16 April 2011

Entering the unknown - blissful ignorance or fearful panic?

As time flies and we rapidly approach Layla's first birthday, I have started to think back to what I was doing this time last year. I was in serious nesting mode in anticipation for the arrival of our new baby. I spent my days shopping, cleaning, organising, thinking, waiting and waiting some more. People used to say to me "you'll never have a time like this again". I would smile at their statement and let the words wash over me. In hindsight, they were oh so true. The weeks before Layla was born were all mine. My needs and wants were priority. I did things when and how I wanted without giving it another thought. While I have been able to have some 'me' time this year thanks to the generosity of husband and family, I now see that those weeks were so unique and special.

One of the reasons I have been doing so much reflecting and thinking is because of all the lovely ladies in my life who have either recently given birth or are waiting for their arrival any day. Every time I see them or think of them my mind starts to race. Now that I am no longer sleep deprived, it is amazing how powerful the maternal instinct is. I see heavily pregnant women and feel jealous as well as nervous and excited. They are about to go through such a roller coaster of emotions and experiences. Just like any roller coaster, there are moments when you think you may die and others when you have such a rush that you feel more than alive. In many ways I just want to shake them and say "you have no idea what you are about to experience. Be ready, be prepared, know it will be ok, hang in there, it's ok to cry, it does get better....." and so so much more.

Layla @ 11months - cheeky as always
 I started writing this blog almost 6 months ago because I felt that having a baby was such secret women's business. As women, we don't adequately prepare each other for the experience of motherhood. Some women scare expectant mums, others paint an overly rosie picture. I hope there is something in between. I hope that women share with expectant Mums. Share the joys and the heartache, the tips and advice as well as the realities of what I know realise is the hardest job in the world. Nothing I have or will ever do is as hard and rewarding as being a Mum. It has truly changed me. People said it would but I didn't believe them. How wrong I was.

A message to Mummies out there - share your mummy skills and knowledge with new and expectant Mums. Don't scare them but don't gloss over things. Give them tips, share your books, listen to them, send them messages of support, make them dinner. Demystify the world of motherhood and help expectant Mums grow into their new role.

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