Confessions of a New Mum - Guest Post by Mez from Listen Sookie | Motherhood

This is the seventh guest post from other bloggers about their memories of being a new Mum. If you would like to write a post for this series let me know in the comments or send me an email to kylie(@)kyliepurtell(dot)com

Today's guest post is by Mez. Mez has written an awesome post about the struggle of being a new, first-time Mum and can I just say, I relate to everything she has written. In fact, I could have written this post myself! So here it is...

I wasn’t burping her.

For the first few weeks of Addison’s life I somehow forgot that babies need burping before, during, after a feed. I’ve been around babies my whole life for heaven’s sake, I knew this. But for whatever reason I forgot or was so damn sleep deprived and shocked, my brain didn’t compute this little fact. And so for a while
I had no idea why my baby girl would just cry and cry after a feed, or stop mid feed and refuse any more. I toyed with giving up, I consulted a lactation consultant, I read books, I drove myself fecking crazy researching via the internet. And it wasn’t until my Mum reminded me about the burping that it clicked. Suddenly she started feeding with an unseen fury, and has been ever since.

advice for new mums
 I look back now and I must confess that I’ve forgotten (apart from burp-gate) much of the insanity of those early days, it’s all very hazy.  I do think as the months pass by it’s easy to forget what it’s like (About as easy as it is to feel it’s never going to end when you’re caught up in it!) and gloss that shit over. Which is why mother in laws and old ladies at supermarkets try to tell you that it’s THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE AND YOU SHOULD ENJOY EVERY MOMENT. (Even the moments where you’re attempting to change a nappy on no sleep, with a boob hanging out and your one week old baby sneezes and poos on you at the same time.) They tell you this because they don’t remember just how hard it can be. And you’re thinking, well I’m in a bit of a living hell right now, so what am I doing wrong then?! No one tells you about the hard stuff. Like you know, how you’re going to be responsible for someone else FOREVER or arsenic hour or how some babies sleep for 20 minutes at a time and only on you. It’s all rosebud lips and eyelashes splayed over soft pink cheeks. After about a week I turned to my equally as shocked husband and said, “What. Have.  We.  Done?” Let’s be honest, I thought I was going to DIE in the first 2 weeks. It was such a shock. After my 68 hour labour my body was shattered, my mind was shattered and I truly thought my life was shattered too. I was torn between being completely in love with Addison and wondering what the hell had just happened. No one told me I’d feel grief for my old life, for the person I was. They tell you about PND and breastfeeding and safe sleeping, but no one mentions what it feels like to be completely consumed by the role of motherhood, left wondering where you went.

I was desperately trying to regain a sense of control early on. I read books, I begged for advice, I drove myself spare searching for the correct way of doing things. When, really there is NO correct way. No perfect way, no right way. Schedules, clock watching; my classroom type routines weren’t gonna fly and I struggled, oh boy did I struggle to let go. I turned to online shopping to try and get some normalcy. It helped a little. I fantasised about going to the shops for the day alone. Or just lying on the couch. I wasn’t depressed. I was simply adjusting. The best advice was that given to me by my Mum, “This too shall pass, you will get through this and it will get easier.” And I now know, had I just of let myself relax a bit; the adjustment would have been faster. (And much easier on my wallet, oops.)

Hindsight, hey? That tricky little bugger.  Next time I will treat the first 12 weeks as the ‘4th Trimester’. No attempting schedules, no worrying about sleeping on me instead of in the cot, or fitting tummy time in or meeting weight goals from the blue book. Blah, blah, blah. No. I’ll listen to my baby, instead of other people who tell me what I ‘should’ be doing. The same way after about 6 weeks I started to listen to Addison. Once I let all the external crap go, things got a lot easier, a lot faster.

I don’t think anyone really knows what they’re doing as a parent. We’re all just doing the best we can; doing the best for our little ones. And if someone tells you they do know it all, well, tell them where to go because they’re lying. I knew I’d hit the jackpot when the Mums in my Mother’s Group all started asking and sharing and being honest;  really honest about the truths of parenting. Because believe me, there are many women who will have you believe it is all perfect for them. And I guess if it truly is seamless and easy and perfect for you, then lucky you! But there is no shame in being honest and admitting it’s hard work. Becoming a mother to Addison is the best thing I have ever done, hands down. I am smitten by her. Some days I love her so much I can’t stand it. Alongside the hard times are the amazing ones and believe me, there are plenty! And every day I get a little bit better at this parenting gig, and learn a little more about her and myself, too. I may not be the same Mez I was pre-Addie but that’s ok because I think the Mez I am now is stronger, more relaxed and so grateful for what I have.

My advice for new parents if asked? Don’t buy those stupid nappy disposal bins, Dr Google is the devil and for Christ’s sake, burp the baby.

Mez blogs here, and you can also find her on facebook here, and twitter here.

Confessions of a New Mum Part One - Learning Curves and 'Un'Enjoyment
Confessions of a New Mum Part Two - Stitched Up
Confessions of a New Mum Part Three - The Part-time SAHM
Confessions of a New Mum Part Four - Mum Appreciation
Confessions of a New Mum Part Five - Losing My Confidence
Confessions of a New Mum - Kelly from Handmade Tears and Triumphs (Guest Post)
Confessions of a New Mum - Bron from Big Brother, Little Sister & the Baby (Guest Post)
Confessions of a New Mum - Jenn from Mountains & Musings (Guest Post)

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Kylie Purtell said…
Love it Mez. By God the first baby took it out of me too! Second a total breeze in comparison!!! Definitely.
Kylie Purtell said…
Great advice! Dr Google has a lot to answer for, and don't get me started on those disposal nappy bins! Congrats on a stronger, relaxed you x
Kylie Purtell said…
Oh no! I got so good at burping, whenever I burped a child I would have a little burp too. Weird I know!
Kylie Purtell said…
Beautiful photos! The first few weeks (months?) were tough too and certainly made it hard to think straight and remember why we got into this "mess" haha. But a good thing is it tends to get better and we will remember most of the good times, and we will be the ones telling new mums it's the best time of their lives :)

Ai @ Sakura Haruka
Kylie Purtell said…
"we're all just doing the best we can" - so true! Funnily enough I never burped my two - like you, just forgot :-)
Kylie Purtell said…
I completely agree - it's such a shock those first few weeks of motherhood! I listened to too many people/books etc and it wasn't until my 2nd and 3rd did I just give up and listen to my babies! Emily @ Have a laugh on me
Kylie Purtell said…
Ah, burping! My mum told me to burp the baby. Some midwives at the hospital said it wasn't necessary, some said it mandatory. Robyn Barker (surely considered the Aussie baby guru) said not to bother. Neddy needed burping.

When my niece was born 14 months ago I just gave my sister the advice to just go with it. Forget everything else and get to know your baby. She is an individual and has individual needs.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Kylie Purtell said…
I relate to this post quite a lot, Mez, especially the bit about feeling lost, trying to get your personal bearings after becoming a mother. No one seems to talk about that beforehand. Maybe we can't hear it till we experience it. I ended up wondering if I was getting PND till I realised, after watching Oprah of all people that it was normal. Immediately I felt the tension lift. The best advice someone gave me was to take the early days not just day by day or hour by hour but literally moment by moment because these little people can turn the tables on you at any moment. Thanks for sharing this, Mez. And thanks for running this series of guest posts, Kylie. I hope they help lots of new mothers out there with the type of stuff none really talks about beforehand.
Kylie Purtell said…
Great post Mez, loving the honesty. I forgot to burp 2 of my babies, so you're not alone ;)
Kylie Purtell said…
Yes, this post took me back. It's funny how big a difference the little things can make (like remembering to burp the baby!)
Kylie Purtell said…
Lovely post Mez. Yes, burbing is essential! Unfortunately it didn't do much for my first...but for the second, it was the magic ingredient. Thanks for sharing your new mum experience. Zanni @ Heart Mama x
Kylie Purtell said…
I remember after a night feed, I was so exhausted from breastfeeding the twins, my husband had to try and burp one of them. It took forever. I feel asleep on the couch while my MIL looked after the other twin. Bloody hard work. Bloody hard.
Kylie Purtell said…
Ha! You've got so much wisdom there and I loved your line saying 'I wasn't depressed, I was simply adjusting.' It's a metamorphosis, isn't it. I always think we mums have a birthing on our eldest child's birthday too.. it was the day we were re-born as mums, heaven help us.

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