I woke up of my own accord at 7.51am today. That is a flipping miracle.
I didn’t ‘sleep through the night’ as it turns out that after 6m of waking every few hours to deal with baby… I now struggle to ‘self-settle’. However… I got a solid 6 hours of sleep, even with some quiet periods of – erm – wakefulness. I woke up feeling – for once – ‘normal’ – you know, ‘normal’ sleepy’ and ‘normal bring caffeine quick’.
Rather than jump up and start Being Mum today, I’m going to hide in bed and write this. My First Blog Post. On My First Mothers Day.
This post is a shout out to the brilliant / resilient / bonkers Mums who’ve got me to this point. I’d be crazy without you. So here’s to some Top 5 Mums.
- Starting with my own. Lives in Dorset and couldn’t come stay with me when my bundle of noise was born. Sent endless text messages (as early mums don’t have time to chat, right?!) with love and support. Agreed that breast feeding is awful (sorry – it was, my baby hated it – but that’s another post…). Looked after me and baby in Dorset – regularly, 24h, when I escaped ‘home’ for some mum-time. Laughed while my breast-pumped moo-ed at me and we watched tv while baby slept. Stayed up with me every feed in those early nights. Helped me grow in confidence. Showed me how to keep burping – and then burp some more – a colicky baby. All Night. Did last night’s night feed so I could sleep!
- In the same category of Awesomeness: my MIL. Came to live with us for a week post-baby. Absolutely in love with her tiny shrieking grandson – even though he initially repaid that love with a lot of 3am projectile poop. Has travelled up from Dorset to London to help more times than I can remember – including when baby was 9 weeks and we NEEDED A NIGHT AWAY. This was in the middle of Colic Time and we were very, very battle weary. Seemingly endless capacity to love everything about her tiny grandson – even the gross bits.
- The NCT Heroes! You, Mums, have been my daily lifeline. The WhatsApp messages that make us all snort with laughter. The messages that remind us to happily call BULLSHIT on our new role (it can be seriously underpaid). The ideas for lumpy boobs, sterilising breast pumps, Things To Help Baby Sleep, chapped nipples, constipated babies… Jesus, I’ve learned more from you lot than I ever wanted to know. I feel like we’re the recruits to become Navy Seals. We drink to build rapport (didn’t realise pubs are full of prams by day). We Don’t Give-Up. We find the weakest link, and we get together to pick them up when they’ve been feeling a bit wobbly. We purée together. We party together. We drink a lot of tea together. We ate too much cake together. And we’re now starting to find Ourselves, again, together (including our waistlines). You’re forgiving when mistakes are made, and you respect boundaries. We’re not the same in our natures, approaches, or home and career ambitions… but we’ve pulled together. No Mum is putting down her helmet and ringing that bell, on our watch! I admire and respect you all individually, and together.
- My Best Mums. You’re my best friends. You now have babies. It can be really shit. It has awesomeness about it, but as new jobs go, there are some serious howlers of reality that weren’t listed in the job spec. We know it. We talk honestly and openly about it. We resist our natural Career Woman urges to problem solve for each other – but we listen, we help, we support. We give each other space with our babies and our new mummy friends – because we know that we’ll be here for each other every year. We’re in this for the long run. We forgive cancelled dates. We change plans and travel by car with screaming babies. We never judge. When times get tough we PUPD to get that baby sleeping, and plan future family holidays! Booze will be included. A lot of it.
- The Experienced Mum. For me, this was my Doula who came in the early weeks after baby was born. Sarah cleaned, made lunch, helped me as I tried to establish breast-feeding, and came out on my first Solo (ish) Baby Walk. She shared ideas but really focused on Me and not the baby. I didn’t know what it would be like to have a post-birth doula, but – an absolute lifeline in those early days. Other Experienced Mums of note include the kind health visitor who takes her time with you in those early days, when you’re dripping milk and crying a lot. And the Mums in Cafes, who smile as you trundle in with your pram and bags of Stuff You Might Need. Giving you a look that says – it’s going to get better!
Love you, Mums. Happy Mothers’ Day!