, those cute noises, giggles, all of him.

I’m learning that it’s okay to go at my own pace with whatever comes my way.

What has becoming a mum taught you?

Photo source: Alexas_Fotos on pixabay.com

dark cup with hot drink inside

Sharing Those Postpartum Feelings

The postpartum life brings a new love and happiness but let’s not forget about the exhaustion and everything else. Some people might question why someone like me opted to be a mum when there’s a lot of new challenges and a drop in energy levels some days. I’ll tell you why, it’s something I’ve always wanted. I’m not saying that to sound like anyone else because it’s true. I’ve always dreamed of bringing a new little life into the world and I count my lucky stars that it all came true.

It goes without saying that parenting is hard. And that’s probably putting it lightly. Though, the moments of joy and pure heartfelt memories stay with you forever. They overpower those ‘days’ where you don’t don’t feel like yourself and wonder if there’s anything you could do better. Even when the sleep deprivation hits, all it takes in one smile for it all to melt into the air and you smile as your heart gets fuller.

The last couple of weeks, I’ll be honest, I haven’t felt right. I don’t mean I haven’t been feeling well with this super cold that going around or a bug – I just haven’t been the usual ‘me’. What is the usual ‘me’? Well, in a nutshell, I’m usually smiley, random, and like to see the positive in everything.

In those last weeks, it all changed. Now, I wouldn’t say it was sudden but there was a big difference. Here’s why…

A sense of hopelessness

I felt like I had lost myself. I never forget I’m a mum and a human being like everyone else but I felt disinterested in so many things. There were days I spent in a daze – nothing going on around me other than staring into space while Freddy napped. I would try putting upbeat music on or a good film but it didn’t have the usual effect. I was so quiet but so busy and loud with thoughts in my mind. I wondered how I would get out of this pit. As always, a good chat with Danny channeled me back through after a couple of days. It doesn’t mean to say those days won’t come back. I just need to remember that I can get through them.

Being self critical

Sometimes I think I’m harsh on myself and other days I don’t. I’ve found myself looking in the mirror most days and not liking what I see. There are things I can do – eat well, exercise etc. But I think, I’ll always find something regardless. My legs are covered in stretch marks that weren’t there before. I’m reminded that they are ‘love marks’ that carried the weight of our beautiful boy. I think the body changes that are still happening combined with what I see physically really play on my mind, a little too much. I might not ever love my body but I will find a way to like it again.

Is it the hormones or just me?

Ever cry and wonder why you cried? Sometimes you have good reason, don’t you? Other times you think, why am I so damn emotional right now? The thing is, I need to remind myself that there’s no rush for my body to reach a new kind of normal. I used to hate when someone would look at a woman and say “Ooo she’s a bit hormonal isn’t she” or whatever. But wow, I’ve never truly felt more hormonal days than postpartum ones. Maybe I’m pressuring myself as each week goes by as I think it’s another week I could feel ‘better’. None of these thoughts take away how much love I have for my baby. He (and his dad) are my everything. And the three of us have so much to look forward to – they are what I need to hold onto when my mind does play a battle with me.

Speak to someone

To finish this post, I just want to say, up and down days are completely normal. Sometimes we need to pick ourselves back up but remember you don’t have to do it on your own. It doesn’t take for a number of people to understand how you feel. It takes a good person or two to listen, maybe empathise too. Postpartum life especially, can drag you down in ways you can’t even understand yourself.

Someone can look in from the outside and see nothing but happiness. However, they haven’t got a mirror to see what’s going on in your mind. You can be your own demon sometimes. Remember though, you can’t control everything. So, when things get tough, try to find a couple of things that bring you back to a level of the real you.

Links for support

Image source: John Mark Smith on pexels.com