What a whirl wind of a year it has been.
I reflect back and can't imagine what life was like without Ava, but I also can't believe that one year has passed since we first met.
Motherhood has taught me so much about myself. It has rocked me to my core and at times got me questioning am I still me?
It has shown me that I am actually a patient person and can be calm under pressure. Two traits I would never have thought would be within me. But this little human brought the best out in me.
I used to think the saying "motherhood is the best but hardest job you will ever do" was a little clique, but it really sums it up.
It is tough and so much hard work which you need to do sleep deprived for the first few weeks to few months (depending on how much your baby loves or doesn't love sleep).
It brings you so much love that you can't even describe but with that comes the hard times where you are crying and have no idea how to make your baby stop screaming, asking "what do you need?".
Here are my reflections from my first year of motherhood...
1) Breastfeeding is bloody hard work! I used to think that you just put your baby to your breast and voila, baby drinks. But boy was I wrong and I only found this out by attending the breastfeeding class my hospital was running. I wanted to breastfeed so badly and I am so grateful that we got there in the end after a couple of days of struggling. Including being 'milked' by a lactation nurse...fun times!
2) I have been tested and pushed to my absolute limit on so many occasions. Not knowing what is wrong or what else I can do to stop her crying after only having a few hours of broken sleep.
3) The gush of love I felt when I first set eyes on Ava was just beyond words. I had instant love for this little bubba who I had never met before. We laid eyes on each other for the first time and it was magical. I replay this moment over and over again with tears in my eyes each time.
4) Asking for help is a must when you have a new born baby. It took me a while to get to that place but once I did I wondered why I hadn't done it sooner. If people offer help TAKE IT! Whether it is food, cleaning, cooking or washing say a big YES and do not feel guilty.
5) You can have it all, just not all at once. I tried to get back into work thinking I could juggle everything I did beforehand. Nope...this almost equaled burn out for me, I had to step back and have a break from my business for a couple of weeks. Something has to give so remember that and you will be fine.
6) Never wake a sleeping baby! I was told this when Ava was only a few weeks old and so I listened. This doesn't apply for the first few weeks when you are trying to get your bubba to chub up, but after that, let them sleep!
7) The whole tip, sleep when baby sleeps is crap! There is so many other things to be doing while your baby sleeps. I managed to do this a couple of times in the very early days but it didn't last. Once hubby went back to work and our new reality set in, I wanted to have a shower, eat, clean up etc etc. So sleep when you can but don't get too caught up in this idea.
8) Hearing your baby say 'mum' for the first time is the best sound ever! When I was pregnant Ava's heart beat was the best sound ever and I think it always will be, but hearing her say mum was just amazing. I cried and couldn't believe she just spoke her first word.
9) I can't get enough of Ava's face. I'm always kissing her and telling her I love her. Her face is the cutest thing ever and I will never get enough of it. Now she is one, she doesn't sit still so I can't kiss her adorable little face as much as I would like too.
10) Ever since Ava was little I made sure I still went out and caught up with friends, I had to for my own sanity. I think doing this has really helped her become used to being out and about around other people. We can go out all day and she is happy, as long as she has food to eat and things to look at she is a happy little girl (most of the time).
11) The most important reflection is to ALWAYS listen to your own motherly instincts, no matter what other people say. I now know the power of this because at the end of the day I know my baby better than any one else. So I tap into that instinct and use that as my guidance. Trust yourself! You can read all the books in the world but sometimes they don't apply to you and your baby.
12) Talk with other like minded mum's. Make sure they are like minded mama's that you spend your time with. You don't want the comparison of some mother's groups. When you find those like minded mum's you can really go deep and realise you are not alone in so many things. Having that support of others that 'get it' is super important.
13) Having time for your is a MUST!! Giving your all to your family, baby and friends is great, but it means nothing if it is half arsed. So spend time with yourself, for yourself and you will be so much happier with everything. The little things won't get to you as often and that is what we need as mum's. Self-care and self-love must be a priority in your life, whether it is 10mins a day or 2 hours a day, it all counts and it all makes you feel better.
I am so blessed to be a mum, I never take it for granted and never will. It is a privilege and not a right, so make the most of every single moment, good and bad. Ava is my shining light and little guru, she is my everything and I would do absolutely anything for her. I love you my darling little girl, thank you for choosing me to be your mummy.
What are some of your reflections of motherhood? I would love to hear them, pop them in the comments below...
Be happy & healthy,