Welcome to this prestigious club we call Motherhood!
I’ve watched you as your belly ballooned. As you started developing a waddle. I saw your car pull up your driveway on the way back from the hospital. I met your baby girl for the first time, in a perfect swaddle, snoozing in her brand new pram.
I know the last thing a new mother wants is unsolicited advice. So I bite my tongue, but I have so many things I want to share with you. Here are some things that helped me through the first months, that I wish someone had told me.
- Shower every day. Before having a child, it was just a daily chore, something I did without even thinking. But after having a child, especially immediately afterwards, it was the little bit of me-time I needed. On tough days after marathon sessions of feeding, it made me feel like myself again.
- Go for daily walks. I took my baby on a baby carrier and went on walks every day, sometimes with my mum, sometimes with a friend, sometimes just the two of us. It was nice to get some fresh air and catch up with loved one. I will always remember how toasty her little body felt against me and how her little feet bounced on my thighs.
- Love your body. It may be unrecognisable, it may be unexpected. If you even have a single moment of doubt, think of what your amazing body has gone through and the joy it is bringing to the whole family (and beyond). Your body has created this perfect little human being. Treat yourself to nice things. For me, it was the LÓccitane body soap and hand cream. The scent of it was just so soothing. You give so much as a new mother. I found it healthy to do something nice for myself.
- Talk to your partner. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, chances are your partner is feeling it, too. They can feel like a helpless, clueless bystander. Share how you are feeling. And tell them what you need. You just birthed a child, you should ask. They will actually appreciate it.
- Give the mother’s group a chance. It may be an odd bunch, maybe not. Either way, it’s great for you and your child to have friends in the neighbourhood. Also, it’s a chance to help others who may be going through tougher times. For me, I had just moved to Australia when I joined my mother’s group, and the mums showed me everything – which butt cream to buy, which doctors to see, which childcare centres to apply to. To this day, I know I can depend on them for anything.
- Connect with like-minded mums online. There are lots of mummy blogs, communities, and websites. You can learn so much from other mums. They are the best source of advice, available even in the wee hours of the morning when you know you should be catching up on sleep. You’ve found a welcoming community here at Hey HIP Mumma.
- Talk to your baby. It was a little awkward at first, chatting to someone who sleeps most of the time. But soon, I started enjoying how receptive she was to everything I said. I was there to experience it all with her–her first taste of this beautiful world. How glorious! I was excited to see everything with brand new eyes and have a brand new best friend who only had love for me.
Do enjoy it all, the sweet, sleepless nights.
And last but not least, remember, if it’s hard sometimes, it’s only because you love so much.
Your neighbour, always ready for a chat