My Goal for Motherhood …

My Goal for Motherhood …


In one word? Survival.

I don’t have a long list of my goals.  Upon reflection, last time, I had a long mental list of things I’d do with Arjun – take him for walks, take him to baby groups, go to the park. All of which seemed so simple but didn’t really materialise in to a routine. Why? Because what I didn’t envisage was how low I would feel post birth. Setting myself the perfect little list of things to do ended up being my enemy in a way as it gave me something to focus on what I HADN’T been able to achieve. I didn’t realise that the root of everything I do as a mother stems from my mental well being. So this time, I don’t have a long list, my sole goal is “S U R V I V A L”, anything else is a bonus. 

There are so many (what seem to me) petty debates … breast vs bottle … pacifier vs no pacifier … co sleeping vs cot … the list is endless. Do those things really matter to me as much anymore? As bad as it may sound, no. 

If becoming a mother has taught me anything, it’s to want to give the best to my children. What does “giving the best to my children” actually mean? While to many, breast feeding, not giving a pacifier and not co-sleeping may be the best for their child; for me, giving the best to my child is giving them the best version of me. Giving them the best version of me means me taking care of my mental health. Me taking care of my mental health sometimes means turning to what works best for us and perhaps not the majority – what some may coin “the easy route”.

Dealing with an incredibly strong willed and emotional toddler is definitely taking its toll on me even with all the extra helping hands I have at my parents house. I’m hyper aware that once we move back home and I’m predominantly alone with two kids, I’ll definitely have to pick my battles and ensure I do what’s right for us as a family as oppose to what society thinks I should do. I’ve been warned that the jump from one to two is unimaginable and that it IS going to be tough. Can I really comprehend it? No. Can I try and prepare for it? I can try. How am I trying? By reminding myself that my sole goal is “survival”.

Am I going to try breast feeding? Yes. Am I going to beat myself up over it if I struggle and it means excessive sleepless nights? No. Does that make me a bad, selfish, useless mum? No. it makes me a strong one. Because to not give in to the pressures of society to make sure I’M ok so I can be ok for my kids, is bloody hard – “fed was best” in our case with Arjun. I recognised how the lack of sleep where I spent whole nights trying to breast feed was contributing to my downward mental spiral – I really struggled. I wish I’d been able to breastfeed, but I couldn’t for longer than a few weeks. Arjun is a happy healthy boy and with Preetam’s support, I managed to slowly come out of the dark space I was in. Last time was about trying to do the right thing by a text book, this time it’ll be about doing the right thing by my family.

Having suffered with Post Natal Depression when I had Arjun, I became so hyper aware of how little sleep contributed to my mood and mental wellbeing. I just want to make the most of my children and create happy memories whether they jump in to our bed, whether we feed them with a bottle or breast or whether they need a dummy here and there. 
I felt that with Arjun, the newborn days were spent crying, feeling low, feeling confused due to often trying to please society, not understanding that actually I was the most important person in that equation for our family – a strong mummy. I don’t want to spend the newborn days of this child in the same way. I want to have learnt from my first experience. I would be a failure if I didn’t learn from my experience with Arjun.

My sole goal is survival.

Of course I have no idea how things are going to pan out. I’m terrified of how I’ll be this time having been through it once but my experience has made me wiser. I’ve even struggled with my pregnancy. My experience has made me selfish to the world in that I’ll be doing what’s best for my children, my family and me. My sole goal is survival.

Please don’t judge me.

We’re all on our own journey, trying to do our best – OUR best for OUR situation and OUR families.

Love, support and uplift x

P.s. any tips on how on earth to cope would be most welcome!


4 Comments

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  1. 1
    Lisa Jackson

    A strong post. I was lucky in that I didn’t suffer frompost-natal depression but I could quite easily have been there. Our daughter never slept and some days I really didn’t know what to do other than sit with her. She only stopped crying some days by being held (by me). I walked. Every single day I put her in the pram and went outside. It made me do my hair and put on some make-up and most importantly it kept me sane. We got tuts for co-sleeping and picking her up all the time but it worked for us. It did bother me what everybody thought but my little girl was healthy and happy so I carried on. Enjoy x

  2. 2
    Harps

    It’s so easy to get sucked in to worrying about others, so glad you remained focused and it paid off – a happy and healthy child is all that I wish for! ❤️ xx

  3. 3
    Kam Hundal

    Great post Harps. Your exactly right to do what’s right for you and your family and its never going to the same as what might be right for someone else.
    Having a second is more work no doubt and I found the first few weeks very unsettling, even though Asees was a long time coming for us, initially it felt like everything was disrupted, for so long it is as just the 3 of us and Ajeet was now much more independent. But now I can’t think back to the when she wasnt a part of our family and she’s the biggest blessing for us.
    I have to say I didn’t do as much with her in terms of baby clubs because like you I was just trying to get by, being predominantly on my own all day and fitting in school runs and meal times and cooking and cleaning meant I had little time and energy for it and even now we do once a week at hartbeeps and its enough. You also have to remember that baby with have big brother for interaction so you don’t need to venture out too much 😉
    Will look forward to reading about your journey x

  4. 4
    PurpleParm

    First time mum here, little one was born on 3rd December and within this short space of time I feel like everything has happened and equally not much has happened..

    My thoughts on:
    1) Breastfeeding
    I didn’t think about it enough before I gave birth. I thought it was a given that I had to do it. Almost 4 weeks in and I realised I don’t know why I actually breastfeed and although I’m glad I did try and continue to do so, I am welcoming formula feeds and the bottle. I’m no good to anyone if I’m mentally drained so for now one feed a day will be given by my husband whether it’s expressed milk or formula.
    I’d recommend the MAM self-sterilising bottles. I’ve read if you give them a call they’re usually willing to send you a sample bottle. (I think they’re really good!)

    2) co-sleeping
    *insert swear word* what people think. Do what works best for your family. I have a Chico ‘next to me crib’ which came with a mattress. It’s too big for our little one but i also have this ‘Purflow breathable nest’ which I bought with my Boots points. It’s cheaper than a sleepyhead and as I wasn’t sure about these cushion things I went for the Purflow. It’s hands down one of the best things I bought. Little one sleeps in the nest in the crib right next to our bed. I also put a cellular blanket under the fitted sheets of the crib to make it slightly softer as the mattress seemed extra firm.

    AOB –
    Have people around you who will keep you happy for the first few weeks.
    Please say no to guests who self invite. I’ve found it really hard to say no but I need to.
    If you need to cry, cry. Better out than in.. easier said than done but don’t hold on to feelings.

    I don’t know what I’ve been doing these last few weeks but the above are things I’ve experienced in this short frame of time.

    xxx

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