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The realities of a Newborn baby

Wednesday, 6 September 2017  | 

The realities of the newborn days

 

I knew having two children would be difficult. The juggling demands of the constant feeding of a new born with a very strong-willed toddler. Back when I was pregnant I struggled with depression, but it would all be different when the baby arrived wouldn’t it? Instead I found myself once again in the grips of post-natal depression comparing myself to everyone.

With the feeding schedule of a new born you tend to become stuck to the sofa endlessly scrolling through social media. This was where I became unravelled. Social media is a place where I felt supported with an amazing community of other parents. In the hormonal state of a 1am feed it is also where I felt like a failure comparing myself to them. Looking at the mums with two kids going out, achieving so much and looking happy. I was not happy, so it must mean there was something wrong? If they could do it, why couldn’t I?

I began to distant myself from it to gain some perspective, to concentrate on me and my family. It wasn’t the end of the world that I didn’t upload to Instagram stories for a few days. when I went back to it, guess what it was still there. Everyone was still doing the same thing and I realised perhaps it isn’t all as it seems. That one photo, that one story, that one glimpse into someone’s life isn’t the whole picture. Everyone has their struggles but it is something you do not always see. It is sometimes hard to forget when you are looking at the glamourous photos of their feeds.

It is rare to see a celeb mum, hair wild with no sleep putting a less than attractive photo of the realities of what motherhood really looks like on their account. Instead there are headline upon headline about how well they are looking. This adds to the pressure of being a new mum, when you do not live up to the ridiculous standards you feel like a rubbish mother.

The first 9 weeks of being a mum have not been smooth sailing. The realities of the new born days are not pretty or glamourous. It is okay not to enjoy them and although it will be hard to see at the time, things will change. It will pass, and you will slowly feel like you are gaining a little bit more control of things. If you are reading this in your PJs at 3pm and haven’t brushed your hair in 2 days, it is fine, you are doing great.

I do not think we talk about the realities of being a parent enough. You are not a bad mother for having post-natal depression, for not enjoying being a mother. From the thoughts of leaving, for feeling like an utter failure, guess what? You’re a normal mother. We need to break down the un realistic expectations that are forced upon us, as they are not real life and it is sometimes hard to figure that out.  What you see isn’t real life. Real life is hard, and it is ugly, but with crashing lows come the amazing highs. The first smile, each new noise, seeing both of you children interact and build their bond with one another.

My advice, shut of your phone for a while and just be. So, what if you haven’t done any washing, ate biscuits all day binge watching Netflix. You made it through the day, you did it. Try not to live up to the expectations that you are supposed to be Super Mum doing everything and looking like you stepped of the catwalk doing it. Do what you can to get through the day, take it one day at a time. And, remember there will be bad days, but for every one of them there will be good days too.

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