So I wanted to write a little post, but a bit of a different one. This is a post To me From me!
Well you’ve done it girl! You’ve got through the first year of motherhood. And you’ve done a bloody good job of it. This time two years ago you were in the lowest place; suffering from anxiety attacks, feeling depressed and struggling to deal with how you were feeling emotionally. Thank God you spoke up about it; it was without question, the best thing you ever did. You knew you would have to fight through that horrible time in order to get to where you wanted to be; a Mummy. Telling those you are closest to was one of the hardest things; it’s always hard to admit when something is wrong, but when it’s that unexpected and out of character, it made it even harder. But sometimes the first step is the most difficult step, but it can also be the most rewarding because it opened doors. It opened doors where you finally allowed others in, to help, to talk to, to lean on. It felt so good not to be alone with anymore. And it was the first step towards getting better, and to becoming a stronger and better person. In turn, life rewarded you.
When you found out you were pregnant it was the happiest moment. And you powered through that difficult pregnancy; the 9 months of sickness, the restless legs, the exhaustion, the heartburn. Because you knew being a Mum would make it all worth while.
And it was. When Josh was born it was the biggest game changer of all. You knew it would change your life, of course, but you didn’t realise quite how huge an impact he would have; every little thing you do, decision you make, thing you want to get done, it’s all down to this little person. The first six weeks were very very hard. As the worlds most squeamish person, having to go through such a traumatic birth ending with an emergency C Section was not ideal; when you were discharged with the news you’d have to have injections every night for six weeks you were so upset. There was a level of resentment there; hadn’t you gone through enough getting this little man into the world. You didn’t realise how much you would be “on call”. Normally when people have major surgery they have a few weeks to rest and recoup. As a mother you get sent home two days later with a box of paracetamol and a baby, who will then need you on tap without delay for every feed, nappy change and Mummy cuddle required. You didn’t take into account how hard it would be to not even be able to enjoy a shower without hearing the dreaded words being yelled upstairs “I think he’s hungry”. You hated yourself for the resentment you had for this, how you felt jealous that Sam could just do what he wanted but you couldn’t. Christmas last year was a really tough one; you were out of sorts, tired, hormonal, and felt like you were only needed for feeding.
It all took some adjusting, and in those moments when you were down you kept being told things start to feel a bit better around the 6 week mark. And low and behold, they were right. You had finally got to grips with the breastfeeding – and well done you cause a year down the line you’re still breastfeeding – bloody well done! Women aren’t told enough well done for continuing to breastfeed in your opinion. It’s pretty rare to have done it for a year so well done you. And you had got to grips with everything else; how your life had changed, how you can survive on so little sleep (thank you Costa Coffee for merely existing), you got involved with baby classes, and got Josh into an enjoyable routine. It was a whole new world and a wonderful one at that.
And what a year you’ve had. What an eye opener. What an enormous life lesson! You’ve learnt so much. You’ve learnt that if you have the patience and determination you really can get through those difficult times. You’ve learnt that it’s not a weakness to speak up and ask for some help; you’ve been so grateful to family and friends who have helped you out, especially in those early days with Josh. It was always such a reassurance to speak to someone who’d tell you “don’t worry, that’s normal”. You’re eternally grateful to the NHS for their support with breastfeeding and how you were feeling emotionally after giving birth; you were well looked after, encouraged, and supported. It’s given you the drive to look at becoming a breastfeeding support worker and to help others.
It took many many months for you to realise what a good Mum you are. You kept being told what a great job you were doing but it was as though you didn’t want to believe it. Now you can say, whole heartedly “yes I am a good Mum”. You have a happy, healthy and funny little boy, you’ve learnt to cook yummy meals for him (unheard of for you cause pre baby you were a shit cook), you’ve continued to breastfeed even when those close to you have said “give yourself a break and just give him a bottle” which at times was so tempting, you’ve survived on 10 months of broken sleep (hurrah for finally sleeping through), you’ve survived judgement from total strangers on how you parent your child, you’ve survived a horrible birth, you’ve learnt to multi task in a way that the old PA you is beyond impressed with. You’re killing it – you’re a great Mum. Your son is a testament to that. It’s not all you; your husband is your rock, and he’s not only survived a year of being a Dad, but also of being a husband to a hormonal, tired, sometimes fed up wife. He’s killing it too. And your wonderful friends; where would you be without them; very lost, very lonely! You’re so grateful for having such amazing people in your life, and good on you for continually telling them this. In particular your NCT girls are your tribe – where would you be without them (in a vat of gin most likely).
On top of this you’ve kept your other baby, Beauty Baby and Me, high on your priority list. So much so that you’ve managed to get nominated for an award, increase your following to over 4000 people and go self hosted. Not bad going for someone also juggling being a first time Mumma.
So often we don’t recognise our achievements, we don’t realise how far we’ve come, we don’t consider the challenges we’ve faced and overcome to get to where we want to be. So I wanted to write this letter to you to remind you that you’ve come so far, you’ve done so well, and you should be really proud of yourself. There is no shame in being proud of yourself, especially when you’ve fought hard to get to where you want to be. So here’s to the next year prosecco princess, may it bring you all you wish for, maybe even Bump number two, who knows!
PS. Don’t go and buy that handbag you saw and are lusting after – you’ve got enough. Pour yourself some prosecco and forget about it.
PPS. Fuck it – life’s short, buy the handbag! You deserve it!