Today marks the six month of my motherhood journey.
I’ve learnt so much in such a short time and I have loved every minute of it, every peak and every trough of emotion and every sleepless night.
Here are a few things that I’ve learned so far:
- People are kind. I have so many examples of this, from total strangers and friends and acquaintances alike. Total strangers showing kindness by helping me fold a pram in a carpark or carrying my luggage off a plane in Abu Dhabi. All of my friends and family really were so kind and generous, texting and calling to send best wishes and check in on my pregnancy progress. People that I hadn’t spoken to in a year sent me baby gifts and cards, friends spent hundreds of dollars to visit my new faraway home and meet little Tilly, always bringing thoughtful gifts and messages from home.
- My body is a wonderland! Honestly, labour is a real pain in the butt… well, you know what I mean! I’ve touched on the challenges in previous posts, so I won’t repeat myself, but to say that my body outdid itself in the days, weeks and months after is an understatement! From simply producing the sustenance that my baby needs to flourish, to fully functioning on 5hrs of sleep consistently for 6months.
- My mind is even stronger. It’s a crazy thing motherhood. It is a roller coaster of ups and downs, never ending challenges. The mere ability to be able to sing and play with a baby, as I do 8hrs a day, with such little sleep is incredible. The ability to stay calm, as a front at least, to show stability to your infant when they’re crying or in pain is another incredible feat. Of course, all of us feel stressed and frustrated, like everything is completely out of control or overwhelmed at the thought that we may never eat, shower, dress in peace – but this only makes our minds more sensational. The resilience that we are forced to exhibit during parenthood is a testament to the strength and overall ability of our minds to function under, sometimes severe, duress.
- Sometimes being a mother is boring. I left a super busy career managing successful and large multimillion dollar turnover businesses, so sometimes singing Old MacDonald and pairing socks for a living can be overwhelmingly mundane. It doesn’t mean that it’s not rewarding and valuable, it just means that getting used to a slower pace and appreciating the little things Day to Day is a new challenge.
- Friends are more valuable than ever. Obviously moving 2000km from my Bondi home has posed another little challenge, in the way of support. We don’t have any family or old friends to rely on, which means that we are completely self reliant as a family unit. This is tough, but has brought us much closer as a couple. Getting out and making new friends, as well as staying in touch with my closest friends has been integral to maintaining my sanity.
- Maintaining a healthy relationship doesn’t have to be hard. My partner and I fight like cats and dogs, but have some good things going for us. We argue but joke and make up quickly, trying not to prolong silly disagreements and waste the little time that we have together being grumpy. Maintaining a happy and healthy relationship has taken a little bit of effort, ensuring that we spend time together when the baby is asleep, seeing friends for lunch and dinner once a week, joining a gym together (with a crèche for Bub). Of course, a baby adds pressure to any relationship, so obviously having a baby will not heal existing wounds in a relationship, but I do feel that it made some trivial issues that we had become obsolete.
- I love myself more than ever. I fully appreciate who I am now, I love and embrace all of my flaws but in general I see myself with kinder eyes. A lot of emotions about my own upbringing started bubbling to the surface during my pregnancy, as I considered what sort of mother I would be I found myself reflecting a lot on my past. I had a tumultuous relationship with both parents at some point in my adolescence and young adulthood, but as soon as I held my child in my arms I felt like all of the issues that we had disappeared. I felt a forgiveness and a connection to my parents that I couldn’t comprehend before, because I had this little piece of me in my arms, bursting with love and hope for her future and our relationship, I understood how my parents must have felt when I was born. I can’t imagine a day that my precious daughter doesn’t wish to speak to me and hopefully I never will experience it, but for now I channel those feelings into moving forward with a strengthened relationship with my own family.