With impending or recent motherhood comes a dawning realisation. This brand new little life. This tiny screaming baby. This little human. Well, it’s all up to you. All the education in the world, doesn’t prepare you for the hair pin bends of emotion you and your baby will go through on a daily if not hourly basis. But fear not, help is at hand for you, Sleeping Beauty (ha!). In the form of three (types of) fairy godmother.
The first. Your own mothers. Your mother, your mother in law, your aunts, your step mothers. The ones who have been there and made it through to the other side. Some may live close by and be able to offer physical, practical support on a regular basis. Take them up on it, even if your relationship with each other is fractious. It gives them time with their grandchild and you some precious ‘you’ time (advice? Use it to sleep or get a haircut, not to do the ironing). Secondly, if they don’t live close enough for daily visits (your other half may thank you for this), they are a wealth of information and support and example – good and bad. No one gets it 100% right and rose tinted spectacles, a sizeable amount of booze and twenty years has probably coloured their memories of it all somewhat. But listen to them and look at their offspring. If you like the resultant child, then perhaps they got it right. Alternatively, if they raised the devil incarnate then perhaps it’s an example of what not to do.
The second. Your lovely friends who’ve already been there. Who have children who are no longer toddlers, maybe even teenagers. Watch them and how they do it. You might like what they do or you might not, but its all good instructive stuff. Take notes!
The third. The mothers you meet while you’re pregnant and in the first steps of new motherhood. Perhaps even friendships which regenerate because you’re now both becoming mothers. They will share your apprehension, your joy, your fears, your questions. They will be as blissfully clueless as you and they will help you through it. My lovely NCT friends, my facebook friends I haven’t seen for years but are new mums too and the heap of new mums (and dads) I’ve met at baby classes. A life line. A moment of sanity. Reassurance. As they talk about how crap their nights sleep was or how difficult it is to convince junior to take a bottle.
Love them all. They keep you sane. Use them wisely. And hopefully, they’re the ones which will tell you that all consuming truth. You’re doing just fine.