I’ll be honest, I thought I was prepared both physically and emotionally to become a mum, but it has been so much harder than I could have ever imagined. I probably became a bit cocky thinking that because I had an education background in human development, psychology etc through my OT degree, that at least I wasn’t starting from zero. The truth is that even with that background and reading a few baby books, it certainly still felt like I was starting from zero. Being a novice at anything feels uncomfortable to me, but when it comes to being responsible for the survival of a tiny human and feeling completely unprepared, that is a whole new level of uncomfortable.
One thing in particular I found myself in a constant internal battle over, was wanting to be mindful and present for Hugh, but also wanting to push myself with Heartbeat Handicrafts and catching up on referrals in my other work after taking a ‘break’. I’m finally learning that it’s okay to set myself deadlines, but not to get annoyed when I can’t meet those timeframes when Hugh needs me to just be right there with him.
Another battle I fight is how to be available on social media for customers, but be even more present for Hugh and have him know me as being his mum who is there for him and not always see me on my phone. If anyone has any strategies to manage this, please let me know!!
On a more positive note, I have found having a creative outlet absolutely essential. It gives me something I can control and is somewhat predictable, compared with a newborn.
They say motherhood is a thankless job. I’m not sure yet if that is true. I try to take encouragement from Hugh’s smiles and the many little achievements he makes along the way. For some reason, I find it difficult to agree with my husband when he tells me I’m doing an amazing job. I wonder if we are all hardwired to expect too much of ourselves as mothers.
In contrast, I do get such a kick out of the kind words and positive reviews from HH customers. Wouldn’t it be great if we got the same for our parenting skills.... you have a new review.... “5 stars- excellent service with settling me 10 times last night, the milk delivery was prompt (was that curry I could taste?) and good work on the clean up job when I soiled myself, my clothes and my bedding shortly after vomiting on you”.
In early days, I experienced grief for what I had lost and for what had changed so drastically in my life. As more time has passed, I’m finding it easier to see what I have gained and be proud of what I am becoming. Everyday is filled with a love I never knew was possible (yes, even the tough days).
My advice if you haven’t already experienced the transition into motherhood- dive in head first, just try not to expect too much of yourself. After all, it is the hardest (yet most rewarding) job you will ever do!!