The moment those two lines appear on the test your life changes. You begin to think about what kind of parent you will be. You already begin to think of how best to protect your baby and you already imagine how life is going to be. One thing for sure is that Parenthood is a journey. And a big one at that. It brings about lot of change.
My journey into motherhood wasn’t the easiest. Although Edith wasn’t born until 2015, I became a mother in 2013 and again in 2014. Although you can’t see those babies, that’s where my motherhood journey began. From those moments my life changed. You see, those loses shaped me not only as a mother but as a person. It brought about change. I have never been one to wallow in grief and I know some people don’t like this view but I believe that everything happens for a reason. One thing it cemented was my determination to have a baby. Those moments made me realise that becoming a mother was what I needed to be.
And am I the mother I thought I would be? In some ways yes and other ways no and not for the reasons you might think.
My views on breastfeeding while I was pregnant with Edith were if we can do it great, if we can’t then it doesn’t matter ( and I still believe this) but I didn’t expect to feed Edith until 22 months. It was something that I never expected to last that long but I wouldn’t change it for a second. Knowing my body nourished Edith for all that time fills me with pride.
I became a babywearing, co-sleeping, attachment parenting kind of mother and I never expected that to be me. But it was always me. When Edith was born I only knew of two people within my family and friends who breastfed and only one who babywore. It was just something that felt right to me and as a parent I think that’s how you know you’re doing the best by your child. If it feels right and if it comes naturally. I would say that I was quite a confident mother when I had Edith. In hindsight she was fairly easy, as babies come of course.
And then I became a mother all over again. From the moment those lines appeared with Norah it felt different. Of course I was so overjoyed to become a mother again but it came with a sense of “Oh Edith won’t be my tiny baby anymore”. It’s something that pretty much every parent feels with their second child. I never doubted the fact I could love another baby, I knew that the love doubles and not halves but I worried for Edith. Again with hindsight (it’s a wonderful thing isn’t it) I really didn’t need to worry. We could not have asked for a better reaction to becoming a big sister. Edith has been incredible and Norah adores her so much. Someone said to me once Edith won’t remember a time before Norah and I think that’s the sweetest thing. They will always have known each other.
Within the time of Edith being born and becoming pregnant with Norah I became more active on social media. “After a tough time ‘adulting’, parenting comes as a relief to Millennial’s. It has given them grounding, roots and a blank canvas to channel their pursuit of shared meaning. As millennial’s we value family happiness and togetherness above all else. We creatively use social spaces to project our experiences and family image.” This is Especially true with Instagram where I started to join a community of other tired Mums and people who felt the same way I did. I was able to express how I as feeling and know that others would be there to share my experiences. Sharing highs and lows on social media and creating that bond with others. “There is a universal parenting experience shared by all generations. Being a Millennial parent does not make us immune to old age parenting emotions and challenges!”
Norah, of course, in true strong independent girl fashion decided to turn everything I thought I knew about being a parent and threw it on it’s head. We’ve battled colic, it’s really not fun having your baby scream at you all afternoon until bedtime. It’s safe to say during those weeks we all shed a lot of tears! We then battled breastfeeding, something that I never had any issues with before. After seeking advice we got there but it involved me standing and rocking with her every feed to stop her from being so distracted. We’re still battling sleep, but we know these things sort themselves out. Although when you’re in the middle of it feels like it might last forever, we know that she will sleep (someday) and she won’t always be attached to us. And I think that’s how you evolve each time you add a baby into the mix. You have that knowledge to know it doesn’t last forever. Those sweet moments of joy, laughter and love outweigh the sleepless nights, the constant crying and the breastfeeding gymnastics. You will get there and in the true madness of being a parent there will come a time when you will miss these days.
As parents we have changed universally. We came from protected childhoods, our parents told us to dream big, we could do anything if we put our minds to it. As millennial’s (born between 1982-1995) ) we were trophy kids to helicopter parents. Our parents were motivated by us winning at life. Now we are raising our children “Gen Alpha” to dream smartly. To find their tribe and to be there to provide emotional support. We are teaching our children to have empathy and to find purpose.
So I have definitely changed as a person and as a parent and I know that change is not something to fear, but something to embrace. Because it’s all a journey. And I’m sure that when I convince my husband for baby number 3 (in a good few years!!) we will evolve again. That’s just being a parent.
This post is a paid collaboration as part of my role as a Johnson’s Baby Brand Ambassador. All of the words and opinions contained in this post are my own.