We all know our ABC's - but I thought I would re-write them for those of us who are parents!
A is for Adabtibility - This is something you need in spades, your world as you know it is changed forever and you really must learn to adapt to any given situation - the struggle is real. If you had rigidity in you pre-child life, kiss it goodbye like your ability to ever sleep in again. That said, you will find facets of your personaility you never knew existed - like that ability to laugh at the fact that your baby decided to shit himself just as you had changed him, and settled him into bed for the night (example taken from tonight's real-life events)
B is for Bedtime - As much as you adore your little bundle of joy, nothing beats that feeling when they are in bed asleep at the end of a long day. Some days all you can do is count down the hours until you can put them down in their cot and kiss them, and your parenting responsibilities goodnight and enjoy some 'me' time. As tough as some days can be, try and find solice in the fact that you will get some form of peace and quiet at the end of the day.
C is for Credit - Make sure you give yourself credit for the job that you are doing. Raising babies doesn't come with a manual and if it did you probably wouldn't want to read it. We all doubt ourselves and our ability at times, but we are all doing the very best that we can with the tools that we have been given. Give yourself a pat on the back and know that your little one is very lucky to have you.
D is for Devotion - Your life is now about somebody other than yourself, someone that whole-heartedly relies on you for everything. This can be very daunting initially, but the joy and love you feel and receive in return is well worth the sacrificies.
E is for Exhaustion - You may have felt tired before you had a baby, but once you have a newborn you realise that there is absolutely no comparison. Your mind is foggy, you forget things, you operate on auto-pilot through a blur of feeding, crying, nappy changes and projectile vomiting. Everyday you swear you will rest when the baby rests, but instead find yourself running around cleaning like a woman possessed (ok maybe that was just me). Once you find yourself out the other side of the newborn phase you are still exhausted but for other reasons, like chasing after a crawling child and trying to entertain them all day. Suffice to say, you will probably be exhausted until they finally move out of home in years to come!
F is for Friends - In the first few weeks you seem to have a revovlving door of visitors wanting to come and meet the new addition and offering their help. Obviously over time everyone returns to their own worlds, and you might find that those you thought you could rely on for some adult interaction suddenly aren't around much anymore. Your lives may be on different paths or they may not understand the challenges of being a new parent (I know I didn't before Hunter came into the world) As tough as it can be to accept, sometimes you need a huge life-changing event to help confirm who you really want in your life.
G is for Growth - And by this I mean personal growth. Having a child sets you straight onto a journey of personal growth. You may fight against it at the beginning, but slowly you begin to realise that the sacrifices and changes in your life are for a greater purpose. You learn new things about yourself and those around you, you start to see yourself and our life differently, or you may start living by a different set of rules. Either way, it is a journey that is going to continue to shape and mould you for many years to come.
H is for Help - If it is offered, take it, particularly in the early weeks. If someone offers to cook you dinner or help with some chores - accept, because raising a newborn is a tough gig. I know that sometimes it is hard to show your vulnerable side, or that you may be struggling a little, but don't forget the proverb 'it takes a village to raise a child' - anything can lighten the load, even if it is just having someone to talk to.
I is for Insecurities - Lets be honest, we all have them. Whether it be those pesky few post-baby kilo's we just can't shift, the shape of our breasts after weaning our babies, our fear of being judged by other mothers or just plain wondering if we are doing a good job. It is normal and completely natural to question yourself or have uncertainties in motherhood, especially as a first time Mum. The best thing we can do is share our stories and concerns in an effort to support eachother, because you will be surprised how many people may feel exactly the same way you do, but not feel confident enough to say something.
J is for Judgemental - This can be of both ourselves and of others. I think we are all sometimes guilty of questioning others behaviours, motives or actions, particularly in the world of parenting. Comments from others can drastically effect the way we view ourselves as parents, and cause us to question ourselves and our parenting skills.The secret is to take everything with a grain of salt (which is sometimes very difficult to do) and do what is best for yourself and your family. People will always have other views and beliefs about raising children, but the secret is to not make eachother feel bad about the differences.
K is for Knowledge - As they say, knowledge is power and I think it is important that Mother's (and Father's) feel that the are able to talk openly and honestly about their experiences as parents in order to support and empower eachother. This is the main reason that I started this blog, to help others and to let them know that they are not alone. Having a baby has most definitely been the most rewarding, but also the most challenging thing that I have ever done - and probably will ever do. Just know, that anything you are thinking or feeling is most likely the same as hundreds of Mothers out there, even the ones that look as though they have it all under control.
L is for Love - A love so deep and so pure that it sometimes catches your breath. A love that grows every single day, just when you think you couldn't possibly love anymore. You welcomed this beautiful creature that grew inside of you for months, from those first few flutters and kicks you felt, to that moment that you first laid eyes on them. A deep love not only for your child, but also for your partner as you embark on a new journey through life together. The road will be bumpy, but if you have a foundation of love and respect you can get through anything.
M is for Motherhood - Becoming a Mum is singlehandedly the toughest, yet most rewarding thing I have ever done. From the early days, fumbling around not having even the slightest clue as to what I was doing, (well, sometimes I even feel that now - almost 10 months later) to now seeing such a gorgeous little man growing so fast before my eyes. It is tough, challenging, and tiring but the joy, love and acknowledgement from our babies makes it so so so worth it!
N is for Nights - Gone are the all night parties and dancing til dawn. Nights represent something so different now. Trepidation, tantrums and tears....lots of tears. Whether it be teething, hunger, a bad dream, or just the need for a cuddle - our nights are no longer ours - they belong to our children. You will never have been so tired, but getting up to calm and snuggle your little one is something you do on auto-pilot. And be warned, if and when your baby does sleep through (it was a one night only event in our house) - you will most likely be up several times checking on them because you can't believe it!
O is for Openness - As hard as it is, try and be open about your experiences and your feelings. It might sound cliche - but don't bottle it up. Seek help from those around you, and talk about things that may be worrying or concerning you. Billions of women have become Mothers, and I promise you they have all had some sort of self-doubt or insecurity at some time. If you are feeling down, seek help from family or friends - or a medical professional if things are getting worse. Nothing is worse that sufferring in silence!