I couldn’t breastfeed because…
I had to have a c section because…
I let her do that because…
I decided to do it that way because…
As a parent, I quite often find myself explaining my decisions or circumstances to others. Sometimes unprompted too. So why is that? I think it’s because I’m used to questions and judgement. Sometimes direct and pointed, and other times perhaps merely perceived.
I was at the doctors for my sick baby with my toddler in tow, her hand in a cast. She had undergone surgery on her finger the day before, going under general anaesthetic. It had been an exhausting 48 hours for all of us and the baby was totally congested with conjunctivitis. I had barely slept, likely hadn’t had a shower or any breakfast. I had scored an appointment with 10 minutes notice so had to wake the sleeping children and get them dressed in record time and bundle them into the car. We made it. A few minutes late but we made it. The baby was checked and then I had a question for the nurse about Jessica’s cast. I was on auto pilot so it was a bit surreal as I uttered the following words: who is best for me to talk to about post natal depression?
Nothing in life has prepared me for this.
I’ve gotten this far in life using strategies, problem solving skills and resilience to deal with all sorts of situations.
I usually figure something out through trial and error, or learning by researching beforehand or watching someone else do it first.
At work, I communicate and collaborate with others and apply my knowledge and experience to come up with the best outcome. I use best practice where applicable.
But motherhood, this is different. Continue reading
Becoming a parent has brought many new experiences: childbirth, early mornings, unconditional love and singing the same song 12 times in a row without the aid of alcohol. One of these new experiences is the previously hidden (and overwhelming) community of people who have opinions about how you raise your kid. I’m slowly growing a thick skin to it, but boy did it blindside me when I was starting out. I’ve written before about pre-baby Steph and how naïve she was. But this is different. It’s all very personal. Continue reading
A new colleague asked me the other day to tell them a bit about myself, and for the first time in my life I was at a bit of a loss. I shared about how I’m a mum to a 13 month old and talked about our little family. And that was it. I mean, that’s heaps and it’s wonderful but it’s also very different to before. Prior to becoming a mum I had hobbies and interests that I could quickly and enthusiastically identify. Not any more. I get the impression I’m not alone in feeling this way. We become parents and lose ourselves in the magic, privilege and responsibility and all the trappings it brings.
It’s different to what you imagine
Put most of your preconceived ideas about what parenthood is like aside. Reality will hit like nothing you’ve ever experienced!
OK, not to scare anyone, but holy shit! How do families all over town, the country, the world do this on a day-to-day basis?! I found the first six months particularly challenging. I think there needs to be a huge celebration at that point – because if you can get through that, you can get through anything!! Continue reading
Yes I’m one of THOSE mums. The ones who have no choice but to be fiercely protective of their wee ones. The ones who don’t want to have to ask for special treatment and inconvenience others. The ones whose hearts ache at the thought of her baby coming into contact with something very dangerous through that same child’s natural curiosity and learning. The ones who cannot relax in a social setting as they need to be on high alert to notice which crumbs have been dropped on the ground, and what those crumbs may contain, or which other baby is playing with yours and whether they have leftover food on their face, clothes, hands that may compromise your child’s health. Continue reading
Plastic-free July got me thinking: plastic-free is a pretty lofty goal, but it’s a great opportunity to review our waste output. The disclaimer is – if I’m going to adopt a new process in my household, it needs to be any one of these three:
Otherwise it may not be a sustainable change for our family.
For context, our family is myself, my partner and our 11 month old daughter living in a 1960s pretty much original home. No pets…yet. I’ll share some of the things we already do towards waste reduction, and some of the things I’d like to adopt. Continue reading
There are many many things BC (Before Child) Steph said she’d do…
- breastfeed for a year (eeked my way to 5 months)
- not let my baby watch tv or play with my phone (thank you props!)
- not use a dummy (was a godsend for a couple of months there)
- be a really calm, serene mother who has her shit together at all times (!)
Oh lol at naive, idealistic BC Steph. What did you know about anything?!
Something else I said I’d do is have one year maternity leave then return to work fulltime, with my partner becoming a stay at home Dad (SAHD). This is on-track to happen next month and I’m a bit anxious about it. Continue reading
Me when I was newly-pregnant: I’m going to be really open-minded when it comes to a birth plan. Whatever happens happens. I’m just going to go with the flow.
Me also when I was newly-pregnant: I don’t want a c-section if I can avoid it.
I’ve never really stayed in hospital before, I suck at taking pain relief and I didn’t want to have to recover from major surgery and figure out how to mum…but it all worked out! Just want to share my experience in case it helps someone else get mentally-prepared. I covered a bit of Jessica’s birth story in (Breast/Bottle) Feeding but I’ll go into a bit more detail here. So this is a warning to stop reading if you don’t want to know. I’m going to be really honest. Continue reading