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My Journey: Becoming a New Mum

Updated: May 26

Nearly two years into this adventure, I want to share a deeply personal journey with you, that has been sitting in the Drafts folder since last year. From the joys and challenges to the little moments that make it all worthwhile, this is a heartfelt look at my experience as a new mum.

I hope my story resonates with you and brings a sense of connection and support as we navigate this incredible journey together.


I've tried to keep it concise, so I've split it into the things I've felt, the very first few months into motherhood and some tips towards the end.


Magical. To suddenly hold a new person I created and realise her life was in my hands, quite literally. And feel her little tiny hands holding my fingers or her floppy and heavy head resting on my chest for those first few hours that were ours to cherish.


Strange. To suddenly realise that I could name a person whatever she'd be called for the rest of her life. Humbled by this. And to realise that they know nothing yet, and have so, SO much to experience in this world (when will she know what Titanic is and comment on the film with me? or the Big Ben? or what a country is? ha!)


In love. Like never before, a love that could move mountains, almost like a new-found power. ❤️ and it comes at the price of feeling constantly connected to this new little life, with this invisible thread.


Rewarding - my partner felt this much later than me, but then again I had nine months of experience ahead of him, and for me every smile was rewarding, but before that, the mere fact that we were lucky enough to have a healthy, calm and easy child. And then to make our parents so happy about their new roles as grandparents (although it was a learning curve for them too - I realised this a bit later. Life-changing on all fronts, the birth of a child realigns a lot of dynamics and sets new precedents and transforms and disrupts life as you know it, shaking it in its core, making it morph into something bigger, greater. And you discover your old folks in new ways, like meeting their alter egos!)


And then it felt like my responsibilities were logical, like I didn't necessarily have to read a bunch of books or ask for much advice, because somehow, things were quite intuitive and I just knew what to do. A few mums told me about this 'you'll just know' theory - now I get it. You will too.


Exhausting. So, so exhausting - is there another word to describe living on fumes? Because I did wonder how I survived the first couple of weeks on something like 8 hours of sleep, combined. I struggled to sleep in hospital. I was there for only two nights anyway, by own will really, because I felt like I needed training for breastfeeding and reassurance that I was doing the right things. Struggled to sleep at home. I'm also not someone who can do naps. I simply wasn't sleeping. I then learned that one can rest, without really sleeping. And that calls with friends and family also feel restful. And lying down in bed with the little one, for a few short moments of silence and stillness. And, one day at a time, I eventually learned to sleep again, between hourly feeds, failed Night Shift attempts with my partner, or surprise stretches of sleep from my little one - at which point I instinctively woke up and thoroughly checked if the baby was definitely still alive 😳 (and once even got my boob out, ready to feed what turned out to be an imaginary crying baby in the cot next to me, because my baby was in fact downstairs with her Dad, and my brain simply couldn't calm down and chill and make the most of the fact that I actually had some time for myself).


Exciting! Although my partner was the first one to learn how to put a nappy on, whilst I was figuring out how to birth a placenta 🤨, from the moment of our baby's arrival on that scorchingly hot summer day, we both had to self-teach ourselves a series of things along the lines of - breastfeeding, bottle feeding, colic, what choking looks like, sleeping in the new format, not sleeping at all, carriers, poop colours, good and bad habits, boundaries, immunisations, figuring out where to draw the line between being careful with hygiene matters and being overly-obsessed with germs, family time, work arrangements, living arrangements, camping in the living room, office, parents house, sleeping in upright positions, and so on!


1 month into being a mum...

By the fourth week, I was still sleeping quite badly, but forced myself to get out of the house, figure out a ridiculously convertible stroller (courtesy of our super helpful friends), even get a pedicure. I was losing the extra weight slowly but surely, I was still not feeling strong and like my usual self, but the regular walks, chats with loved ones, good food (courtesy of my talented partner, who's a ridiculously good chef) and obsession to keep up with my side projects in order to keep my brain active and challenged, were my panacea. 🌱


3 months into the adventure

About three months into this adventure, we started sleep-training our little one. My partner had two weeks off work and I was becoming a pain in the bottom for everyone because of how sleep deprived I was. And because I needed a better balance and to return to some of my previous activities. So I resumed going to the gym, the spa, seeing friends, traveling - nationally and internationally, and felt like I figured out my new role and like everything finally fell into its place by the sixth month. Got into a good routine with pretty much everything, and felt like I had a strong bond and level of trust with my little one, at home, out and about, in the pool, car, plane, you name it. Putting our little on solids helped loads as well, as I'm a breastfeeding mum and this gave me a bit more time back (she fed every three-four hours by this point), an opportunity for my other half to get more involved with the feeding process, and definitely some memorable and fun time for the grandparents who couldn't wait to roll up their sleeves and partake in the challenge.


Top Tips on staying afloat

I became a more relaxed mum and this made me better for my little one when I got back into journaling, doing breathing exercises (my partner was very pushy with these and I'm grateful for it), setting and following a sleeping and eating schedule rigorously (there's no other way - babies need a schedule asap), and making time to do what I love. And practising gratitude. With so much advice and unsolicited feedback from everyone, left-right-and-centre, I found it difficult to even hear myself think for the first months. My partner and I also made it our goal to keep going out on dates, without our little one, to reconnect, which was essential and very much needed for us both, so we could navigate through everything together and process what we'd just done, and our new roles.


These things and the above combined, helped me repel postnatal depression, separation anxiety, dependence (did you know there's a thing called Madonna Syndrome, where mums are obsessed with their babies and don't want to share the load?) and in turn helped me (at least so far) contribute to raising a healthy and happy baby, who's extremely sociable and won't cry after me or her dad when we drop her off at her grandparents, crèche, leave her with friends briefly, etc. And, last but not least, looking after myself better improved my milk flow for my little one (which was a very stressful topic for me that was magically resolved the moment I stopped putting so much pressure on myself).


It's also how our Newborn pack and Postpartum Boxes came to life, because at MommaBox we recognise that the new mums need all the support they can get, so they thrive and take good care of their little ones too. Learn more about those here.


Do you have some insightful stories to share with the world, about the life-changing event of becoming a mum? Hit us up at hello@mommabox.co.uk


Much love,

Alice from MommaBox ♥️

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