The hotMaMa Diaries Blog - Breastfeeding blog and parenting blog
Everyone has a different experience of parenting and motherhood and there is no right or wrong path. The hotMaMa diaries is a place to read stories from other mothers and even share your own!
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Category: General Parenting
Hello, I'm Maya, a first time mum to a beautiful baby girl who is now 4 months old. I hadn't expected to become a mummy so soon but I have fallen in love with motherhood and my baby girl takes my breath away every time I look at her- I feel so lucky. I am now sharing my experiences and stories with you, so if you would like to read more feel free to check out my blog over at allthingspinkuk.comFor some reason being a young mum seems to give everyone the right topass judgment on you. Announcing a pregnancy often does cause a bigreaction and you would hope for it to be a positive one, but for most youngmums this is not the case. I guess I can't speak for everyone, but it seems asthough 9 times out of 10 a young female is faced with a mixed receptionwhen she shares her news. The negative comments received often take overthe initial excitement of it all, and to me it just doesn't seem fair. I mean,would you turn round to an older woman who just announced she wasexpecting and respond with, 'was it planned?'. Or 'are you going to keep it?'Having a baby is a blessing and whether it's a surprise or if you've beentrying for months, what has that got to do with anyone else.In my case those were the most common questions that were thrown at me,but I also had the pleasure of receiving sly digs from those who felt I'd liketo hear their opinion, (I didn't!). They would say things like, 'it's a shameyou won’t get to do the things you'd hope to', and 'don't you wish you hadexperienced life a little?'. Well first of all, for that individual to insinuatethat I won't be getting the opportunity to do everything I wished iscompletely wrong. I am just as motivated, if not more, and in as good aposition as any to still go out their and achieve every single dream I have onmy bucket list. This idea people seem to have stewed in their minds aboutyounger mums being restricted to living a life of changing nappies, andwiping noses are completely ludicrous. My daughter is the driving forcebehind everything I do now, and she will always come first but she hasn'ttaken over my individual identity. As much as I am a mother, I am also awriter, a friend, a girlfriend, an actress, a business woman and all the otherthings I choose to be.So I would love to know where these ideas stem from; and why peoplethink that at a younger age you are less adequate to raise a child. Being anew mother already puts you under the spotlight as it is. All the healthchecks and midwife appointments after baby is born aren't set up as tests,but I can't help but feel nervous, as they sit there watching me handle mynew born. Before they pull out their scales, weighing her to make sure she'sput on enough weight, and checking her body for any marks. I wait withanticipation, almost to get the all clear that I'm doing things right. Then ofcourse there are the visitors that come round after the birth to see you, andsilently judge whether or not they think you're a good mum. It soundspretty cynical of me I know, but I don't think it's a conscious decision towitness a situation, and not create an opinion in your own head. I havehuge amounts of admiration for younger mothers, because they have todeal with all of that, as well as the judgments people pass on their age. It's alot. One of the inspirations I had for writing this post came from acollection of comments my health visitor made during our 3 week check up.After seeing my daughter was a healthy weight, that I was managing tobreastfeed, and that everything else was okay, she light-heartedly said, 'Ihave to say I'm impressed with how well you're doing'. Before adding, 'youwould put some of the older mums to shame'. I know she intended for thesecomments to be complimentary, but it came across in a condescendingway. Her words subtly communicated her opinion that she was surprisedby the positive example I had made of a new mother; having expected meto be struggling a lot more in comparison to those who are older. Well I'mglad I was able to "impress"! but you shouldn't have had such little faith inme in the first place.So in conclusion here's what kind of "young mum" I am... I'm kind,thoughtful and loving. I'm a little bit silly and have a playful nature. I getworried about little things, so am constantly checking in with Google. I'mcompletely besotted with my baby, my boyfriend and our little family. I'mexcitable, and get giddy about the future, and watching my baby grow. I'mimperfect, but I learn from my mistakes. I'm super organised, and obsessedwith items having their own place. I love the company of friends, but alsothe company of social media! I'm squeamish but have a high tolerance forpain. I love putting together outfits for my daughter every morning. I stillhold my breath when I change her pooey nappies. I try and take her outevery day, mostly to keep my own sanity. I am learning on the job, but I'mmotherhood's most keen student....Is that so different to every other mum? Do those qualities show that I amyoung in age? And if they do are they bad qualities to have in Mum?Maya x
“I am proud of many things in life, but nothing beats being a mother.”
- You don’t care about being naked, seriously! Before I had E, I used to have an anxiety attack before each and every PAP appointment. I actually had an “after school special” at work deciding on whether I should get a Brazilian for birth, such trivial things but those were my absolute concerns, now HA, the number of times I’ve had to strip down during the pregnancy/birth process, I could care less!
- No one and I mean NO ONE’S OPINION MATTERS. This is something you will learn once you’re visibly pregnant. The amount of “out of left field” advice I got was mind-boggling. I remember being told everything from my clothes were too tight to I’m starving myself because I’m vain.
What many people didn’t know is, I was sick the entire 41 weeks of my pregnancy. So I only gained about 5 pounds (my mother had the same kind of pregnancy), so people were always commenting that I wasn’t eating or I was starving my baby to be skinny, when it was the total opposite, I was eating like crazy, but nothing would stay down (if you can imagine I was actually sick while making a left turn at a busy intersection, FML). Just like the unsolicited advice I got while pregnant it only snowballed after birth. What I didn’t realize back then is sometimes it’s better just to smile and nod than to fight the advice.
Everyone is going to have an opinion on how you should raise your child and what you should be doing, DO YOU! You know your baby the best, and you’ll have to deal with the repercussions of the advice so only do what makes you feel comfortable.
- Breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone. I’ve had people shame me (to my face) for not breastfeeding my daughter, and all I’ve got to say is, do what works for you and your family. I believe that FED IS BEST.
- Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. I used to say I’ll never co-sleep. My baby will be in her crib from day one. Well, it wasn’t until she was 4.5 months that we started sleep training her, so before that, she was in our bed, every night, sleeping on top of me. So go with the flow and never say never.
Do not compare your pregnancy or your child to anyone else. No two pregnancies (even from the same mother) are the same so how can you expect your baby to develop the same as another? Trust me, all you’re going to do is set yourself up for disappointment. Enjoy your baby’s milestones, they’re their own perfect human and should never be compared
Sleep when the baby sleeps is shit advice. I’m sorry. If I slept when E slept, nothing would get done.
Mom groups are a godsend. My #octoberpumpkins are the reason I’m still sane. We have meet ups and subgroups; they’re always there when I need them, and a couple of them live close by, so maternity leave hasn’t been too lonely.
You’re stronger (mentality and physically) than you think. I’ve never gone on 3 hours of sleep and still functioned enough to clean the entire house and host a dinner party, but this mom is tougher than she used to be!
Make sure you’re looking after yourself. I always use this example; you know how on a plane they say put your mask on first and then help your family? Makes sense right? If you’re not okay how will you look after your little miracle? Obviously, baby’s needs are important but make sure you’re looked after as well.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. While you are tougher than ever, sometimes you’ll need some help, and you shouldn’t be ashamed to ask family or a close friend.
You’re doing great! I know sometimes it may seem like you’re failing, but baby doesn’t know. Don’t sweat the small things – you’re trying, and that’s all that matters.
DEE HAIDER is a mother, blogger and wannabe farm girl living in a suburban city in Ontario, Canada. While on maternity leave her days are filled chasing her extremely loud daughter and two cats that have an insane amount of personality. She blogs to keep herself somewhat sane, writing about her personal style, life as a busy mum, and interior design. Check out her fun-loving and honest lifestyle blog at theHaiderHouse or find her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.