Mama haters gonna hate – A response to Kyanne

Yesterday Mamamia, via Ivillage, posted a refreshingly honest article written by a young woman called Kyanne Cassidy. The article was a brutally real account of what the early days of motherhood can feel like. An account of the mind-numbing sleep deprivation, the guilt, the uncertainty, the fear and the sadness that can accompany the immense joy, love and contentment that you feel when you become a mother for the first time. The article was also a confession. A confession of the completely irrational and nonsensical thoughts that can creep into your mind at 3am when it all seems too much and you just want to sleep and feel like yourself again.

I read the article and I thought it was beautiful in its honesty. I was proud of the writer. I wanted to congratulate her for having the courage to write what she wrote. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to tell her that I have been there, oh boy have I been there. But most of all I wanted to reassure her that it does get better and she’s not alone.

The writer of the article admitted that sometimes, in her darkest moments she has wished her baby was sick so that she could leave her at the hospital and get a full night’s sleep. She also acknowledged how ridiculous this very thought is and qualified this statement by explaining that she wouldn’t really wish this on anyone and that her heart goes out to the parents of sick children.

So let’s get this clear. She didn’t mean it. She feels terrible for ever thinking it. She wishes the thought had never entered her brain.

But then I read the comments, the comments from other mothers. And I felt sad. I felt really, really sad.

She was called ‘sick’. She was called a terrible mother. She was called a terrible person. People suggested she should never have had a child because she wasn’t deserving. ‘Suck it up” they said. “Get over yourself” they said.

Here was a young woman who had the nerve to be honest about her experiences of new motherhood and who is clearly reaching out for help and support. And she was torn to shreds within an hour. Attacked and told she wasn’t good enough, that she wasn’t doing a good enough job.

I challenge any mother out there to honestly say they have never had anything but love-filled, completely positive parenting moments. Mothering is the hardest job in the world and sometimes, like Kyanne said, it feels like the worst job in the world. Its OK to admit that. We need to do it more often.

So to all the mums out there – please can we stop all the judgment and hate? Honestly, we are our own worst enemies. Aren’t we all just trying to do the best we can?

And To Kyanne – you are not alone. It is OK to think the things you’re thinking and to feel the things your feeling. You are doing a great job. You’re a great mum.

x

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Saturn’s Return in Ten Simple Steps

Saturn’s Return is an astrological phenomenon that is said to greatly influence a person’s life around the age of 29. It takes approximately 29 years for the planet Saturn to make one full orbit around the sun and return to the exact degree at which it was positioned when a person was born. The average person will have three Saturn’s returns in their lifetime and with each one an individual is supposed to cross a metaphorical threshold of sorts and reach a heightened state of spiritual and emotional awareness or wisdom.

At the age of 29 we supposedly leave youth behind in order to enter adulthood (read: settle down with the ol’ ball and chain, commit to a mortgage that will haunt us for most of the foreseeable future, have kids or finally give up one’s lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut/professional chocolate taster in order to take a well paying but painfully boring ‘normal’ job).

Between the ages of 56 and 60 we finally reach ‘maturity’ (read: freak out when you realize that your life is probably more than half way over, begin to question what the bloody hell you’ve worked your ass off for the past 40 years for and then eventually say “stuff it I’m buying a Ferrari/boob job/plane ticket to Machu Picchu).

 Then, once we hit the ripe old age of 90 we can officially call ourselves ‘wise’ (read: start every sentence with “back in my day”, rock a socks and sandals combo like its nobody’s business and consistently fail to give two hoots about anyone else’s opinion).

 

Now at this point I’m sure you’re currently thinking one of two things –

a) You’ve got to be freakin’ kidding me. Enough with the airy-fairy astrological poppycock already

b) YES absolutely this is a very, very REAL thing because I’ve been there and lived it.

 

Well today I confess that I’ve been there and lived it.

 

I believe in Saturn’s return.

I think it’s bloody spooky.

I found it excruciatingly hard to navigate.

I know its utterly life changing.

 

I also reckon I have managed to simplify the process into ten easy-to-follow steps. I know, genius right? To the 28, 55 and 89 year olds out there, you’re welcome. To everyone else, you’ll thank me one day.

Step One – Experience a powerful life-defining change that will consume you for at least a year.  

For me, this was having a baby. From the moment I found out I was pregnant up until about the time that my daughter turned six months old, motherhood was all I thought about. I lived it and breathed it. It defined me. It also changed me deeply and irreversibly. I think this is normal. The way it should be. But you don’t have to have a baby, of course. Any massive life-shaking, core-rocking change will do.

Step Two – Retreat into a self-forged bubble that momentarily protects you from the pressures and responsibilities of the real world.

Most mothers I have spoken to have recounted a similar experience. I think for the large majority of first-time parents, the only way to really deal with a newborn is to bunker down and ride it out in a little cocoon of bewilderment. For the first six months my husband and I didn’t really feel as though we were living in the real world. It was all a sleep deprived, adrenaline-filled blur of nappies, breast pumps and DVD box sets.

 Step Three – Slowly and gingerly emerge back into the real world with a fresh perspective and new found super hero-esque confidence. 

Eventually, though, I felt ready to come out of the bubble. And when I did, boy, I felt like I could run the world. Beyoncé style. If I could make it through the first 6 months of motherhood with a baby who NEVER slept, I could do anything. Literally. Blindfolded. One handed, even.

 Step Four – Use new-found confidence to throw caution to the wind and pursue a useless and childish career from which there is no money to be made whatsoever.

“I know!” I thought. “I’ll follow my dreams!” “I’ll pursue my passion!” “I’ll become an actor!” You know how it goes. Carpe Diem and all that jazz. I dedicated three months of my life to auditioning for acting schools. It was an exhilarating and terrifying experience. It was probably the bravest thing I’ve ever done (except maybe for that time I endured a 72 hour pre-labour). I put myself out there and took risk after risk after risk. I was willing to make a fool of myself and accepted that there was a high chance that I would do just that while falling flat on my face. The best part is, I got in. I got offered a place at a great school. I succeeded and I still feel really proud of that.

 Step Five – Snap out of the dream and promptly put sensible hat straight back on head.

But everyone knows you can’t really be an actor. There’s no money to be made from it. Very few people succeed at it. Or so said the voices in my head over and over and over again. As I was faced with the reality of leaving my daughter for three days a week to pursue something that suddenly seemed so selfish and frivolous, I backed out. I just couldn’t go through with it. It didn’t seem right. And it certainly didn’t seem sensible.

Step Six – Attempt to save face by accepting a job in your previous ‘real’ profession.

So, in order to successfully complete the backflip I had so suddenly begun I decided to do the only logical thing I could think of. I accepted a temporary job in my pre-motherhood career. My very safe and mature pre-motherhood career. “That’s better,” I thought. “I feel like an adult again.”

 Step Seven – Very quickly remember all the things that made you want a new profession in the first place. Descend into what is known technically as a ‘big, fat funk’.

This really sucked. And it hit me like a tonne of dirty nappies.

 Step Eight – Flirt with a few other career options that act as happy mediums between the boring reality and the exciting pipedream. Note – some of these may come as a complete surprise to you, your family and friends.  

Midwifery? Nursing? Psychology? Vetinary Science? Let’s say it together now, “What the?”

 Step Nine – Begin to listen to all the maternal voices inside that are telling you that what you really want is another baby with a head that smells like happiness and the squishiest, tiniest feet in the world.

Please note, these voices will never acknowledge the realities of life with a newborn. Nor will they be frank with you about the downsides of pregnancy or the excruciating pains of childbirth. The manipulative little buggers can be VERY persuasive though. Babies. Are. So. Cute. And. Small.

 Step Ten – Blog about it in the hope that writing it all down will help you make some goddamn decisions.

Cross your fingers for me? 

Leah. x

Please note:  As this post went online the author was no closer to making any decisions about anything at all. 

‘Having it all’: Privilege or Pressure?

I haven’t written a blog in almost a month. You see I’ve been really busy ‘having it all’.

For the past few weeks I’ve been a working mum. Well, kind of. Back when I was pregnant and idiotic thoughts like ‘how hard could having a baby be?’ used to run through my head, I agreed to take on some HSC trial exam marking.

“Yep. Cool. I’ll just mark a few essays every time bubba goes down for a nap. They’ll be done before I know it. It’s great money, after all.”

Boy, was that wishful thinking. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself in for. I hadn’t a clue how hard it would be to get even a tiny bit of work done while caring for a baby and I hadn’t a clue how to go about juggling professional and maternal responsibilities.

In the end, I got the papers done. I hated every second of it and will never agree to do such a crazy thing again, but I got the papers done.

The experience, however, certainly got me thinking. As women in contemporary society we are raised to believe that we can do what we want with our lives. That we can follow whichever career path we choose if we put our mind to it. That we can raise a family, should that be something we desire, but that the role of mother is not the only one we are meant to play. We are taught that, if we want, we can be a mum and have a career. We can dedicate our lives to raising babies while also dedicating ourselves to our chosen professional path.

In short, we grow up thinking we can ‘have it all’.

Well, I’m not so sure. I reckon ‘having it all’ might actually be impossible. Even in today’s society where women are as close to having equality as we’ve ever been, could ‘having it all’ be a myth? A lie? An unattainable ideal that we as women have tricked ourselves into thinking we can achieve?

After the two weeks that I’ve just had, I have no qualms about admitting that I can’t do it. I cannot simultaneously be the kind of mum I want to be and the kind of professional I want to be. I just cannot have it all.

And you know what? I don’t think I want it all, thank you very much. They can keep it all. I’ll be content with some.

I thought that dipping my feet back in the professional pool would be rewarding, stimulating, empowering, invigorating. Ah, no. The only thing that this experience made me feel was guilty. Guilty that I wasn’t spending enough time with my daughter. Guilty that I wasn’t dedicating enough time or effort to my job. Guilty that in trying so hard to juggle home and work I wasn’t being a very good friend or wife.

The whole experience was thoroughly unenjoyable and I found it more trouble than it was worth. But at least I could sit in my pyjamas all day, motivate myself with Nutella on toast every ten minutes and procrastinate by hand washing all the cushion covers and alphabetising the DVD cases. Jeesh. I don’t know how the real working mums do it. My hat goes off to you. You’re incredible.

I should also point out here that I realise that not every woman gets the choice about whether to be a working mum or not. For millions of women around the world it is something that just has to be done so that their baby gets fed. For these women I have a massive amount of respect. To these women I say sorry. I can’t imagine how hard it is to be in this situation, especially when working is something you wouldn’t do given the choice.

But talking to my husband about the way I felt made me realise that weirdly, but not surprisingly, men don’t seem to struggle with ‘having it all’ like we do.They seem to be able to negotiate their home life and work life more easily and they seem to be able to reach a state of contentment without the wretched guilty conscience that seems to plague so many working women.

“Do you feel like you have it all?” I asked my husband over breakfast one morning.
“Yeah, yeah I do. I’ve got a family. I’ve got a good job”.
“But is it that simple?”
“For me it is, yeah”.
“Why is it so much easier for guys?”
“Cause it’s OK for us to leave at 8 and come home at 5.”

And that’s just it. For hundreds of years social narratives have been telling us that a good mother, a loving mother, stays at home with the kids. The same social narratives have been telling our menfolk that it’s perfectly OK, necessary in fact, to leave in the morning and return in the evening.

So how then are we as women supposed to reconcile these historically ingrained social expectations of motherhood with contemporary pressures or desires to also have a career? Well my answer is I’ve got no bloody idea. Perhaps something is always going to have give. Sacrifices inevitably made. In my case I know that I cannot be the kind of parent I want to be without giving less than my all to my job and I know that I can’t do my job with the necessary level of focus and commitment without sacrificing precious time with my daughter.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are women out there who have figured it out. Who are simultaneously brilliant mothers and excellent, successful professionals. I just don’t know whether I am ever going to be able to achieve that. And more importantly it annoys me that I feel like society expects me to.

For a long time the notion of ‘having it all’ seemed to me to be a privilege that women in our society were lucky to have. A privilege that my mum’s generation and generations of women before that were not afforded. But the last few weeks have changed my mind. I think it’s nothing more than another unnecessary pressure that we place on ourselves. Another trigger for our guilt. Another thought lurking in the back of our minds forcing us to question whether we are doing enough or doing things well enough.

Well, stuff it. I say we should forget about having it ‘all’ and just focus on having what we want. On having what will make us happy and fulfilled. For some women that will be a baby and a career, for some women that will be a career and for others it will be a baby or two or seven.

For me, right now, what I have is not ‘it all’ but time at home with my baby and absolutely no classrooms or essays in sight. And that is more than enough. That might change in 6 or 12 months time but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Do you think it’s possible to have it all? How have you gone about juggling motherhood and a career? Dads: how do you feel about the prospect of ‘having it all’?

Motherhood: A Get Out of Jail Free Card?

One of the things that I find most fulfilling and enchanting about motherhood is that in a world where selfishness and narcissism are all too common, it is a truly selfless vocation. It is the dedicating of one’s self to another human being, wholeheartedly and forever, and I think that’s really beautiful.

For many parents, though, I think this selflessness can often feel limiting. When caring for a baby, it can seem as though one’s autonomy has been taken away. Many of the choices one used to have are gone. This can ring particularly true for mums who have the opportunity to stay at home with their babies. Taking even one year’s maternity leave can unfortunately often equate to one hell of a step back in terms of career progression. Personal interests and passions can also be a natural sacrifice along the parenting voyage. When your life suddenly centres on someone else, it can be hard to stay focused on and dedicated to the things that matter to you.

But since joining the mummy club, I have noticed a pretty cool trend. Many women I know are using the experience of becoming a mother as a chance to take control of their lives, change direction and start pursuing what it is they really want. So maybe, just maybe, modern day motherhood can be liberating rather than limiting, rejuvenating rather than restraining and inspiring rather than stifling. Maybe, it can actually open up new and wonderful doors instead of closing them.

For me, this has certainly been the case.

I have been a high school teacher for six years and have loved it. I get huge satisfaction from working with children and love helping to instill in them a love of reading and writing. I have met amazing people and made life long friends but most importantly – and apologies in advance if this sounds incredibly cheesy – I truly feel like I may have actually made a difference in other people’s lives.

But, over the past couple of years I have been having doubts. I have been plagued by the thought that while teaching has been a wonderful part of my life, it is perhaps not something that I can see myself doing forever. I have not been able to shake the feeling that there could be something better suited to me, something I would enjoy even more than teaching and find even more rewarding. Whether this is actually the case or whether these feelings simply stem from my typically short ‘Gen Y’ attention span remains to be seen. Nevertheless, these thoughts have been there, in the back of my brain, bugging me for a while now.

Then I had my little girl and embarked on 12 months’ maternity leave. I should say here that I feel incredibly lucky to be in position where this was an option. I know that many women simply do not get that luxury and must return to work despite wanting very much to spend time at home with their child. I hope one day that all women have the opportunity to do so if it it is what they want. But for me, becoming a stay at home mum made me feel enlightened and freed and not just in the traditional sense. It wasn’t just that I felt spiritually changed, as I’m sure all parents do, but I actually felt liberated in many other aspects of my life. Aspects that really have nothing to do with my daughter or my role as a mother.

I am only 6 months into my year’s leave and already my whole outlook on the world, and my position in in it, has changed. Please note that I have not called my maternity leave a ‘holiday’ or ‘time off’ because, funnily enough, looking after an infant is bloody hard work, something I desperately wanted to tell a few people back in January when they said they hoped I enjoyed my ‘little break’.

Over the past few months I have been able to think very carefully about what I want out of my life and career. I have considered exactly what I think I can offer the world and what my true strengths are. I have found a new sense of courage and confidence that has led me to explore old passions such as acting and writing. I actually feel as though I have a number of options in front me that I did not have before having a baby.

Had I not gotten pregnant, I would never have just quit my job to ‘discover’ what it is I want out of life and explore the things that make me happy. Not only would I have been terribly embarrassed telling people about my journey of self discovery but factors like money, my professional reputation and the opinions of my friends and family would have slapped me over the head before I could even say the word ‘blog’. In short, I would have felt like a self indulgent fool. But having a baby has given me a ‘get out of jail free’ card, an escape route of sorts. A way to take a step back from the daily grind and reassess where I am and what I want to do, even if I’ve done it while in a perpetual state of severe sleep deprivation.

And interestingly, many other mums feel the same way. A good friend of mine, who is mother to two beautiful babies, put it this way: “Having a baby and being able to take some time away from my job gave me the feeling that I could do anything.  I suddenly had the space to think. I felt like I could change paths and explore new avenues without feeling any judgement”. For her, maternity leave was the perfect opportunity to go back to university and study in a field where her passions had always lain and she is very much aware that it was an opportunity that she would not have had otherwise.

Another friend of mine agrees. She discovered very soon after having a baby that her fast paced, high stress job, at which she was incredibly successful, was just not for her. After returning to university and deciding on a very different professional path, she not only feels more personally fulfilled but happier and better equipped to be a committed parent as a result.

But for some, the change in direction comes preemptively. A friend of mine, who has recently given birth to a beautiful baby boy, took on a new role in anticipation of becoming a mother. She moved from a job that she did not see as being cohesive to motherhood to one that was more child-friendly. She still agrees, though, that having her son has most definitely allowed her to reflect on what it is that she wants. She told me that taking time off with her little man has reaffirmed for her just how passionate she is about her chosen field.

As wonderful as this all is, though, almost every mother that I have spoken to has alluded to the overwhelming pressure that they feel to be doing something other than looking after their children. As one friend put it- “I often feel like being a mother isn’t enough. I’m glad that I can say I’m studying because it makes me feel like my lifestyle is more acceptable or worthwhile. I’m not just a mother, I’m also a student”. It seems that a lot of mothers are not comfortable with ‘just’ being a mum. God knows we’ve all been regularly served questions like ‘when are you going back to work?’, ‘how long do you have off’ or the unbelievable doozy ‘what on earth do you do with yourself all day?’ I wonder whether the social expectations that are placed on us to do more than raise our babies is perhaps one of the less positive reasons we go searching for something more while on maternity leave. Because we feel like we need something else to do.

It’s funny, isn’t it? Once upon a time, motherhood was considered all a woman could or should do while nowadays we feel like it isn’t enough.

Or maybe it is just that we need stimulation. Something to think about that is a little more intellectually challenging than ‘when did she last feed?’ or ‘how many nappies have I got in the baby bag?’. That is certainly why I have turned to blogging – to simply focus on non-baby stuff for a while.

But regardless of the reasons behind this phenomenon, it is certainly real and it certainly gives me hope. Becoming a mother no longer has to mean that the other areas of our lives become stagnant. Motherhood can give birth many new and exciting adventures.

Now all I have to do is focus on becoming an Oscar winning actress or a super successful blogger so that my hubby can one day have a similar experience to the incredible one I’ve had this year.

A Letter To My Mum Upon Having My Own Daughter

Dear Mum,

I know it’s been a whole 5 hours since we last spoke on the phone, but how are you? Learned to use Facebook yet? Decided to put punctuation in your text messages? How many strangers have you shown a picture of my baby to in, say, the last 5 minutes?

We’ve always been the best of friends, you and I. We talk every day on the phone and share everything with each other. But now that I’ve had my daughter and you’ve become a grandmother, there are a few important things I’d like to tell you.

Firstly, thank you.

Thank you for wiping my bottom one thousand times a day, and for finding the bizarre colours and pungent odours that resided in my nappy endearing rather than horrifying.

Thank you for the sacrifices you made for me. I know that you gave up many, many things that were important to you in order to give me every opportunity that you possibly could. I really do appreciate it.

Thank you for putting me first, always and to this day.

Thank you for being so protective of me. I understand now that the thought of me coming to any kind of harm was enough to make you cry and twist your stomach into knots.

Thank you for loving me unconditionally.

Thank you for instilling in me the belief that I could achieve anything I put my mind to and worked hard for. For teaching me that there is no such thing as the easy way and that my worth is tied up in so much more than the way I look or the clothes that I wear.

Thank you for leading by example. You are a strong, passionate, kind and generous woman and I continually aspire to be like you.

And thank you for never putting me in those ridiculous baby headbands. Even though I excitedly bought some before my daughter was born, I now realise that they really do look stupid.

Secondly, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for all the times I said mean things to you. I now appreciate how painful that must have been. Thinking about this makes me sad.

I’m sorry for not believing you when you told me that riding in cars with boys was a bad idea. I totally agree with you now.

I’m sorry for getting a tattoo.

I’m sorry for slowly torturing you by waking up so many times during the night. Sleep deprivation really is a bugger, isn’t it?

I’m also sorry for then, ironically, never wanting to get out of bed as a teenager.

I’m sorry for complaining about being an only child. I know now why you didn’t go back for a second.

I’m sorry for begging you to let me get my ears pierced. You should have never let me do that, by the way.

I’m sorry for the times when it seemed like I was taking you for granted. I realise that being a parent is tough, that it doesn’t always come naturally and that you had to work on it every day. I know that at times you were scared, confused, stressed and ridiculously tired. Thanks for thinking that I was worth it.

And lastly, congratulations.

Congratulations on doing the most challenging job in the world for the past 27 years. You have demonstrated endless patience, uncompromising commitment and real, real love.

You’re amazing. I should tell you that more often.

Love,

Me.

Mother's Day 2013

Mother’s Day 2013

Sending My Inner Perfectionist Packing

I have always been an insanely organised person. I mean, bordering on OCD. My desk at work is a thing of true beauty. My paperwork housed neatly in colour coded, alphabetised folders, my stationary perfectly arranged in boxes, trays and any kind of divider-y thing one can get their hands on at Howard’s Storage World. Ah…it makes me happy just thinking about the order of it all. At home it’s no different. All surfaces are habitually kept free of all mess or clutter. Something my husband very quickly learned of, and found irritating, when we first moved in together. And planning. Oh my, is there anything more enjoyable or satisfying than planning something…anything?

So, when I found out that my husband and I were expecting our first child after a very long and emotional 18 months of trying to conceive (something that my inner control freak found particularly difficult to deal with), I began to approach pregnancy in my typically vigilant way. Within a week of learning we were pregnant I had made a detailed list of everything that would need to be purchased and accomplished during the 9 months leading up to our little one’s arrival. The nursery was painted and decorated, the baby clothes washed, ironed and arranged and the house baby-proofed with weeks and weeks to spare. I had attended breastfeeding classes, Calm Birth courses and Mothercraft seminars all in the hope of being as prepared for motherhood as I possibly could be. Unfortunately, the one thing I failed to realise on my perfectly programmed pregnancy journey was that there is nothing in this world that can truly prepare you for becoming a parent.

Routines? Forget it. Newborns don’t follow them. Expectations? Please. Babies have a remarkable ability to exceed them and fail to meet them at the exact same time. Oh, and the perfectionist within? You better send her packing now because there is absolutely no way to be a perfect mother.

I’m sure anyone who has had a baby will agree with me when I say that becoming a parent requires a huge amount of adjustment. For me, the biggest and most difficult of these adjustments has been forcing myself to let go of the control and competence that I had become so used to enjoying. Before becoming a mother I was happily and proudly in charge of every aspect of my life. I made the decisions, I called the shots. I was also used to being a competent teacher, a good friend and wife and a person who could succeed at the things that she put her mind to.

And then came the happiest day of my life: the 11th of March 2013. The day my husband and I welcomed our perfect little princess. From the very second she was placed on my chest and I felt her warm body against mine and looked into her big blue eyes everything faded away. The ridiculously long and painful labour I had just endured and our heart wrenching struggle with infertility no longer mattered one little bit. We were complete. We were finally the family we had longed to be.

But the indescribable joy that came with motherhood was, for me, mixed with occasional feelings of fear and sadness. I was fearful because in those first few months I truly felt as though I was just keeping my head above water. I had no idea if I was doing the right thing and was unsure if I was turning out to be the ‘good’ mother that I so desperately wanted to be. My baby wasn’t sleeping for longer than 30 mins at a time. Ever. And feeding was problematic at the best of times. My mum moved in with us in the early days and I can’t even begin to describe how much of a help she was. But it was strange to once again feel dependant on her  at 27 years of age. It’s hard to feel like you’re succeeding when nothing is going at all like you planed. I was sad because all of the things that I loved about my old life had seemed to have disappeared. Catching up with friends for a coffee felt too difficult, I missed the intellectual stimulation that my job provided and managing some alone time with my man was impossible. I loved my daughter with every single inch of my heart but I also wondered when I would feel like myself again.

Then I made the conscious decision to let go. To go with the flow. I stopped trying to make motherhood into something I thought it should be and began to enjoy it for what it was. I stopped wishing for my old life and began to embrace all of the wonderful parts of my new one. I said goodbye to my inner perfectionist control freak and tried to adopt the mantra “what will be will be”.

When my daughter was about 6 weeks old and we were in the thick of severe sleep deprivation, we paid for a Mothercraft nurse to come to the house and give us some advice with feeding and sleeping. Something she said has really stuck with me: “Leah, it’s always the organised ones who are hit the hardest”.

Motherhood is hard. There is no doubt about it. I am sure that it is the most challenging and rewarding thing I will ever do. But looking back I now wish that someone would had have told me to just chill out a bit. To enjoy the ride and relax. If anyone ever asks for my advice regarding motherhood, that’s what it will be.

Now, excuse me – I had planned on writing another paragraph but there’s a baby I know who has a different plan.

L. x