Being Mum: in your words

What has surprised you about being a mum?

The Being Mum project is about capturing the reality of life for mums after pregnancy, birth and with a baby.

We need to talk more about real life with a baby, especially the challenges.

Getting the right support is so important and will make all the difference – a safe space to talk about how you are really so important.

Even with other mums, we need to normalise extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping and babies waking up through the night.

I feel like no-one truly prepares you properly for life with a baby. Even your closest friends who had had babies all tell you it is hard but until you experience it for yourself, you just don’t realise.

I was so prepared for a baby with everything we needed in place but, in reality, I wasn’t mentally prepared for the struggle that would come.

Having a baby who is crying constantly and unhappy 24/7 can make you feel like a complete failure as a mum, like you must be doing something wrong.

Being a mum is a huge adjustment, both physically and emotionally. It’s changed me as a person, my entire thinking has changed.

Being a new mum is the happiest yet toughest time of my life.

Having children is the most challenging, fulfilling, frightening and brilliant experience. It is intense and all-consuming and it’s not for the faint hearted!

Early motherhood was the most difficult time of my life but it has gotten significantly better. I had excellent support from perinatal nurses who normalised all of the feelings I had. With PND life dramatically changed in an instant and that was terrifying. Nothing could have prepared me for how much would change.

Parenthood is scary, emotional, hard, tiring but it’s also an incredible privilege. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel and ignore the social media sheen often put on new motherhood.

We’re all just winging it and it’s okay to acknowledge it’s no walk in the park!

My son is both the hardest and best thing to have happened to me and my love just continues to grow for him and that doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t miss my old life. Both of these states can co-exist.

It’s also important to remember that we are more important than our child because if we don’t look after ourselves properly, they will suffer -so meeting our needs where we can, asking for help and saying yes when it is offered is crucial.

My life, my partner’s life, our relationship, our day to day habits, it all changed. Be kind to yourself, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed or like you can’t do it or that too much has changed but all those changes slowly ebb into normal life and what was once scary and new becomes the norm and so many magical things happen on a daily basis if you look out for them.

Being Mum is about giving you a voice and a place to read other women’s experiences to normalise motherhood and to ease the isolation.

It’s also about starting a conversation about motherhood, about how individual it is and the impact it can have.

Please do read, share and take part.

With consultationsdigital guides and courses, my practice is here for you every step of the way. You can also become a member for exclusive content, discussion and a place to ask questions.

North East Birth & Baby is where you can read about pregnancy, birth and early parenting.

As a doula I work with parents from across Newcastle and Tyneside.

Copyright: Janine Smith