Notes on motherhood: PND, broccoli, and saying yes.

It’s happened. I’ve become one of those mothers. I now think of other mothers and think how unlucky they are, because they didn’t get Emmi.

Because, I mean, how could any child be better than Emmi?

See?

The thing is, I feel like it’s ok for me to feel like that, that it might actually be a good  thing that I do, because it’s progress. Less than six months ago I was most definitely not one of those mothers. I have vivid memories of standing in the shower bawling my eyes out, and thinking that I MUST email all of my friends who are on the fence right now about children and tell them in no uncertain terms Not To Do It. It’s too hard. It’s too life changing. It’s not what you think it will be.

And for a long time, that was how I felt. I loved Emmi, I absolutely would have protected her with my life, done anything for her, all of the usual cliches that you hear, but don’t fully appreciate. But there was a part of me that still longed for the time pre-Emmi. That thought about what might have been. A part that, and this is difficult for me to say now, wished I could turn the clock back. I didn’t admit that to anyone. How do you tell people that despite your fierce love for this child that you created, you kind of wish you’d never met her. That you sort of wish your life had continued on its own selfish little path, where you hadn’t yet met her, and therefore couldn’t miss her.

I can only say this, and admit it now, because I am well and truly past that stage. Perhaps it was Post Natal Depression. Or perhaps it was just me, and that it just took me a year to adjust to life as a mother. Whatever it was, I want to talk about it because one day one of you might feel the same, and I want to let you know that it does get better. And go and see someone. They can help. Promise.

After baby, comes this. This is good.

****************************************************************

I am of the opinion that some of us aren’t designed to be baby-mothers. As in, mothers of babies. Not that we can’t do it, more that we’re just not very good at it. I am certainly not good baby-mother material. I like my space and I like to be in control, two things that are not possible to maintain as the mother of a baby. If you like either/both of those things, expect to find life with a baby pretty hard.  Some people relish the change in their lives. They thrive on being a mother, on being needed and smooching little cheeks. I’m far too selfish for that. I want more in return. Toddlerhood gives me more. Much much more. I have running hugs when we’ve not seen each other for an hour. I have smiles waiting for me after naps. I have wanting to hold my hand when walking to the shops, because holding hands with ‘mama’ is the best. She doesn’t need me now. She chooses me.

****************************************************************

Her current word is ‘yes’. Well actually ‘ee-yeh’ with a very definite head nod, as though she’s put a lot of thought in to the answer. All of the books tell you that their first word will be ‘No’ because that’s the word they hear the most. Believe me, Emmi hears ‘No’ a lot. Emmi NO please don’t stand on the sofa and bounce you will FALL OFF. NO Emmi, please don’t pull the cat’s tail, she doesn’t like it. Emmi I SAID NO. EMMI NO!  NO Emmi, I really can’t face reading that book for the one hundred and fifty second time today.

So I’m not sure why, but ‘yes’ is her new favourite (and only, if we discount ‘bah’ for bear, which as you can imagine, doesn’t come up in conversation much), word. It makes for some interesting conversations:

Me: Emmi, would you like some lunch?

Emmi: Ee-yeh.

Me: Would you like some tasty vegetables for your lunch?

Emmi: Ee-yeh.

Me: Some broccoli perhaps?

Emmi: Ee-yeh (head nodding is getting more and more dramatic at this point)

*hand her the broccoli*

Emmi:‘Ee-ugh’

Me: You don’t want broccoli?

Emmi: *Nodding head* Ee-yeh.

Well, I’m glad that’s clear.

I like that she says yes to everything, though. I hope it’s something that continues. I hope that when she’s older, her first reaction will be to say yes to new experiences, not no.

******************************************************************

Becoming a parent has made me so aware of my mortality. You suddenly realise, with a certainty and clarity that you didn’t have before, that one day, you will die. That you will leave this child. And yet simultaneously, you realise that you CAN’T die. It’s just not practical, or fair, for you to ever die, and have to leave behind your child, without you for protection. It boils down to the fact that you can’t die; but you know you will. Try getting your head around that over a cup of tea and a biscuit.

 

******************************************************************

Lastly (and clearly, most importantly), we’re coming to the UK for a very quick visit in a couple of weeks. As we are going to be there in what is almost MAY, I assumed that she’d not need any winter clothes, but clearly I was wrong. I am currently searching for a coat for Emmi that is not barbie pink. That’s all. You would think a girls coat that is not barbie pink would be an easy thing to find. You would be wrong. Any suggestions? The winner will get a picture of Emmi in said coat. Actually, you all will if you follow me on Instagram , you lucky lucky things. Also, if you do follow me on Instagram, you will be pretty aware of the current bangles obsession. If not, here is a shot of the standard number of bangles required at any given time:

*****************************************************************

And purely for the ‘bro-pervs’ out there (I’m looking at you Aisling and Anna), I’ll leave you with this shot:

Emmi and favourite Uncle Will. This is approximately three minutes after she met him for the first time ever,and she stayed surgically attached to him for the entire month he was here.

 

Categories: Any Other Baby, Becoming a Mother, Uncategorized, Written By Clare
61 interesting thoughts on this

61 Comments

  1. Posted April 8, 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Could have written this myself and can confirm it gets better and better _ the more they speak and know, the better it is. The first time George said “love you mummy” I forgave him for never sleeping as a baby!! Ha.

    Babies are boring and hard work (in my opinion) but I absolutely had PND so maybe that’s a symptom

  2. Posted April 8, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    PS I dream about dying all the time. It’s horrendous

    I’ve said this on twitter before but just putting it out there- if I do die could someone print my blog out as a book on that blurb website and give it to George. Please. Thank you.

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      I am ON IT. Ditto re my posts on here? Please thank you.

      Also, you are my parenting idol.

  3. Posted April 8, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Great honest post Clare, loved reading it, thanks for sharing!

    Ps: I totally love her bangle obsession, makes my Instagram day :)

    • Posted April 8, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Me too! I love that hashtag! #stillwearingthebangles :)

  4. Posted April 8, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    First, I think you’re amazing for getting through that first year in the way you did Clare- with total grace. I’m quite sure it didn’t feel like it to you, but you did, and it’s inspiring when I know how hard it must have been. I feel that all the women I know who are similar to me in character seem to really battle with the baby stage, and I’ll be honest – it flipping scares me. But I have been forewarned from so many places now, at least I think I’ll know to ask if I need help, and that it’s a normal way to feel.

    I love that you’ve posted this, but I have to say from your Instagram feed (which is S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G by the way and if any of you aren’t following @anyotherwoman on there – go go go) it’s quite apparent the mutual adoration society that is Club Emmi and Clare and it frequently makes me cry happy tears.

    It makes me feel a bit sad that the time I’ll get with the wee one when I’m not working will be the non-interactive bit, then back to work as soon as he gets fun!

    Px

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Penny, I have a whole post to write on the going back to work at 9 months thing. Will do so soon.

      Motherhood is a shock to the system, no doubt about it, but (and you won’t believe this/can’t understand it, if/when you’re in the thick of it), but it does get better. If you can try to keep that at the fore front of your mind, it should help.

      And remember – and this goes for every single one of you who is pregnant or has a baby right now – I am here, and I love emails. If you feel you need to vent/chat/cry, email me. Being on the other side of the world is helpful in this instance, because I am often awake in the dead of your night, when you are up feeding, and feel like every other person in the world is sleeping, except you.

      Huge luck to you Penster – you are going to be the awesomenest mum ever.

      xx

      • Sarah
        Posted April 8, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        I feel the same Penny, I’m taking about 9 months off then the plan is to go back for 4 days… I don’t know how I’m going to feel about that once they start giving me All The Smiles, after All The S**t, but I know I’m going to have to go back!

    • Posted April 8, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Yep, the back to work when they’re fun thing is shit. I decided it was better to just be a bit broke for a bit longer! Freelance when I could get it and then reassess at school age.

      Once I figured out how expensive childcare was, that decision was a bit easier!

      • Posted April 8, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        I’m definitely considering this option! It rests on what jobs are out there in 9 months as childcare costs mean I won’t be able to go back to my current job – I couldnt afford it. I should email you Anna.

        Px

  5. Chirsty
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    If not pink, could Emmi get with sunshine yellow? http://www.petit-bateau.co.uk/e-shop/product/32370/6E8/the-petit-bateau-raincoat.html
    Or, if a canary daughter might give you a headache (or the price might) and you aren’t bothered about it having to say ‘girl’ on the label, a classic camel trench? http://www.gap.co.uk/browse/product.do?cid=57165&vid=1&pid=000433966000

  6. Posted April 8, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I love that she says yes and always wants to wear bangles – pretty wonderful character traits if you ask me!

    Thanks for this, Clare. I can’timagine it was easy to write, but it’s so helpful for us to hear. At the moment (36 weeks pregnant), all I can think about is the first few weeks and I’m focusing on how we’ll get him into a routine, how breast feeding will be etc. I can’t even think about Christmas and the idea that he’ll be 7 months old!

    Xxx

  7. Liz
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Right, firstly sainsbury’s is my go to for baby clothes. When I went in a few days ago they still had lovely little red or jade green fleecy coats for under £10. Perfect for a quick visit to this cold cold country!
    The motherhood stuff, I am right in the middle of all this. Tessa is 5 months now and whilst I’m pretty sure i haven’t had PND there have been lots of tears and dark days. I remember Anna’s epic motherhood post being on a day when i literally collapsed on my knees in the middle of the living room sobbing, I had so much to say in response and no energy to say it! I hadn’t comprehended how hard any of this would be, no matter how many people I had spoken to or seen with their babies I hadn’t really understood how all consuming and unrelenting it would be (not helped by my cot refusing, co-sleeping bottle refusing little girl!)
    However, over last 2-3 weeks I am beginning to enjoy it. For me its as Tess has learnt to laugh out loud, roll over, putting every effort into trying to crawl-you get the picture! It’s as she is stopping being a completely helpless baby and morphs into a cheeky happy little person. I can see it getting better and better now.
    Hearing that I’m not the only one feeling this way is such a reassurance- Thank you!

  8. Posted April 8, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Firstly, thanks for the Emmi pics, although I have been Instagram stalking a little (literally every photo ever. I promise I’m not creepy…) – I miss her 2 monthly posts :(

    Secondly, thanks so much. I just love that everyone is honest here and even if it isn’t relevant to me right now I learn something from every post, that either prepares me for the future or makes me realise right now how to be a better person to myself or to my friends. You are epic.

    Clare I think this post is brave, putting it all out into the big wide world forever. I can say from impartially reading what people have to say that everyone finds different bits hard and easy, and I’m so glad you’ve found a stage you love. It’s beautiful.

  9. Posted April 8, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I am so glad you wrote this. Last week I got to spend a lot of time with little ones and realised that as a natural introvert I like quiet and space and children are kind of the antithesis of that and who knows what personality a child might have? I know its not all nurture…

    But this made me take heart. I was so scared I’d be a terrible mother because of my need for quiet and space but this really helped. I was even wondering if I could be a mother and now I’m not so scared anymore. Thank you. Thank you *so* very much.

    • Posted April 8, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      I’m a bit like that too. S knows that though and sometimes I say I need a timeout and he takes him off to the park or mini-golf or something.

      Sometimes it totally does your head in though, George talks all day. Allllll day from the second he wakes up, he even talks in his sleep. So sometimes I lock myself in the bathroom for a little while. Joking. Not joking.

      • Posted April 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        My youngest brother was the same. Talking all day. He’s 10 years younger than me, so I looked after him a lot, took him to school etc…I’d tell him I’m going to listen to music now, so he can keep talking, but I won’t be listening. I’d put headphones on, he’d carry on chatting, perfectly happy with the fact I wasn’t listening to him at all.

        And then he learnt to read…and I’d just hand him a book if I wanted piece and quiet! :P

        • Fran M
          Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          Just getting my notebook to write down some of these good tips, ladies…

          I, too, am like that. Occasionally I just need to zone out and not communicate with anyone for a while. Good to see that this can still work with kids in the mix. I’m sure it’s not easy, but it’s good to see you’re making it work, somehow.

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      You find ways to make it work for you. And you really learn to prioritise, and use your spare time wisely, so that you get some of whatever keeps you sane. Some people like to exercise, so they find time for that. I like quiet ‘me time’, with a book and a cup of tea – it took me a while, but I’ve learnt to find time for that occasionally, to keep me sane. But so far, not much time for exercise, and I’m ok with that!

  10. Posted April 8, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Love this post but have spent too much time searching for cute non pink coats so my comment is rubbish I’m afraid but here are some M&S links!! (Sadly my favourite starry one is not available for her size :( )

    http://www.marksandspencer.com/Print-Thermal-Jacket-Stormwear-Thinsulate/dp/B003ZC9420?ie=UTF8&ref=sr_1_8&nodeId=46376031&sr=1-8&qid=1365412930&pf_rd_r=0A6PMEG18B2ZM59N9FJS&pf_rd_m=A2BO0OYVBKIQJM&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_i=0&pf_rd_p=321381407&pf_rd_s=center-3

    This stripey one’s quite nice http://www.marksandspencer.com/Pure-Cotton-Hooded-Striped-Coat/dp/B00B14KPZY?ie=UTF8&ref=sr_1_11&nodeId=46376031&sr=1-11&qid=1365412930&pf_rd_r=0A6PMEG18B2ZM59N9FJS&pf_rd_m=A2BO0OYVBKIQJM&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_i=0&pf_rd_p=321381407&pf_rd_s=center-3

    OBVIOUSLY this green one’s a winner and shower proof! http://www.marksandspencer.com/Hooded-Shower-Resistant-Spotted-Jacket/dp/B0037GGPQM?ie=UTF8&ref=sr_1_6&nodeId=46376031&sr=1-6&qid=1365412930&pf_rd_r=0A6PMEG18B2ZM59N9FJS&pf_rd_m=A2BO0OYVBKIQJM&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_i=0&pf_rd_p=321381407&pf_rd_s=center-3

    This might be my favourite now though, green birds! http://www.marksandspencer.com/Print-Shower-Resistant-Hooded-Parka/dp/B00458MFV0?ie=UTF8&ref=sr_1_9&nodeId=46376031&sr=1-9&qid=1365412967&pf_rd_r=13M90HGZJ4MKC08PZWF7&pf_rd_m=A2BO0OYVBKIQJM&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_i=0&pf_rd_p=321381407&pf_rd_s=center-3 and also shower resistant! (clearly important here!)

    And this cute one does have pink but it’s balanced by the lovely green flowers :) http://www.marksandspencer.com/Marks-and-Spencer-Hooded-Ditsy/dp/B00AZC9V4Y?ie=UTF8&ref=sr_1_8&nodeId=46376031&sr=1-8&qid=1365412967&pf_rd_r=13M90HGZJ4MKC08PZWF7&pf_rd_m=A2BO0OYVBKIQJM&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_i=0&pf_rd_p=321381407&pf_rd_s=center-3

  11. Posted April 8, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink
    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Bex I love you!! You are amazing with a capital A! Thank you – I am going to check all of these out tonight! Xx

  12. Posted April 8, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Thank you Clare, for making me feel better about just not getting the baby bit! I’m not a mum and not even pregnant but I’ve always much preferred kids once their personality starts emerging and they can do things. Then people coo over newborns and I feel guilty for not being more enthusiastic, but they don’t do very much.
    Maybe I won’t be the ‘baby-mummy’ type either, then again it may all change if I have one myself, but I doubt it. I like my sleep too much!

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      I still don’t get the cute cooing over babies thing. Toddlers are cute with their tiny pigtails and chubby legs. Babies are often a bit funny looking, no?!

      And yes. Sleep. Once Emmi started sleeping through, my mood dramatically improved! Lack of sleep was a killer for me. I likened it to that really groggy feeling of getting up to go to the airport in the middle of night and then flying, where the next day you feel all disorientated and jaded and not really with it. Except you do that every night for 200 plus days in a row. The cumulative effect is a killer! But hey…I survived, everyone does – it just might not feel like it at the time! xx

  13. Posted April 8, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Brilliant post and so very true. Have been through the hell that is PND (and still recovering…slowly) and it’s a shitter. Any negative feelings I had in the past literally make me want to sob. I am almost better and Iove my boys so much I think my heart might actually burst. Motherhood is hard but the absolute best xx

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Heidi I am so pleased for you that you’re coming out the other side now. It’s so amazing to hear that you are still not entirely recovered, and yet you STILL think motherhood is the absolute best!

  14. Posted April 8, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharingYou this post Clare, we have just decided to start trying for a baby and I cannot believe the pull I have towards reading all things pregnancy and baby related. I love your daily Emmi instagram pictures, and love hearing about how you’re finding motherhood, especially as a fellow expat, you are away from family. Reading the posts here, alongside my friend’s and sisters’ experiences, make me more informed and better prepared for the various outcomes that await us.

    I cannot resist mini Boden- it’s my go to for gifts for my nephews and nieces, BUT this jacket’s on sale, though it starts at 1.5-2 years, so maybe too big?

    http://www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Girls-1H-12yrs-Coats-Jackets/35090/Girls-1H-12yrs-Fishermans-Jacket.html

    Happy online shopping x

    • Posted April 8, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Excuse the random YOU in the middle of the first sentence, the keyboard stuck, so I went ahead and posted regardless!

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Yes I think being prepared really helps – but also, you just can’t entirely prepare yourselves for what will hit you. So just give your self some slack if/when it does happen. And know that it’s possible to ride it out, because I am living proof! xx

      PS love mini Boden too!

  15. Posted April 8, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Great post as always Clare. Two friends have recently had babies so I’ve been enjoying wandering through lots of baby and kids sections of shops! I’m not a huge fan of their adult wear, but Next do some lovely kids stuff. I’ve just had a quick look and my two fave jackets are:

    http://www.next.co.uk/x513730s1#779810×51

    http://www.next.co.uk/g383516s1#130869g38

    And John Lewis are always a good bet:

    http://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-tansy-bird-coat-blue/p367915

    http://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-jasmine-trench-coat-pink/p367914 (this says it’s pink but it’s not barbie pink)

    Although any coat paired with that many bangles will look amazing anyway!

    Alice x

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Al, and thank you everyone – so many coats! I am going to have to be very careful not to end up buying five coats because they’re all SO great! xx

  16. Posted April 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I love the honesty of this post, Clare. Corey’s mother told me she loved her sons when they were babies, she didn’t really like them, though, until they started walking and talking. I find babies fascinating, but that probably has a lot to do with the fact I’m not the one feeding them, changing them and staying up all night with a baby crying for no apparent reason. It has to be so incredibly hard.

    I also love all the Emmi pictures. Her personality shines through, and your photography is absolutely stunning.

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Corey’s mother sounds like my type of person!

      And thank you Crysta – she is a little smasher, as Andy’s mum likes to say! xx

      • Posted April 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        I have mentally marked her down as “not one to babysit until they’re no longer babies” and decided that my mother can babysit until then :P .

  17. Aisling
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    *Hi, I’m Aisling and I love the baby stage.* Phew. I’ve been trying to say that all morning but have been worried I’ll come across as a Smug Sally. I’m only 9 weeks in to being a mother but I think I’m one of those people that was designed to be a ‘baby-mother’.

    I hope I still find it as wonderful over the coming weeks and months (I’m not so blinded by baby-brain as to think this it’s going to be this awesome all the time) and with each new smile and giggle (and flat out cackle when I sing to her – as in, laughing AT me, not WITH me) I get a glimpse into the kind of toddler Stella will be and I hope she and I will have half as incredible a relationship as you and Emmi do, C.

    Also, HI UNCLE WILL! HIIIIIIII! OVER HERE!!!!!

    Ahem.

    • Posted April 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Will-perve.

      • Aisling
        Posted April 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        What of it?

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      That’s it. We can no longer be friends. Mainly because you are attempting to hit on my younger brother, but also because you find it so damn brilliant being a mother to a small baby. Honestly though, I think it’s so wonderful that you can really enjoy this stage. You are a shining light, and proof to everyone reading this that it doesn’t have to be like I found it. Hooray for differences!

      Also, Emmi and Stella are going to be best friends. Whether they like it or not.

      xx

      • Katie
        Posted April 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        I would have guessed Uncle Will to be your older brother. xx

        • Clare
          Posted April 8, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

          Haha thanks Katie! I shall pass that on! He’s actually only 26 :)

    • Lottie
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Hi Aisling,

      Just wondering if you feel you love the baby stage because you longed for Stella for so long and had to endure a lot to get her, years of trying and treatment/surgery etc. I am currently undergoing fertility treatment and I just feel that if we have a baby, I won’t mind the night feeds, changes etc. because all of it will be so infinitely better than uncertainty, failed treatment and the looming, ever present thought that you might not ever have a baby.

      This is not to undermine what Clare has said at all, because despite my above point, I agree with Clare that different people must prefer different stages. I guess what I am saying, and hoping, is that if I am lucky and I get to be the mother of a newborn, I hope I am able to cope with the blur of the unknown, the hormones and the raging emotions because all this fertility treatment is putting me through this already. At least if I’m lucky I’ll have a baby as well as all the ups n downs.

      However saying all this, It may well be that I find babies difficult too! Nothing to do with how you got there and everything to do with your baby perhaps…..

      Thoughts?

      • Vivienne
        Posted April 8, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        I’m a ‘baby-mother’ too – and I definitely think it is just how we are wired. I personally think the young toddler stage is infinitely harder than the baby stage (my answer to everything is to give Toby a boob) – and Emmi now is testament to how good a mama Clare was during the baby stages even if she didn’t feel like she was.

        I know one or two girls who have tried for years and then subsequently suffered pnd – sadly, no matter how much you want something, or how prepared you are to endure no sleep for the next 20 years, the hormones can strike out and take over. But, those hormones also enable you to feel a fierce, burning, all consuming love that will make your heart sing over your most perfect creation. Good luck for your treatment xxx

      • Clare
        Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        Hi Lottie – great point. I think some people just ARE baby-mothers. I know a couple of women who tried for many years to have a baby, and then when they finally managed to have one, they really struggled. They both said that they’d spent so long dreaming of having a baby, and staking all of their happiness on it, that they’d not really thought about how much hard work it would be. It was a bit of a shock for them I think. The image that they’d built up in their head didn’t quite match the reality. So I think whichever way you have a baby, a key thing is expectations.

        So much love and luck for you Lottie xxx

      • Posted April 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Hi Lottie,

        I think C and Vivienne are mostly right – it’s just how some women are wired. That said, I would say that yes, our journey to being parents has made us appreciate what we have ina unique way – unique to us at least. I remember vividly sitting cross-legged in bed feeding 2 day old Stella with dead legs at 3am – she’d been feeding since midnight and I was running on empty. But as I looked at her, I was only grateful that she was there, keeping me awake and inadvertantly cutting off the blood supply to my legs.

        I didn’t ever think that having a baby, even after everything we’d gone through to get her, would be all unicorns and rainbows (though it is and it isn’t all at once) and I have a lot of experience with little babies so had a pretty good idea of what we might encounter, maybe that helped too?

        I’ll be thinking of you Lottie, please don’t hesitate to email if I can do anything at all.

        x

  18. Sara
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Having just come out of the otherside of this I feel I need to print this out and put on my fridge to read daily. As a mantra to feeling better and remembering we are not alone. Every phase, good or bad is just a phase. It too shall pass.
    Thank you x

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Something that got me through was someone telling me to add ‘for now’ onto the end of every negative thought I had. So, ‘she just doesn’t nap. For now’, or ‘I’m existing on two hours a night sleep. For now.’. It really makes everything seem much more manageable when you realise that it won’t, it CAN’T last forever, even if it might feel like it somedays.

      So pleased you’re coming out of the other side now Sara xx

  19. Fran M
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    It just makes sense really, when we all have such very different personalities/upbringings/environments/outlooks/experiences, etc, that we’ll will cope with having a baby differently. Unfortunately, not many people seem to acknowledge this – so thanks for stepping up and showing that you can get through the tougher times and come out of the other end still finding your feet (to say the least – little Emmi is gorgeous and obviously very happy with her lot in life). This gives me hope for whenever I (hopefully) become a mother, that however I find it, it’ll work out, somehow.

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes! People cope differently, and have such different expectations. Everyone just has to muddle through the way they find best! xx

  20. Rach M
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    What a great post. Bloody love your Emmi pics (what a beaut!), and also (sorry that this is so superficial, but) your apartment is amazing. Love reading about you guys. Am quite a way off planning a family but this piece gives me heart and hope. Xx

  21. Posted April 8, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I like my space and I like to be in control maybe that’s why I found life with a newborn soooo hard. I had zilch experience of babies before having one and have to say I am much preferring being the mother of a one year old and am only excited about toddlerdom. Have you read Oliver James’ How Not to F*** Them Up? He explores different types of mothers. I think it’s the Hugger mothers as he calls them that enjoy the early months the best. I always felt guilty for kind of wanting her to grow up so we could communicate better, children I get. Thanks for this, it’s made me realise it doesn’t make you a bad mother for not enjoying every stage. Something I rationally know but in practice it’s hard to remember.

    Plus, your photos are gorgeous.

    • Clare
      Posted April 8, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      I’m adding that book to my list if things to pick up in the UK – I love reading about things like that.

      And I’m glad to know that the post helped, and that I’m not the only one who found it tough, but is loving the one year old stage. I would say it was the moment she learnt to walk that changed it for me. Something psychologically clicked and that was it – I suddenly felt like our relationship blossomed.

      Thanks for your comment xx

  22. Vivienne
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Your pictures are nearly as wonderful as your words – Emmi is so lovely xxx

  23. Posted June 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Just made me bawl at work thanks very much ;-p thankyou so much for writing this post. Written from the heart and I’m really glad you put it out there as it’s exactly my experience and good to know I wasn’t the only one! I have always wanted to be a mummy and our little girl (1 year old Erin now :-) ) was so much wanted and loved, but I was so shocked after the birth of this longing I had for pre-baby times. I wasn’t prepared for the mammoth life tilt and although I would have died for her from the moment she was born, I’m glad I am not alone in the struggle this year has been. I honestly feel like I’ve all of a sudden ‘woken’ up at the 1 year stage and loving every single day and moment spent with her. Hard road to get here though and one paved with guilty feelings I only laughed at on hearing before I had my own little one.

    Thanks again and a fab website :-)

    xxx

  24. Cara
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Oh I am so happy to have found this! I have really struggled these first 3 months of motherhood and finally asked for the help I need in dealing with my PND. This article has given me hope and made me feel less like a horrible mother. Prior to being a mum I worked in project management which is essentially a career in control freakery and I loved my own time reading magazines listening to the radio etc so it makes sense why losing these things with a side of pnd has made life so hard. I am starting to get glimpses to my child getting older and I am starting to see it becoming more enjoyable.

    Anyway I just wanted to say that I am thankful you wrote this.

    X

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About

Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

More here.

image by Lucy Stendall Photography

Find me a random post

Find:

Follow: