The Motherhood Journey… You Do Not Need To Know The Answers!
Whilst looking at recent photos of my Daughter & I, it seems almost impossible to fully cast my mind back to the day when I found out I was pregnant, the new-born years and the toddler moments.
Of course, I can remember them, but I cant recall the ‘questions’, the things I had to ‘learn for the first time’. The things that were a massive deal to me back then.
Like any new mum, everything was totally brand new to me. The whole concept of actually being pregnant, the visits to the doctor, the nurse, the foods you should and shouldn’t eat. Buying all of the pregnancy books. Where to start. Buggies/prams/dummies/car seats/milk. The list is an endless one, and posed many a question. Questions that I simply did not have the answer for.
On Monday 2nd November 2009, at the age of 29, I gave birth to our beautiful Daughter, Melissa, and I was literally overwhelmed with questions I had to answer. New things I needed to learn. How to get her settled, how to help her when she was ill, changing a nappy, taking her for her routine injections, weaning her onto food, breastfeeding, then the transition from my breast milk and onto formula. I had one or two midnight wrestling matches with electric breast pumps. I can definitely conclude that breast pumps did not like me, and I did not like them!
The photo below was my first Christmas as a Mum. Learning as I went along. Feeling overwhelmed, and anxious. Surrounded by people who had been there and done it. I felt 100% in control, yet was totally fraught. I was totally in love with, beyond in love with my Daughter. I think love can get you through anything. What a little cutie she was.
With so much to learn, it most definitely was overwhelming. Each year brought a new challenge. Nursery. Friends. Baby clubs. Teething. Illness. Fussy behaviour. Restless nights.
My point in this blog is to say that we, as Mums really DO NOT need to know the answer, and to be honest, if we are a new Mum, why should we be expected to know? We put so much pressure on ourselves, and that is BEFORE we even consider our own needs, self-care, relationships, marriage, career, being a stay at home Mum, finances, purpose, eating well, style, socialising, creativity, fitness. Usually, the entire list above is put to one side for a good while.
For any Mums out there, with children of school age and above, you can absolutely give yourself a well deserved high five, for nurturing your child, building a relationship, and for learning all of the things listed above (and more). You should be proud, and aware that you have evolved into a beautiful woman.
For any Mums out there who still have babies or young children, please learn from my mistakes and try to delegate a little more. Know that not having all of the answers is ok. Life has a funny way of just figuring itself out. Enjoy the journey, not the destination (as cliché as that may sound). Make more time for YOU-TIME. This enables you to function better, be more rested, happy and content. In turn you can be an even better Mummy.
If you are not a Mum, and you potentially would like to be, know that it is a beautiful journey. A journey that should be enjoyed, and not dreaded. There is no right or wrong answer, (well maybe if your child wont go to bed after 3 hours of rocking). In which case, it is absolutely most acceptable to drive said child around your local town at 2am, whilst wearing your dressing gown and slippers, hoping that you don’t get spotted by a more ‘normal’ human being 🙂 In fact, why would you get spotted? Aren’t most normal people asleep at that point! I have never done this of course. I have also never slept in a car park overlooking the beach either, as my Daughter finally settled there and I daren’t turn the keys in the ignition. Honest that wasn’t me.
And 8 years have passed. Look how far we have come. I need not have worried about a SINGLE THING.
This blog post is dedicated to all of the amazing parents out there who care for their children, put themselves on a temporary back seat, wipe sick, clean 30 different bowls, spoons, forks everyday, find food in obscure places, tidy, then tidy again every room, rock to sleep, have a permanent packet of wet wipes on hand, chop food, blend food, brush teeth, wipe bums, change nappies, soothe cuts and grazes, cool temperatures, drive to the doctors, keep in touch with family, attend baby groups, and know every single word to every single kids song that is on tv, and actually start to feel like the cast of CBeebies are your real mates.
Well done for being an amazing guiding light to your child.
Written by Dawn Collins for her blog, Dawn Elissa.