THINGS WE LEARNT IN OUR FIRST YEAR AS MOTHERS
BY KELLY MÜLLER
Becoming a parent has enriched my life in so many ways and I have felt love that I didn’t know was possible – not just for my daughter but for my husband, my friends and family, and the world around us. I feel like I have gained a fresh perspective on what’s truly important.
I recently wrote about some of the things I learned in Sunny’s first year over at My Domaine, however when it came to sharing my story here, a website that uplifts, supports and celebrates other women, I felt like I needed to call on some of my sisters to share their experiences too.
When I started chatting with my friends and comrades, one thing was clear. You feel all of the feels. Your emotions and experiences are heightened and for me, I learnt more about myself than I ever imagined possible.
The structured, organised, knows exactly what’s happening when it’s happening kind of woman I was, is nothing like the mother I am. There was a change in me. I became softer. Kinder. More compassionate. Connected. I was calmer. The unnecessary ceased to exist and everything I did had purpose and intent. I learnt that nothing is impossible. Read on to find out what Jess and Bec learnt in their first years.
JESSICA PRESCOTT, Mother to Louie.
The female body is an incredible creation.
You hear it all the time but you never truly understand those words until you grow, birth and feed a tiny human with your body. I'm in constant awe of the female body and I truly believe that motherhood is the manifestation of nature at its highest potential. Motherhood took away my existential woes and replaced them with an awe of human existence. It also gave me a greater appreciation for my own body.
There is a meditation in motherhood.
I used to worry about being a stressed out mum, but motherhood has calmed me. No one wins when I lose my shit, so when something unexpected arises I embrace it and look for the lesson, rather than focus on the problem. I am also so utterly obsessed with my child that I want to be present in every moment that we share together, so when I find myself standing under a tree waiting for a sudden downpour to pass, or cleaning up a poo explosion when I am already running late to a lunch date, I shut out the negative chatter and just enjoy being there, in that moment with Louie.
Relationships will change.
You always hear about how much having a baby with take its toll on your relationship with your partner but this has not been an issue for my husband and I. We have always been a team and parenting together has made us even closer, even if we are less intimate because there is a baby sleeping between us. In my case, the toll has been on friendships. No matter how wonderful they are, childless friends will carry on with their childless lives in complete and utter ignorance as to how life feels for you now. My female friends make a lot of effort, despite their lack of understanding, but my male friends have pretty much disappeared now that I am no longer the host of boozy dinner parties and stoner movie marathons. The beautiful flip side to this though, is the deepening connection with friends with babies. I now understand why my best friends were so desperate for me to hurry up and have a baby too. We have so much more in common now than ever before!
REBECCA JOBSON, Mother to Arabella
Appreciate the help around you
Whether it’s help from family, friends, loved ones, hired ones or whoever will possibly lend it, appreciating help was a major lesson for me. At the beginning of motherhood I felt defeated by accepting help, I felt like it was my job to take everything on, but you don't have to be a super mum and cook and clean and feed and mother on your own to be the best mum ever. The more you burn yourself out, the worse it is for everyone involved.
You will love harder
I found a whole new level of love. You think you really love your partner and then you see them holding your baby and that love reaches new proportions. You look at those two humans and you think that there is no possible way that you could love anything any more. Then your baby grows and hits new milestones and that love grows even more, and your partner steps up and does something out of the blue, that you never expected them to do, and once again that level of love skyrockets. I think it’s been the little things that surprise me the most too, like seeing Bella and Taj hold hands and practice walking to the playground; or looking around the dinner table and seeing an extra little person in a high chair eating with us. My partner’s mum made me a picture book for my birthday with photos of us in it and one time when Arabella's dad was away, she grabbed the book turned it to a page with a photo of him, said "Dadda" and gave him a big kiss. It was one of the cutest things I’ve ever witnessed and it was a moment that I'll always remember.
Be open to change
In my personal experience, I learned that motherhood is nothing like what I thought it would be. When I was pregnant, I didn't know what I was in for. I did my research and got a lot of advice from people around me but I feel like you have a lot of maternal instinct that just comes to you once your baby arrives. You learn things that work for you. Certain things that work for other families won't work for you and vice versa. You learn that it’s ok to make mistakes. Bella started sleeping through the night, in her own room, at quite a young age and we were the silly parents who started bragging about it. Next thing you know she was waking up more than ever and our lives turned upside down. We travelled a lot and it changed her sleeping pattern and we were scared that she was stuck in our bed forever! But we got home and she gradually went back to her own room and sleeping through the night again. Don't give up, keep on trying! And learn to laugh at things with your partner, it makes everything much easier - and sometimes it’s the only thing you can do.
What did you learn in your first year as a parent? Tell us in the comments below.
Previously the PR and Communications Manager at ModelCo Cosmetics and most recently the Marketing Director at Stylerunner, Bondi based Kelly Müller is also a new mama to Sunny Marlow Muller. Kelly now works from home, running her own PR and Marketing consultancy and approaches parenting with mindfulness, compassion and a daily morning coffee. Follow Kelly on Instagram