I’ve celebrated mother’s day for the fourth time this year. It’s a day that always makes me reflect on the rollercoaster ride I’ve been on since becoming a mother, the exciting highs and the extreme emotional lows.
A small tiny loud thing had just been thrust into my arms, it was the moment I became mum. I couldn’t believe he was mine. My own little human to look after and love for the rest of my days. I didn’t feel that overwhelming feeling of attachment, I thought I would right away. In fact I still remember in amongst the happiness that labour was finally over (why did no one tell me it could last over a day? 36 hours to be exact!), I felt an all over empty and slightly helpless feeling. He was here now and I suddenly realised I had no idea what I was doing. I naively believed everyone that said “It all comes naturally the second your baby is placed in your arms!”
What a load of crap. I kept waiting for weeks after having him for it to naturally come to me. That I would just recognise which cry was a hungry cry, which cry was a tired cry. I kept beating myself up over the fact I still didn’t know what I was doing and made myself feel like such a failure and unfit to look after my baby boy.
I realise now that society places an unfair expectation on new mums. To be that perfect mum the second your baby is born; that knows instantly how to feed your child, knows exactly how to change a nappy. Even these simple things I didn’t have a clue. I was too scared to hold him the right way to wind him. He seemed far too small and delicate. As a first time mum I beat myself up on a daily basis that I couldn’t get him to latch, that I had to use a bottle, that I couldn’t stop his reflux, that I couldn’t stop his crying.
It’s the hardest, toughest job I’ve ever had. I’ve wanted to throw the towel in at times, which is so not like me, I am not a quitter! However, motherhood is the most difficult, yet rewarding job, the most joyous but unforgiving role.
If anything motherhood has made me appreciate my mum all the more. She has done this three times over! For every time I felt I was falling apart my mum had been through the same thing, felt the same things and made me feel happier and better each time, all the things which she had gone through before I can ever remember. All the hardship and troubles we caused her and yet we all still turned out ok.
He makes me laugh with his crazy sense of humour, brings tears to my eyes with his cuteness, and makes my heart fill up with love and pride and that is when I realise there is no other job I would rather have.
So to all you mothers out there, who may be beating yourself up over not being the “perfect mum.’ Who cares, so what? You may not fit that mould, but you are doing a great job!
Have a wonderful mothers day! X