1 year and a bit now. I’m a little bit late to this post….cuz ya know…..moving house again and all that.
Margot’s 1st Birthday was on the 25th September. We had a very low-key birthday….as in, we really didn’t do anything that instagram-worthy or profound, but we ate some cake, gave her some gifts from loved ones and she was non-the-wiser and just wanted to watch Puffin Rock.
What have a learnt in this year? Too much to whittle into a blog post, but I’m going to share with you a few snippets both serious and light-hearted of what motherhood has taught me personally.
Well first up….I felt like I was quite literally thrown into motherhood, something I wasn’t (and I don’t think many are) prepared for. When I say ‘thrown in’ I don’t mean Margot was premature or unexpected or just appeared on my door like a lost cat (dreamy)….but I felt like I went through a wringer with her birth, I got really ill afterwards, and I just wasn’t able to look after her like I hoped. I never seemed to be able to catch up with myself and constantly felt like I was trying to get on my feet but just kept on tripping up. It was a weird ol’ time that no one could prepare me for.
IT DOES GET EASIER.
I literally just this morning a friend messaged me with a 2-week old saying ‘it gets easier doesn’t it?!’
That sleepless, adjusting, black hole at the beginning? Yeah it definitely gets better. Our bodies recover, we get used to the indescribable change, routines get established, boundaries get set and everything just gets easier. I can now kind of plan my day at home with Margot and fit in pockets of work and unpacking here and there. I mean, I’m constantly told it gets harder again, so we’ll see about that once she starts walking but crawling and moving around still hasn’t been a problem, maybe I will be eating my words very shortly.
There are still non-start days. The days where I’m running about and just simply trying to clean the house and make the beds…..and then….it’s dinnertime. Those days you just have to let go. Try not to stress and just be kind to yourself.
THERE ISN’T A MANUAL (l looked and failed).
I had never held a baby. I’m not *that* fond of children (soz) and I’ve never been around them growing up or in my adult life very much. It was a huge adjustment to me having to share all my time with a mini and noisier version of myself, a HUGE learning curve and an experience that will probably be easier if there is a next time. The first nappy change, the first explosion, the first head banging on the floor, the first tantrum-when-they-stop-breathing, the first time you strap them into the car seat, the first time you bathe them….lots of others have never done it before and yep….as cliche as it sounds, you just wing it. No books can prepare you or tell you what your baby needs.
FRIENDS COME / GO / VANISH.
You kind of should know who the good ones are anyway….yet some may still surprise you. I’ve been the *other shitty person*, in all honestly. In the past when my friends have had a baby, I’ve been selfish and sometimes shown less-interest-than-others as I’m just not a ‘baby person’ ; so I do get the reasons and understand where it comes from. Babies, children and everything that comes with it just isn’t exciting for everyone.
Sometimes a baby in tow doesn’t fit in with other’s agenda and lifestyle. It still does sting a little. I’ve just realised that I’m no longer that person who gets invited to ALLLL the going’s on, weekends away, lunches, events, meet-ups and trips. It’s no longer just me and Tom with no ties and we chose this life.
It can sting, I’ve felt hurt, but we move one!
On the flip side, I’ve had friends reach out to me although we’ve felt dis-connected for so long, great support from many and incredible kindness, extraordinary generosity and love from lots of amazing people old and new.
TOM IS THE BEST. (*or insert partner/bff’s name here)
I just look back over the last year and am so very thankful for having Tom to see me through. He picked me up when I was quite literally in pieces, took the reins when I needed it, did A LOT (all) the night shifts in the first few weeks and helped me recover both mentally and physically. I appreciate him so much and he really has been the best dad to Margot. I’m so very lucky.
I have tried to imagine going through all of this without him and hand on heart, I’m not sure if I could.
I’M AN ANXIETY MONSTER.
I have always had bouts of anxiety throughout my life, by my god this is next level kind of stuff. I worry and I overthink and I have the most unreasonable thoughts about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
Of course you worry about the baby. You think every time you turn your back they are going to knock their head, put something in their mouths or manage to hurt themselves in any way, shape or form. That’s a given.
I also worry about totally non-baby stuff WAY MORE than ever. I overthink day-to-day things, relationships, tweets (OMG it’s about ME, they are indirecting ME!), things that have happened, things that MAY happen, I question my friendships and just have become a real worrier.
It can be hard to control and rationalise. I sometimes have had days of just ‘non-start’ simply because I’m overthinking, for example, a failed friendship in my head ; which is in fact perfectly fine and always has been..I just literally make it up in my head that XX hates me because they didn’t reply to my What’sapp kinda thing.
I often feel crazy and out of control with my panics and overthinking but I am trying to teach myself to think more rationally and let things go a little quicker.
I’M A WALKING & TALKING LAUNDRETTE.
I am never without a pile of washing, clothes to fold, clothes to sort, MUST DO WASHING. I’ve never known anything like it. How does something so small equate to so much laundry? It eases up as the poo explosions and multiple full clothes changes do, but still… I’m confused.
I’ve become a serious clothes washer ; Piles for colours. ‘oooohhh that Fairy is better than XYZ’ , here is my top tip fro removing stains (sun bleaching if you know you know) kinda vibe. Very dull. Very boring.
Also, the AMOUNT of clothes piled up we have from 1 year’s worth of Margot is quite staggering.Obviously you buy things for the impending baby drop, get gifted things by loved ones, and then they wear them for a month and it’s onto the next. If they aren’t poo’d through or colour stained from washing (I need to learn how to stop doing this tbf) I am donating to my local women’s refuge. I also have one box of clothing and things that we would like to keep for memories OR if I we ever have another.
I still stand by this : You only need vests, socks and sleep suits for like the first 3 months of their lives.
HASHTAG GIRL BOSSES SLIDE INTO YOUR DM’S. It’s annoying.
Know this : If you use any common mum # on Instagram you will undoubtedly be targeted by some overzealous MLM mumpreneur/ laptop lifer who wants you in on her pyramid scheme selling skincare/ makeup / shakes < delete as appropriate.
Scuse’ the language but I have had some absolutely shocking experiences with MLM reps in the past which is why I feel so passionately against it. I’ve had *friends* target me (twice) after my mum died and I was going through really awful times and I’m sorry SANDRA but I’ve worked in the beauty industry 15 years and why are you now, 5 months into being a hashtag girl boss, trying to talk to me about a fucking mascara?
I get this can be a good way for some stay-at-home-mums to earn a little bit of extra money, and I actually know some girls who do it who aren’t the above SANDRA stereotypes and it’s perfectly fine. They aren’t harming anybody, but it’s the targeting vulnerable people, new mums, bereaved people which I absolutely cannot stand. Can I breathe now? Ok I just took a breath.
WE ARE ALL JUDGEY MUMS.
I am supposedly a person who tries hard not to judge people (see above lol) and I like to think of myself as a reasonably laid-back and ‘normal’ mum, often showing you my reality and struggles as a mum on my insta-stories. However I’m sure we all think of ourselves like that? The preened insta-mums all laugh and joke and give you their ‘reality’ and tell you all kinds of spiel and experiences and advice. They have their perfectly manicured nails, styled hair, bamboo bloody plates and fruit and veg dripping out of their perfect Joules-clad baby’s mouth….and often slightly (very) set-up and contrived insta shots…..but who am I to judge them?!
I joke and eye-roll about your playgroup judgey mums, but I have done exactly the same to them I guess?! Bottom line is, we are all trying our best to what we think is right, just stay away from mumsnet threads and you’ll be fine whatever route you decide to take and mum you want to be.
For me it isn’t, a perfectly curated outfit of subtle pastels, grey knits and cosy shoes. It’s literally your worn out trackies or leggings, a nice cosy and baggy sweatshirt, minimal makeup and a greasy, over-dry-shampooed-up-do. I for one, have zero ‘momstyle’ and I don’t think I ever will. I mean, it’s better than it was initially, where I struggled to even get from PJ’s > tracksuit but it’s still pretty drab. Comfort over curation my friends.
I WILL ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL.
I have moaned and moaned and shared a lot of the first few shitty months of Margot’s life. I still resent a lot of the medical care I received and I’m still angry as I feel like it impacted my first months as a mum, and whenever I think back, I usually end up crying. There aren’y any/many fond memories. Those precious moments were taken from me and I do really feel quite angry….but then how can I be? How can I feel this way when I have Margot. It’s so strange and conflicting in my head.
YES many people have had it easier than me, many people have *lovely*, straight forward births (or so they tell you), most people LOVE motherhood and many women are naturals and take it all in their stride. But many don’t. Many women have it a lot worse than me, have worse complications, worse pregnancies, zero access to decent healthcare and even worse.
I’m grateful for what I have, in a perfect baby girl, who is healthy, has silly habits, is a little slower than most to walk, she’s stubborn like me, and funny (not like me) and sleeps through the night.
Here’s to another 17 years.
If you have unwanted baby clothes / clothes then you can find your local Women’s Aid authority here.
Alternatively, go onto your local area facebook page and see what local charities there are that you can donate to.
If you’d like to read my very honest (& negative soz) birth story you can do right here.