When I had my first child, I was all about the pregnancy and birth. Like so many mothers, it consumed me. I read and researched, I improved my eating habits, drank more water, gave up all alcohol (I didn't drink coffee) and I even took up yoga.
After morning sickness had passed and especially when there was no mistaking me being pregnant, I loved it! So grateful and excited for the family we would become. The actual bringing the baby home part - well I didn't think much about it. Oh, I knew I would be tired, more exhausted than I'd ever been before but the rest, it would be fine! I had spent most of my teens and 20's looking after babies and toddlers. I thought I knew everything!
Well as it turned out, I didn't know anything, especially about how that most incredible experience would change my life forever. Actually being responsible for another human 24/7 and forever. My husband and I could not believe that we actually were allowed to take this tiny, helpless human home and then once there, although elated, it was scary.
So, it seemed all my 'experience' added up to nought when my baby came home. I wasn't prepared and to tell you the truth I was angry, "why hadn't anyone ever told me this?" - I had three sisters for goodness sake! So many things were a surprise to me, I felt like we were the only ones who didn't know what we were doing surely everyone didn't feel like this. Then later when I joined my mother's group and I started talking to other parents I knew, it seemed that everyone without exception, felt the same way my husband and I felt.
It was such a relief - we were not alone; we were the rule not the exception. We had found that if you can open up and talk and share your experiences with others, you will find that there is a whole community of people out there who are experiencing the same challenges, doubts, fears and insecurities. They are called parents. The more you can draw from that community, the more you can open yourself up and share your experiences, the more you will feel supported on that journey of yours.
You are not alone.
Note: Most Maternal and Child Health Centres in Australia arrange Mother's (Parent) groups usually starting when your baby is between 2-12 weeks old. I recommend that all new Parents try them out and remember if you don't like the one you are placed in, rather than stop going, you should be able swap to a different group.
Motherlifework's business involves training pregnant women for their motherhood journey, (not pregnancy or the labour journey). What is unique about our training is that it is focused on giving women an honest insight into what they can expect at home with a newborn baby.
The training we provide is partly based on research undertook by interviewing Mothers on what their biggest challenges were as first time mums. What did they wish they had known about babies and about parenting before they were parents.
We addressed this information working through it and including it as part of the course. Motherlifework are letting mothers-to-be into that sacred, secret territory of what motherhood is really like. No other (online) training that we know of does this - those women who complete our training never say “I wish someone had told me that” and that's because we tell them!
Find out more at MotherLifeWork