Our guest contributor this week is a gorgeous mama of 5. One of my nicknames for her is “Mother Earth” because she’s so grounded, classy, caring, super calm, she has a heart of gold and is raising an amazing tribe. Following is part 1 of her thoughts, which we’ve dabbed “confessions”. From thinking she was only penning down a few lines, she produced this lovely, candid and heartfelt account of her motherhood journey. Thanks Brenda.
Hope you enjoy the read.
In the earlier days
Some 12 plus years ago, I became a Mama! Such a proud but terrifying moment. On one hand I felt that I could conquer the world. After all, I had just pushed a grapefruit sized head out of my lady bits without being ripped in two. I know they said it could hurt, but just between us they lied – it was agony pure and simple! On the other hand I was terrified – what was I supposed to do with the little human being that was entrusted to my care? I had read tons of articles and books on pregnancy and labour and thought, “I got this!”, but I was woefully under prepared for motherhood.
In my naivety (or pride) I figured that I had this in hand, all I had to do was feed her, change her and sing her to sleep (I mean how hard can it be? Really mothers have been doing that for centuries), my stomach would snap back into place, my aforementioned lady bits would look, act and feel as they did before. Essentially I believed it would be life as normal hubby, me, plus baby. I was so wrong.
We got our Little Bundle of Joy home and then the real work began. After being pretty chilled for the first 24 hours, my daughter developed a set of lungs that would make a fisherman’s wife proud. No sweet little new born baby cry from my girl, oh no, it was straight to the foghorn. Her cry was like a drill to the back of my head.
By day 3 my breasts hurt because the milk had come in and they were as hard as rocks. My daughter thought they were her personal chew toys and every time my door buzzer went (which was a lot in the early days), she woke up crying and “needed” to be soothed with another round of breastfeeding. I was advised by well meaning folk to hold her and spoil her while I could, as she would quickly grow up. This I can definitely attest to as she has indeed grown up much too quickly.
Back to normal
By week 3 everyone had gone back to work, and to their lives. I was left with a little baby that was now used to being held all day, and expected things to continue on in this manner thank you very much. But I now had to cook and clean and find time to bathe all on my own with no one else in the house. I couldn’t go to the toilet, I couldn’t make a cup of tea without her screaming. A few days of this and I was at my wits end. Those that know me, know that I love my own space. What can I say, but that I get lost in my own thoughts and I like structure. I’m a doer so this was torture for me! What happened to “yeah motherhood”?
I remembered the words my mama had said to me as she was leaving to go back home, “When things settle get yourself into a little routine”.
Routines, routines, routines
I went on to the internet and researched baby routines and a few names came up, so I ordered their books and had a look at their websites. I decided to implement their strategies straight away and I can testify that within 24 hours of being on a routine my daughter was a completely different child. She was calm, fed well and slept well – I could go to the loo without her screaming the place down. True, I confess I became a convert to baby routines, and when each of my friends went on to have babies I advised they get them on a routine straight away.
Now don’t get me wrong baby routines did not cure every ill, neither did they soothe every ache. However they allowed me to step back and look at my baby and assess what could be causing her distress. I was better able to decipher her cues. I finally felt like the parent, the mother I wanted to be – calm, organised, together……….
Read conclusion in Part 2 Confessions of a finest mum – pt2
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