The moment I became confident in being a mum
When I found out I was pregnant with Little L I was in total shock. I was overjoyed dont get me wrong but I was a little worried about the challenges I had facing me as I entered into the world of motherhood. I was already a mum of sorts, being a step mum to Big L, but at the time he was 7 years old and really I had no experience of being a mum to a newborn.
I thought I was thoroughly prepared for being a mum. I read every book I could get my hands on about labour and pregnancy. I didnt really take much notice of the bit after the baby was born. Looking back I was so naive, because I just thought Id know exactly what I was doing. I never even contemplated the effects that having a baby would have on my relationship, on my life and how I would feel as an individual.
That first night alone with my baby in the hospital and I was pretty shell shocked. My baby would not stop crying no matter what I did. I really didnt know what I was doing and I was well out of my comfort zone. I was scared of breaking or harming this delicate baby by just doing one little thing wrong. I just didnt know what to do.
Deep down though I really did. And that might surprise you when I say that.
Because when it comes to life you can rule with your head or your heart. That first night in the hospital I ruled with my head. I questioned everything I did with another question. Those first few months I ruled with head.
But one day something changed and it was when Little L had woken in the night. This was a regular occurrence and I was three months in to troubled and broken sleep. I had been trying all sorts of things to get into a routine. I just assumed routine was important, and I still do to this day.
My head kept telling me that I needed to soothe him in a certain way. That I shouldnt give too much attention to him, but my heart just told me to carry on doing what I was doing.
I cried that night holding my baby. And thats when it all clicked into place. I cried because of the confusion and the way my head was playing games on me. Listening to repeats of people giving me advice and opinions. That night I just held my baby close and he stopped crying and went to sleep.
My heart knew I just needed to take my time and do what I thought was right.
That was the night I gained some sort of confidence in my ability to be a mum and soothe my baby. Everything after that I just knew I needed to rule with my heart. The first cold. Teething. Weaning stages. The first hospital visit and most recently knocking his two front teeth and an impending hospital visit to come. But each and every time I have had confidence in my own ability.
Nurofen for children recently surveyed 2000 new mums and it seems on average it takes a first time mum about six months to feel confident in their own abilities. Its not surprising to me that 9 out of 10 mums would say having a baby is life changing. I would certainly agree, would you?
If I could give any new mum a little advice. I would say rule with your heart and not your head on this journey. As a mum you have an instinct and deep down you will always know what to do for your own baby and indeed yourself as a new mum.
What advice would you give a new mum who was struggling to gain some confidence in their new role?