Motherhood is hard. Especially when you are a new mother, and every day brings new challenges and experiences. It’s absolutely worth it of course. It is such a huge learning experience, and we all see and do things a different way, and we should all support each other in that.
I haven’t been a parent for that long, and I certainly don’t know it all (who does!), but here are five things I’ve learnt so far as a mother:
– Try different things and see what works for you and your family. If something isn’t working, try something else. Just because the books/your family/other parents tell you it should be done a certain way doesn’t mean they are right. Trust your instincts.
– NEVER judge. You never know how you will feel or how you will do something once you are a parent yourself or you are going through the same thing. We are all just trying to do our best and we all have different views about what that might be. There isn’t only one right way. And it’s horrible to feel judged as a parent when you are already judging yourself enough. I think it is human nature to judge people based on our own perceptions and what we feel strongly about sometimes. But keep your judgey pants to yourself. Years ago I judged someone for keeping their 6 month old baby out late at a friends house. I thought it meant she was putting herself before the baby (who was perfectly happy or asleep the whole time). Now I would have done the same when Ava was younger and she would sleep anywhere. It’s about what works for you. I still feel bad for judging her when I had no right, even though she never knew about it. (Little side note: even if she DID put herself first, that’s ok too – we all need to do that sometimes or we’ll go crazy)
– It’s just a phase. Everything is just a phase.
– No matter how prepared and ready for parenthood you think you are, you will never really be ready. I don’t think you can be. We went through four years of trying to conceive and two rounds of IVF. I have never wanted something so much in my entire life. And yet, I was in no way prepared for all of the changes motherhood would bring, and the whirlwind that entered my life! It’s crazy. But that’s ok… you learn as you go along.
– You might not be the type of parent you thought you would be. I babywear, did baby led weaning, breastfeed still at 14 months, and co-sleep often. That would possibly suggest I am a bit of a hippy mum, although I really don’t think I am. But I never thought I was the type of person that could potentially be described as a hippy! You’ll always have ideas of what kind of parent you want to be, but until that babe is in your arms and you have to make decisions that will affect that little bundle, you don’t really know how you want to do things. And even when you do, you might not be totally sure. I’m starting to look at other things in a whole new light now that I’m a mother, and am thinking about how I want to approach certain aspects of parenting when we come to them when I thought I already knew. Don’t let those preconceptions you originally had affect the parent you want to be once you actually are one.
Now, I’m going to put my fringed skirt on and dance around a rock…. so long hipsters!
Please share what you’ve learnt as a parent, I’d love to know.