When I was pregnant with my little boy, I had this picture in my head of the type of mother I would be. During my pregnancy I was really organised, I had a mental checklist and by 30 weeks I had everything on it ticked off. I planned to keep this level of organisation once my baby was here, I had the image in my head of a spotless house, snuggled up on the sofa in a blanket peacefully breastfeeding my baby, with not a worry in the world.
This image wasn’t just for the early future, it was continued through to my baby being ready to wean and so on. I thought I’d be the type of mum who would be in the kitchen making batches of baby food to store in the freezer and cooking tea for me and my partner, so it was ready for him waking up every day (he works nights). I was going to be the perfect mum, the perfect house wife and make sure I was one of those women who have all their shit together by 10 in the morning.
How wrong I was…
To admit to you all, it did start out like this, surprisingly. The first few weeks of being at home with baby I managed to keep on top of everything. There were no piles of washing, dirty dishes, unmade beds, etc. Somehow, even in the state I was in after having my baby, I managed to keep on top of everything. I was proud and I think secretly, quite smug. And then somehow, overnight, all of this changed. I don’t know if it was a combination of tiredness catching back up on me, finding out my baby had tongue tie (and a hernia) and the fact I’d not eaten a proper meal in days, but I just didn’t have it all held together anymore. Ever since that night, I still don’t. The house is clean but almost always untidy. There’s always a pile of clothes that need washing. There’s always a stack of dirty dishes next to the sink, no matter how much I seem to wash up. The floors are swept and hoovered but god knows when they last had a proper steam clean. Me and baby don’t manage to get dressed until gone 12pm everyday, even though we are up from 6:30am every morning.
I seriously don’t know what happened to me, but that perfect image I had in my head is long gone and it seems like it is never coming back. I sort of had a freak out about it, I was devastated that I wasn’t going to be this mum I had always imagined. I was worried if people visited unexpectedly, I’d still be in my PJ’s and worried they would judge the state of my house. I was terrified what other mums would think of me for feeding my baby from a food pouch, instead of some organic-superfood-puree I had lovingly made for my baby. I was driving myself mad.
That’s when I realised how hard I was being on myself, the only person judging me and parenting abilities, was me. I might not be the 1950’s stay at home mum I had imagined, but I am still a perfect mum. Because I am and always will be the perfect mum for my little boy. It doesn’t matter that sometimes we stay in our PJs for most of the day, if he is happy. He doesn’t care if there is a pile of clothes to wash and a load of dishes next to the sink. After the years and years, I am going to put into parenting my child whilst they are still at home, the memories he will remember is how happy he was and how I was always by his side. Not how tidy the house was and whether I put the washing out every day.
As I write this it is 12:26pm, we have baby group in an hour and we are both still in our PJ’s sat on the sofa. There is a pile of clean washing in the living room chair that needs folding and putting away, dishes in the sink that needs washing, dirty washing that needs to be put in the washing machine, the list seems never ending. But as I look to my right, my 8-month-old baby is laid next to beaming with his gorgeous little smile on his face. If that doesn’t prove how happy he is then I don’t know what will.
There is such pressure on new mums to get EVERYTHING done, if your house is a little untidy, you are a bad mum. If you spend the first weeks after birth staying in smelling of stale milk or constantly making up bottles, you are a bad mum. If you manage to ‘snap back’ and are out and about after a few days, you guessed it, you’re a bad mum. No matter what decisions we make, there will always be someone judging our actions. And I have learnt the best way to deal with this is to not give a f**k what anyone thinks and just enjoy time with your baby. Every women is a perfect mum to their baby, as long as your little human is happy, that’s all that matters.
By Denver Andrews-Long. 🙂
Read more over on: www.denversdiary.wordpress.com