I’ve been thinking a lot recently about those first few months after Isla was born. I can look back it now and not feel totally overwhelmed.
I don’t think I would change a thing about the decisions and choices we made because despite Isla’s fiery temperament right now I actually really like her strong little character and I’ve learned so much more about myself because of her.
What I wish I could change is how I felt about what I was doing and the choices I was making.
I honestly couldn’t tell you much about the first couple of weeks after Isla was born. It was a blur of exhaustion, pride, worry, guilt but most of all overwhelming love.
I had so many parents tell me that it hit them when they got home from hospital and they were so right. You leave your house as two and come home as a three, You walk in the door and put the car seat down. You look at your baby, then each other, then the baby again and think…… so what do we do now!?
We were in hospital a total of 5 days in a little cocoon with people surrounding us who all knew what to do. We got home and it was just us.
And we had no idea!
It’s true when they say there is no manual for being a parent. You can read all the books and take all the advice you want but at the end of the day you live and you learn.
I spent those first few months constantly worrying that I was doing it all wrong.
I felt I had to justify all my decisions when I challenged the professional advice and guidelines but I wish I’d had the confidence to say – I understand that there are guidelines in place for a reason but they are also just that…. guidelines.
All babies are different, all parents are different so you have to take it all on board but you should be confident that the decisions you make are the right ones for your baby.
I decided to start weaning Isla at 4 months. This went against the guidelines which stated a baby should be 6 months before you start moving to solids. The health visitors weren’t happy. I’d gone rogue. I almost wished I’d lied to them about it to avoid the disapproving looks.
Isla had really bad constipation as a newborn – it made my heart ache to watch her in pain as we tried everything to help ease it for her. I made the decision to start her on pureed prunes to try and help her tummy naturally as I didn’t want her to constantly be having medicine.
If I could write myself a letter of support for my new mum self it would be this…..
” This is the single most overwhelming experience of your life. You will have countless times over the next few years where you will feel like you can’t do this anymore. You’ll be exhausted and feel useless and a mess and feel like your head is going to explode for worrying.
You will always worry about her.
Right now it’s how much milk she has had or if she is the right temperature to sleep. In a few months time it will be whether she is hitting her developmental milestones or if you are giving her the right foods for weaning.
Then it will be if you made the right decision to go back to work. She is so little still, this time will go so quickly and you don’t want to miss it. But you also want to make sure the time you have together is quality time. You want to show her she can be whatever she wants in this world as long as she works hard. That nothing can stop her if she wants it enough. You want to set her the best example.
Will she be ok at nursery? Is it too much for mum to have her two days a week? Is it the right thing to do?
Every decision you’ve made for her has been with the best intentions. She’s a confident, smart, funny and happy little girl who knows her own mind and has such a brilliant character. She will challenge you and push your buttons and make you feel like a failure and then she’ll turn around and say “Sorry Mummy – Love you” and your heart will melt and you’ll feel like all the time outs and all the fights and all the tears have been worth it.
No one knows her better, no one will fight harder for her, no one will love her more.
You got this mama!xx”