Amongst all the exciting emotions that come with becoming a mum, fear, anxiety and stress are often there from the moment you find out you’re pregnant. But aside from obvious physical changes that we all prepare for, welcoming children into your life also possesses significant emotional (and logistical) changes, only increased by the fact that, whether you want it or not, certain people will give you advice, and an extensive list of the baby books you should be reading. And while educating yourself as much as possible is a good thing, what perhaps is also really helpful is a non-judgmental conversation from mothers who have been there and learnt some practical lessons from real-life experiences.
As we focus on the topic of real parenting stories this month, we asked the mums within our secret group to anonymously share the lessons they’ve learnt that you won’t find in any parenting book. From learning to surrender, to the art of letting go read on to for their liberating #mumtruth.
I had a girlfriend write to me right after I had my boy and she gave me the best advice ever and it was simply: Surrender. During the first few weeks of adjusting and getting used to being totally depended on, I had to constantly remind myself to do just that, that the to-do list can wait. If he needs me, I just have to surrender and be there wholeheartedly.
Reading baby books at the newborn stage can be dangerous I think... I found that I needed something to cling on to, and when the baby wasn't doing the things that the book said it should, I felt like I was getting it all wrong. I agree that books can be helpful, but in the first few weeks just surrendering and being with bub is the most important thing.
I enjoyed parenting and felt more calm the minute I stopped counting the clock. My bebe was eight weeks old and someone would ask me how long she slept, what time she fed, when she last had a nappy change, etc.
The minute I stopped counting, I was able to be more in-tune with my maternal instinct. I could then tell if she was hungry or if she was sleepy, and mostly, if she was happy then I was doing the right thing. If her schedule was not ‘by the book’ it didn’t matter because if she’s content, happy bub = happy mum!
Surrender to the new rhythm of life and trust your instincts. Some babies thrive on a schedule but most (that I know) don’t, and that’s okay. Expecting babies to sleep and eat at certain times can just end up making you stressed, angry, frustrated and upset. The best advice I received was to let go and enjoy it. Halfway through “sleep training” someone reminded me I should me I should be enjoying myself and something clicked. It’s definitely not easy, but it doesn’t need to be torture. If your baby doesn’t want to nap, there’s always tomorrow.
Just enjoy today.