7 May 2019

Dear New Mum

The Western Sydney University has this great initiative called the "Mother’s Day Letters Project". It came to my attention via a friend studying to be a midwife. The project is about supporting new mums and promoting resilient motherhood.

And my one piece of advice from me to every new mother I meet since I become a mum myself is "trust yourself". But the project was asking for letters - so a letter I wrote.  Mine is below, but if you want to take part in the project you can do so RIGHT HERE. This is in no way sponsored or anything interesting like that - I just like the idea of coming together and supporting new mums before they get sucked into the vortex that is 'online mothers groups' or 'in my day...' or any of the other well meaning advice that doesn't take into account the exquisite individuality of each and every child and associated parenting experience.

My daughters aged 1 and 0.
Dear New Mum,

Trust yourself.

You have just spent a number of months growing this small human inside you. Depending on the kind of person you are you have either turned to family for all their advice, read all the books, joined every forum, faithfully read all the things the nurses or doctors or doulas have recommended. Maybe all of the above. You have bought all the things you need, and all sorts of things you will never need. And now, now you’re a mum.

You have birthed that baby by pushing it out of you or by having somebody slice you open and then stitch you up. Either way, you’ve just done something magnificent – you grew a human. Like seriously – all on your own. Sure, you got some help getting it started but in the end – who is the legend that did most of the work? YOU.

So trust yourself.

Nobody is an expert at raising a child. Not your mum, your friends, your sisters, aunts, cousins, nor the woman offering advice from the next bed who is up to her 68th child. No medical professional is an expert. No baby guru. No author. No midwife. No nurse. Nobody.

So trust yourself.

Babies just need love, food and regular changing. They have no agenda. They can’t be manipulated into behaving into a certain way unless that’s how they go naturally. Good sleepers are just sleepy babies. Good eaters are just hungry. Babies that sleep through the night from 2 days older are mainly mythical creatures who will cause their parents grief in different ways further down the track.

So trust yourself.

Nobody is going to love that baby like you. Despite their relentless opposition to learning to speak in the womb, that baby of yours will learn to communicate with you. Initially it all just sounds like crying. And it still will for a couple of years but generally if you pick them up and cuddle them, or feed them, or change their butt – they’ll quieten down. You will learn when a small smile is your baby farting or actually smiling. You will learn the little cues they offer up. Because you love them, you’ll work it out.

So trust yourself.

If you are having a really crappy time and you feel sad and down and you’re not enjoying it – that’s not you being a bad parent. That’s your brain. Go and speak to the doctor – get some help whether its medication, or a therapist, or a massage. You are a good parent. You’re a great mum. Being tired all the time is a given. Being sad all the time is your brain being an arsehat.

So trust yourself.

I have never met you. I probably never will. But I know this – your child might sleep perfectly for three months and cry for the next or all the other things that you will spend time feverishly googling to see whether or not they are normal - but they are doing things right on schedule for them. And no matter what happens, whether they are diagnosed with ‘a thing’ or they cruise through the first year like the poster child for children, the only thing you can be sure about is that you know your child better than anyone.

So trust yourself.

You will lose time marvelling at their tiny toes or weird dimples. You will see beauty where others see one of those weird fur-less cats. You will marvel at your child’s uniqueness - just like everybody else. You will discover that wiping poop off your shirt is not as gross if it comes from somebody you grew. You will marvel at the fact that you just whipped snot out of your child’s nose with your own two fingers (which you know is totally disgusting but the tissue box was out of reach and buggered if you were moving).

So trust yourself.

Loving your child is an evolving process. Just when you think you are at breaking point, they smile, or giggle, or just look at you as if you are the most wondrous thing they have ever seen and all of a sudden, it’s bearable again. Loving a child is a visceral experience. Go with your gut every time. You are never wrong. Yes, even now. Right now, when you think you don’t know anything.

Trust yourself.

You. Yes you. You are a perfect mum. Just as you are.

Much love

Me x

If you want to see more of what goes on when I'm not writing this blog
follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

    







No comments:

Post a Comment