Motherhood

Dear expectant mother

I’m so thrilled for you.
I’m so excited that you chose to take this journey, nay, this adventure.

You’ve elected to take part in one of the human bodies most exciting endeavors and it’s going to do some crazy things to you.

You might never feel the same way again.
You might look at life with an entirely different outlook. I certainly did. I went from being indifferent to a highly emotional, empathic¬† being just from having a baby. I’m a serious cryer now and whilst it totally bugged me in the beginning because I’m British and I don’t like showing my emotions, I have embraced it and have loved how it’s developed and deepened my relationships with family and friends.¬† You might experience the same thing. You might not. But do be expectant (great word) for change.

You will not be prepared.
Sorry *newsflash* if you’ve never had a baby before, how can you possibly know what it entails?
I thought that since my siblings are more than a decade younger than me, that I would have this parenting thing down; I know how to change a nappy and hold a baby etc…but my mind happily glossed over the whole “time is not your own” thing, and sleeping routines and teething and having your boobs belonging to a miniature being and waking up in the middle of the night with in a crushing panic that your baby might not be okay.
Obviously I couldn’t be prepared for how my heart would feel/explode when a pithy, little screaming beastie was laid on my chest and you can’t be prepared for things like colic, reflux and long, never-ending nights of screaming.
And that’s okay. It’s parenting, you live it and you learn and you become superheroes.

You don’t owe anybody anything.
If people want to be in your space, you have all the right in the world to say no.
Your pregnancy can be the best of times and it can be the worst of times and you need to be okay throughout it. Similarly, once baby is here, the golden hours of intimacy and bonding between you and baby and your partner should not, for anything, be encroached upon. In the wild, most mammals don’t let other relatives near their young for months…take that as you will.

Likewise, the world owes you nothing.
A harsh truth, but just because we have children does not put us above anyone else. We chose this path and it’s a lovely one, but the flowers along the side of it are no less beautiful than those alongside anyone else’s.
You cannot expect the world to fall down around you or for people to always understand your choice; your nose does not look pretty when it is looking up or down at people. Basically, what I am trying to say, is that yours or any woman’s brilliance is not based on whether she’s had a baby or not.

You are not your baby.
Maybe it feels that way; there are days when you’re up to your eyes in nappies, tears and milk and you might have forgotten all that you are and have been up to this point. So let me remind you that you are a woman. An amazing, powerful woman. You are not the vomit on your shoulder or the drool in your hair. You are not the baggy pants or the stained nursing bra. You are not the look someone gives you when you baby doesn’t stop crying and you are certainly not the carrier for people’s judgement.

You’ve got this.
Do you know how many times I’ve just given up on doing up a onesie because of the crying and wailing – sometimes I feel like I’m doing everything wrong and I’m losing my mind and then I remember that what I am doing is natural – I know that seems like a weird phrase – like the animal kingdom, we have an innate power within us to know and tend to the needs of our infants. You walked the road of pregnancy for 38+ weeks, trust your gut.

Yes, your baby is the most beautiful baby in the world.
That’s just a given.

 

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