This post isn’t a feel sorry for me post- in fact it’s a grateful post. Inspired by something I read recently about new mums helping each other, Supporting each other and just being there to help. It was a lovely read.
It’s lovely at first when everyone wants to see you, visit, get cuddles etc. That stage definitely dies down quickly. That’s ok that it does, I’m not a huge baby baby coo coo kinda person. I get it. The novelty wears off.
I think the way society has changed, there’s not only more and more awareness of danger out there but lots of judgment if you do 1 little thing wrong as a parent. There’s no village taking time to help, there’s no village aware of struggles and helping, there’s no village surrounding us because that became the danger, the problem in many cases and the thing we avoid now.
So what about new mums (first or tenth time round)? Do you know one? It’s so tiring some days that getting chance to pee without being cried at or shouted is the most sanity you feel that day. You can end up on eggshells just hoping the little one doesn’t see you’ve nipped into the kitchen without them to eat your eating breakfast at 11am because you’ve not had chance before. The whining whinge or cry just goes right through you. And if you eat in front of them because lunch became a 4pm snack, they climb up and over everything humanly possible to get to your food. It’s soul destroying some days that you see no one, hear off no one and are utterly alone.
We’re just human beings trying to figure out how to be a parent, and then try and teach good things to tiny humans whilst trying to keep it all together. It’s so hard!
If you’re a partner- make sure contact them like you did when you were dating. You can’t just stop caring because ‘you have them’. You should be checking on their well-being even more- because they’re raising your offspring- largely on their own.
Some families have super close relationships. I had one sibling that would ask me if I was ok. Because he was something more than a superficial relationship- he was a friend too. He doesn’t speak to me at all now (long story) but he knew me the best. It was nice to know he could tell when I was struggling.
On the surface families can seem like they’re close, please don’t let that stop you offering help. I’ve come to realise something over the last few years and I steal this quote from someone I know- many families operate on a ‘dishonest harmony over honest conflict’ plane of existence. So don’t be shy at asking your friends if you can help! They’ll probably need it.
If you have siblings and they’re raising little ones- be a sounding ear. Help if you can and don’t just throw out statements to make others believe you help if you don’t. It might stop people offering.
Mum has been amazing, especially at the beginning when she dropped literally everything including work to help when I needed it so much. She still does whenever she can. If you have that option use it.
If you’re friends with a new mum or mum of a little one then check in on them. I have some really and truly treasured friends who are sisters I’ve been blessed with- just not biologically. To name some who I can guarantee will text me from time to time to see how I or the kids are; Victoria, Debra, Julie, Catherine, Ruth, Katrina, Lorraine, they’re the ones who spring to mind. I do have others and in different seasons they are there and they care. I am so utterly grateful that I have some of the most amazing friends. Life as a new mum and not very much help is lonely, and scary at times, and exhausting and can be the hardest job.
I do not know how working mums accomplish tasks like morning routine etc and then get everyone to jobs/work! Massive high fives- you’re killin it!
I’m so grateful for people who have offered help and actually care far more than I thought. My lovely cleaner posting things for me, Laurens PA having Lauren for her first ever sleep over which actually made me cry because a family were excited to have her sleep over. She’s had my mum offer but my older sister can’t be trusted(she’s special needs and a bit of a bag!), otherwise she’d have slept there- but this was her first one at the end of summer and she loved it. My friend Debra has had Wyatt over night, and been sleep deprived for me! That’s love!!
I’ve asked for help and had some help, sometimes that’s been willing and Uncle Ant and Aunty Becky loved taking a screaming Wyatt and the magic of Uncle Ant got him to sleep every time!!!
Sometimes that help has been given reluctantly and I’ve known that they think I’m a burden so I’ll no longer ask.
It’s easy to be selfish and justify it that it’s not your problem, it’s easy to dismiss others needs. It’s easy to throw out statements of ‘they had the kid, they knew what they signed up for’. We as a society judge far too often don’t we. Just because you know somethings going to be hard doesn’t stop us from struggling whilst we go through it.
Just try not to forget how hard it can be for mums all round, but new mums and mums (I should put parents as some dads do this job role too) of little ones sometimes just need a tiny bit of help to reboot and keep going. If you love them- help them.
So thankful to have people who love and care for us. So thankful for knowing who is definitely in my corner rooting for us! It’s made me realise how I should help others so I hope I can fulfil that role, and pay the kindness forward.
I think it’s time we created our own villages and had a network around us to help. I suppose that reaches far beyond just parenting- it encompasses all problems really.