Dear first time mummy-to-be
Hi there mummy-to-be,
Firstly, many, many congratulations on your pregnancy! I hope it’s going well and that you are able to enjoy the fact that a tiny person is growing inside of you.
I wanted to write to you as someone who has four amazing children to share with you some of the things you might experience during your early motherhood journey.
Despite labour and birth being huge parts of the journey, clearly as they signal the final build up to meeting your baby, I am not going to focus on that. I believe that everyone has their own unique experience of labour and birth and I’m not about to tell you how you should or shouldn’t go about that and what you might feel. I will tell you that despite some similarities, all my children’s births were different but immediately after each of them was born I was overwhelmed with a love I find hard to describe. I know that not all new mummies feel that way for a range of reasons, but I felt that very deeply and no other feeling has ever compared to that in strength.
It would be fair to say that motherhood is also a unique experience and one we just make up as we go along. There are no right or wrong paths through motherhood and the majority of us are winging it most of the time.
I do however feel that it is important to point out a few things that you might feel along the way. You may not feel all of these things. You may feel some of them, some of the time. Mainly, what I want to say to you, mummy-to-be is that if you ever feel like this, please know that there are millions of women across the world feeling the same way. You are not alone, even if it feels that way.
After your initial elation at getting your baby into the world safely, you may feel horrified by what you see – but I promise your bits won’t always look this way.
You might feel you don’t want any visitors – that’s OK, it’s OK to want to be left alone.
You might feel totally useless – useless at breastfeeding, useless that you can’t do it quite right, it will pass, sometimes after days, sometimes after weeks but it will pass.
You might feel overwhelmed – by your new role and responsibilities, or by your ever increasing to do list. Feeling overwhelmed is a normal part of motherhood, and a feeling you are likely to become familiar with. Role with it.
You will no doubt feel exhausted, comes with the job description I’m afraid and something to get used to.
You might have people close to you, a partner or other family perhaps that can let you have a rest, or just do some of the other tasks you have – let them! So many of us don’t have this, don’t waste it.
You might feel like you are having an out of body experience, drunk even – you’ve probably hit the totally sleep deprived state now, it’s very common, very difficult but you can survive this I promise.
You might feel resentful of others who sleep more and do less than you – you won’t be the only one. You can try to encourage those people to be more helpful and sensitive, but be prepared that they might not change.
You might learn to hate the night time – for some of you this will quickly pass, for others it won’t, but remember this is not a race, not a competition, even if some days it feels that way – you carried, protected and gave birth to a child, you are formidable and you can do this.
You might feel lonely – less than five minutes on twitter will show you that you are not, women all over the world feel like you right this second.
You might feel you are failing at other relationships – hold up, you just birthed a tiny human, kick that thought into touch.
You might feel that life is hopeless – talk to someone, anyone you trust to support you.
You might feel that your life will never be the same again – you know what? It won’t be, but that’s kind of the point isn’t it?
Motherhood isn’t all bugaboo prams, fancy nails, UGG boots and coffee shop dates – despite what some mums try to convince you of, motherhood is bloody hard work. It’s tears and joy in equal measure, or not. You will have bad days, hell you’ll have lots of them; you’ll have good days, lots of them; and you’ll have the most incredible, heartwarming, joyful days.
So…you got this mama!
Be strong, be kind to yourself, and love like you’ve never loved before
Motherhood: because they’re worth it!
Love, Charlotte x