Having a baby to me is the most wonderful gift you can be granted. My 3 children are the most precious angels and my heart aches whenever I think of them! They are the best thing that has ever happened to us and my husband and I always say, if we haven’t done anything else right in life then we are doing pretty good with the 3 most adorable children we’ve created!
When a husband and wife decide it’s time to take the biggest step in their marriage and have children, obviously things change! You go from sleeping an average of 8-10 hours a night to 6-8 hours sometimes less and often broken. Your bedtime is now 8.30-9.30 not 10-11. Breakfast is done and finished by 6.30-7am not 10am. Your day’s activities are often planned around children’s nap times, feeds or places you visit have to cater all their needs rather than getting in the car and deciding on the way – although we have done that before! It is a a huge adjustment, but when my husband and I decided it was time, I was so ready for all of that!
From conception, to morning sickness, to scans, to feeling baby move, to baby shopping, to maternity clothes, to decorating the nursery, to a growing belly that everyone always admired…I just loved being pregnant! Then there were the celebrations of a baby shower and fitting in all the last minute things that you may not get to do for a while – dining out, going to the movies and what every women does…..clean, clean, clean!
Then the anticipation you’d been waiting for for 9 months….the day you give birth and finally meeting the little person your body had been growing for roughly 270 days! What a surreal experience childbirth is! No amount of reading, watching DVDs or birth classes can ever really prepare you for giving birth as everyone’s birth is unique! Call me crazy but I also loved giving birth! After I birthed all my babies who ranged from 10 pound 2 to 8 pound 13, I felt so empowered like I could take on the world! Those first few hours after giving birth are so precious! The skin to skin bonding time, the first time you breast feed, and the first time each family member meets your new bundle of joy are memories that last forever! As the mother, you sit back and watch everyone ogle over this little baby you and your husband have created and feel nothing but proud!
Then the day you’ve dreamt about since you use to play mummy and baby with your dolls finally arrives and you get to take your baby home and start your life as a mum! Being a mum is fantastic, I believe the best job you can do, but it certainly is one of the hardest, yet so rewarding! Over time you get peed, pooped and spewed on. You spend your whole time worry about things that haven’t even happened. You deal with tantrums, illnesses, children who won’t eat, refuse to sleep and some days you feel so overwhelmed you ask yourself….why?? Then your precious little one looks up to you and gives you a smile, says mumma, tells you they love you, squeezes you so tight, places a sloppy kiss on your face or tells you a funny story and instantly you know why!
But after all of this, being a mum is not all that life has come to! Yes it is the most important part of life that absolutely comes first, but not the only part of life! Just because we as mums, have given birth, doesn’t mean we aren’t entitled to have a life after birth! After you have a baby, it can take the first few months, 6 months or second child to even feel as though you are ready to go out for coffee with a girlfriend, dinner with your husband, shopping day with your mum or sister and leave the baby/babies at home! Maybe not for everyone, but it takes time to be able to trust and leave your baby with even your husband, that’s just how us mums feel.
Generations ago, it was solely the mother’s responsibility to take care of the children and men went to work and had a beer at the pub on the way home! Now society has changed and mothers are encouraged to go out to work or to become apart of play groups and fitness clubs….and I say why not! I think it is important not to forget the people we were before kids and the things we enjoyed to do! Obviously this can take time to fit into the busy schedule of a mum’s life and no one can tell you when to make the decision to start enjoying some time to yourself, you’ll know when the time is right!
It took a long time for me to let go and enjoy time to myself without feeling guilty! For the first few years of being a mum, one of the only times I’d leave the kids was when I went to work. We’d go to weddings, engagements, hens nights and I’d always make time for our mother/daughter outings or friends birthdays! But it’s really only now that our 3 kids are 6, 4 and 1, I feel ok to go out and have time to myself without feeling guilty. I think as mums we are the the glue that holds our homes together and when we are not there things become unstuck! The truth is most times it does lol, but it’s ok because when we return things all fall back into place again and we are able to move forward because we have had the time to breathe, debrief, regather our thoughts and hopefully have a good laugh!
These days I absolutely enjoy my half an hour each day of running or walking. This is my time to debrief to myself about things that are happening at home, thoughts for my blogs or planning in my head what I need to do for the day. I still love getting lost in my craft work and love baking and decorating birthday cakes and of course having girls days out. But my newest adventure is my blog. It allows me to express my feelings and put into words things I’ve learnt in life so far, in the hope to help others. It’s so important to have a balanced life as life after birth goes on for so many years. For me it goes: being a mum and wife, teacher, daughter, sister, friend and then finding time for me!