Reflections of a mother (one year in…)

I suppose that title is a little misleading as, like many people, I felt like a mother long before I actually gave birth. You feel a huge amount of love while you’re pregnant and I think a shift starts straight away. You stop making decisions based purely on your own wants and needs and you start considering your unborn baby: this unselfishness (is that a word?!) continues and increases once your baby is born. But, for the purposes of this, my son is now a year old and I thought it was a good moment to reflect on the things I have learnt in my first year of being a mother.

 

People will love to tell you you’ve made a rod for your own back. But if you and your baby are happy with your rod, ignore them. Be proud and bold and stand by your decisions if you know you’ve followed your instincts and it’s working for your family.

 

Sleep is golden. It is to be respected, cherished, enjoyed and NEVER taken for granted. It could be snatched from you at any given moment.

 

Parenthood will bring the most extreme emotions of your life. The worst of days can be flipped with a baby’s giggle or first step. The best of days can fall apart with a screaming baby throwing food and refusing to sleep. My happiness is so bound up with this little being.

a-kiss-for-tm
When he’s happy, I’m happy!
Apparently this is a common one but… everything makes you cry. A bank advert. A video of a gorilla breastfeeding. A blog post. A photo on Instagram of a sleeping child. Your eyes leak, a lot.

 

You won’t ‘get your body back’. It will be irrevocably changed. For some people those changes, a year postpartum, are minimal – small stretch marks, a slightly wobblier tummy, marginally wider hips. For others (me…) the body is quite different. Neither one of those things is better than the other. Isn’t it ok for our bodies to show the evidence of this amazing feat- creating a person? Does it matter that we look different on the outside now, when inside we have experienced such a monumentalΒ shift?

 

Friendships and relationships might change. If people aren’t on board with the ‘new you’ who has to prioritise somebody else, then don’t waste your time on them. They aren’t a true friend. Your relationship with your partner will be at once more strained and a million times stronger. Your respect for your own parents increases tenfold and you feel terrible for all the secret thoughts you had criticising anybody else’s parenting… now that you’re doing it you know it’s never simple.

 

It was true what everyone said. Nothing can prepare you for this. But that’s ok, because you’ll figure it out for yourself and be a better person for it.

What did you learn in your first year as a parent?

Cuddle Fairy

 

Tammymum
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28 thoughts on “Reflections of a mother (one year in…)

  1. Oooh very thought provoking post Ed, and obviously congratulations to reaching a year! I think the first year definitely taught me that you can survive on levels of sleep that the teenage version of yourself would go into shock at. It taught me that routine can be both your saviour and restrictor – you end up bound by bedtime but deviating isn’t worth the hassle. And of course it taught me that my heart had a WHOLE other chamber in it which I never knew existed, and that chamber is an infinite bottomless pit.

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  2. “Your eyes leak, a lot” – so true! That first year taught me to accept the fact that everything is different now – and that’s okay. My priorities are different. My goals are different. I look different and feel different. I never expected parenthood to change me so much, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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  3. Aw so lovely to read. You’re right about leaky eyes. I cry at YouTube adverts, Instagram photos and magazines articles…even during movies I sit and think ‘omg what if that happened to us’ and have to try not to cry for fear of being carted away in a straight jacket haha x

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  4. Yay, an honest motherhood post πŸ™‚ For one, your paragraph about the body changing. This is one I think I’m prepared for because of what you said – we created a human. I hope to never take that for granted when looking at my stretch marks. My inside is changing so significantly in this pivotal experience of becoming a mom. The outside seems so trivial sometimes.

    I’m also so glad to hear that ‘leaking eyes’ is the norm. I can feel in the weeks before my daughter is born this emotional uproar in sentimentality. Blame it on the holidays, but I feel so grateful and it makes me so weepy! I’m sure this is only the start, but my main thing is that if the tears are of joy and/or thankfulness, let them come. It’s okay to be overcome with all the emotions of parenthood.

    All the best, mama!

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    1. What an absolutely gorgeous comment, thank you so much – reading comments like this always makes me so glad I publish these blogs.

      It can be hard when your body changes but I saw the most wonderful quote on Facebook this week – ‘How can you ever say anything negative about your body after you have felt the dancing of life from within your womb?’ (Amethyst Joy) which I think sums it up perfectly!!

      Ah your emotions will rollercoaster all over the place but embracing it is always good. Thanks for reading and for your lovely comments, and all the best with your impending arrival! Ellen

      Like

  5. Oh so true! It’s a million times harder than it looks and all those answers I thought I had went right out the window in just the first few weeks! Sleep deprivation was never my friend and even now struggle with loosing a night or two of sleep when one of the boys is sick.

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  6. What a lovely post! I completely agree with all of your points – especially the part about your body not returning. After the birth of my first baby girl, I had to get rid of all of my trousers because none of them fitted anymore. The second time round it’s not so bad though! #BloggerClubUK

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  7. Definitely all of this and more in the future. It’s all testing at times but the good outweighs any of the bad in an instant. All you need is a giggle to melt your heart!! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah this is very true. Or bodies do change, can’t do nothing about that one and like you say the change should be respected it has gone through so very much. Relationships definietly change some for the better some not so much but it’s part of life I guess. I love having a good old cry at the telly too, it used to set me off before kids now I’m just a mess! Thanks for joining us at #familyfun lovey xx

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  9. Yup – you’ve hit the nail on the head with all of these but for me especially the sleep and the crying one! I have to be careful when showing video clips on class now as I know I’ll cry when I even hear certain film soundtracks!!!! Great post and happy BIrthday to your little one. #familyfun

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  10. Definitely nod nod nod to all of your points here. Crying at anything emotional for sure. Body changed – big time! Nothing can prepare you because there’s no way to know the love you will have for this tiny person & the way your entire life changes. Lovely post hun. Thanks so much for joining us at #BloggerClubUK

    Liked by 1 person

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