Becoming a mother is the greatest gift I could have hoped for. But, for a minute, could we just talk about the less rosy side of parenthood?
As soon as you announce your pregnancy, y
- Manhandle you
- Comment on your size. “You’re massive!” “Are you sure it’s not twins?”
- Ask you deeply personal questions, like doctor/patient confidentiality type questions.
Filters go out of the window when you become pregnant seemingly, as does a basic respect for your personal boundaries.
You’ll receive a wealth of unwarranted and unwanted ‘advice’ from people – regardless of your pre baby relationship with them. Don’t worry, they’ll still have advice for you and will happily push this on you at any given opportunity (this doesn’t aim to belittle the genuine well meaning advice).
Post birth, people will continue asking invasive and personal questions. You’ll be dealing with a changed body and people’s changed perceptions of you. You may even be lucky enough for someone to question when and how you’re going to lose the ‘baby weight’. Or better still, maybe they’ll tell you when it’s time to shape up.
You’ll find that people who promised you their time can’t be found; parenthood for all it’s gifts and joy can be a deeply lonely place. People around you will drift away, perhaps because you’ve ‘changed’ or can’t dedicate the time to them that you did previously. Maybe pregnancy has been followed by PND and things are super tough. Perhaps anxiety means that those around you have been pushed away as you favour the safety of your home and routine?
Do you feel like people have drifted away from you? Are you comfortable enough to put yourself out there? Do it! You deserve support and friendship. Don’t be defined by your former circles. If you feel anxious about meeting new people, try a mum group (Punky Moms first and foremost), mum app or some social network where you don’t feel like an island. Reach out. If needs be, reach out to your GP. There’s no shame in PND and there’s certainly no shame in asking for help.
When it comes to your body, maybe you’re desperate to get back in shape. Perhaps you’re relaxed and comfortable in your warrior skin. Your body has done something incredible and how you choose to respect it post birth is up to you. Nurture yourself in the way that suits you best and remember that self care isn’t selfish.
Let me put a couple of things out there about parenthood
The baby you nurtured and grew is YOUR baby. No one else’s. YOUR baby, YOUR choices. If you’re a couple, it’s your guys decision how you do what you do. If you’re doing things alone it’s your decision. How your baby is raised is up to you!
Crunchy mom or gentle parent? Winging it or power organiser? Cosleeping? Baby Led Weaning? Baby-wearing? Awesome. Arm yourself with knowledge and give these things a go safely. Want to try traditional weaning? Using a buggy? Baby sleeping in a moses basket? Awesome. Do that stuff safely too.
Really, how you or I choose to raise our children is a personal choice. One that shouldn’t be questioned, judged and especially not condemned. If you’re raising a happy child safely, whilst teaching them to be kind, wise and accepting then who am I to judge?
Hannah Louise is a 30 year old first time mama of one with some serious societal gripes. Motherhood helped her claim ownership back of her body and she wants you to do the same.
Photos of a recent Sheffield meet-up from PMUK mama Kate at Luna Palm Photography.