I love being a Mummy. I really love being a Mummy.
I feel like sometimes you have to say that before you start to say anything remotely negative about the motherhood experience, and this isn’t a negative post, just an honest and hopefully a helpful one.
When I found out I was pregnant I was living with my sister in our flat in East London and taking as many trips to NYC as I could in a year. I worked a lot and went out a lot with our circle of friends. London is great for that, you can work hard and party hard every day of the week. There is so much to do with friends; pubs, clubs, boozy brunches, dinner parties, museums, gigs, secret gigs, shopping for days etc etc.
So once I found out I was pregnant, things had to change. I moved in with my partner to a garden flat in North London, I slowed down work, up’ed my healthy lifestyle and made a home. Then came Hallie, and changed our lives forever. She changed it for the better, and I haven’t once wished for my old life (that is the truth).
We took a our first family holiday to Greece and she was an angel, we loved every second of it, we have even managed to take her to a festival (just a day one, we are not that brave yet). It has been a great year so far and the family time when we are all together is the best.
However, the weekdays can be a different story. People think – you are not working and so you should make the most of the time you have, and that is true, but when you have been up all night with a teething baby and they can be on the verge of tears for an entire day, your motivation to get up and out can be limited (especially on your own with a baby). The days can be long, my partner gets up at 5am and off goes off to work until 7pm.
If you live away from family and friends it can be a struggle, you don’t have your mum popping in to give you half hour to sort the kitchen out, or your Grandma round the corner to stroll out to, or that friend to meet at soft play. We decided to stay in London as our jobs are here and our life, but life changes with a little one and family & friends are important.
We have some good friends in London but our lives are very different, they are still very busy with work and not free in the day, we also have the friends who don’t get it, and that is fine because one day it will be their turn and they will get it.
So some days I am in the flat and don’t get out as Hallie is having a bad day teething, or she is poorly, or I have tried to cook her meal three times in the steamer but it isn’t working, or her nap has gone on way longer than it should and I have missed a lunch date. And these days can be long and tiresome.
I am getting more in my Mummy swing, and yeah the days still can be long and some days Matt will get home from work and I just want him to take Hallie so I can have some time (to cook etc), but I try to treasure the moments at home with Hallie and that is made easier by having things to do in the day. Last week I didn’t go to my groups alone, I went with a Mummy friend and we followed it with lunch and it was so good to chat about our lives with someone who gets it. We are all very different in our Mummy group, but we are all on the same journey.
We have been talking about moving back to be near family and friends, and that might happen in the future, but for now I am going to enjoy my time off work and enjoy time with my NCT Mummy friends.
My tips for happy days…
- Make Mummy/Daddy friends! In the UK we have NCT groups from pregnancy were you get grouped with 5 other pregnant couples and you embark on the parenting journey together. This is great at first when you are pregnant, meet ups are easy! When the babies arrive they slow down a little, so my advice is make the effort, don’t step out alone to baby weighing or a weaning workshop, invite others along. Sub tip; start a WhatsApp group with your Mummy friends to share tips, ask questions or have a grumble.
- Get out the house! You don’t have to go far, even a walk to the local coffee shop can make a difference, there are people there, you can chat!
- Get a routine with you baby, if you can, but don’t make it to strict or you will miss those groups you like or lunch date with your Mummy friends.
- Go to groups, music groups are the best, you can’t help but let it raise your spirits.
- Book holidays & trips! Have something to look forward to.
- Have something for yourself, I have my blogging, it gives my day more structure and purpose when Hallie is asleep or playing.
These are just some things that work for me, would love to hear what works for you! Having a baby is the BEST thing in the world, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard and just because you don’t love every part doesn’t mean you are any less grateful for what you have.