Is there a piece of advice that you wish your pre-Mother self had received?
As you planned for birth, is there a book you wish you’d read before?
Or a bit of information that might have led to a different decision?
Did you feel prepared?
Were you excited about experiencing birth, or did you dread it?
Had you heard Awesome things?
or Awful things?
Did you decorate a nursery?
Were there things you bought or were given that you never used?
I remember how fixated I was on baby ‘necessities’. It helped make things real (especially since my First had been a LONG wait, 3 years of ‘not this time’), finally I was gaining access to The Club.
I had the ticket!
We were given a cot, which we sanded back and painstakingly spent hours with. That cot signified a making of space, a preparing for a new person into our well-established coupledom. One of the few new things we bought was a pram. This one was reversible. I could touch it, admire it, imagine myself pushing my baby proudly down the street. I chose it, so I could still see my baby as I walked.
We set up a change table. I laid out the little clothes. I packed my hospital bag, carefully choosing baby’s first outfit. I had little booties, long in my waiting-for-motherhood possession. I would gaze at these items, imagining my baby.
I would cut articles and ideas out of magazines (this was pre-pinterest, when scissors and glue were required). I was going to be a Great Mum. The best mum. EVER!
I planned to breastfeed for about a year, as I had been breastfeed for 14 months (alongside my twin), and it did not occur to me to do otherwise. I took this for granted.
I attended my antenatal classes and all my antenatal appointments, dutifully checking off each test and requirement as they arose. Not always understanding why, or feeling I had enough time to consider things, but trusting the process.
My ‘last hurrah’ was to head off to The Kimberley for a month or so to help my friend with her PhD field work, followed closely by a couple of weeks on a UNESCO student exchange to Japan.
It was a blissful and beautiful pregnancy. A very special time.
Here I am, Now. In my Eighth Year of Motherhood. I have three children now.
The cot was mostly used to store the unfolded washing. For a time it was ‘side-car’ed to our bed, and saw a little use. By the time number three was born, we no longer had the cot. I hope whoever has it now finds it useful!
The pram was wonderful, and hangs in the shed now…a little worse for wear, but it has seen some happy trails. I much prefer my carrier these days.
I recently found my folder of cut out articles. I never did revisit them. I was too busy Being a Mum. But I was surprised at the sheer volume of formula adverts littering the pages. I don’t remember ‘seeing’ them as I collected them…I was going to breastfeed, so they did not grab my attention I guess.
The antenatal classes were…adequate…better than nothing…
I am glad I took the time to have my last hurrah. I sensed Motherhood would change me. And those trips were a letting go.
I have changed. I have grown.
A real turning point came as my baby approached 12 months old. I had been doing all the ‘right’ things, and it wasn’t really working. Most of it just didn’t make sense, and seemed to go against my instinct. It was about this time that I stumbled upon ‘Night-time Parenting’ by Sears. I found an old copy in the tip shop, how could someone part with this gem! In the pages of this book I found the information that confirmed that my instinct was in tact! The book gave me permission, as it were, to follow my instinct. It explained why my baby woke, wanted to breastfeed beyond one and why cosleeping was the path for us. If there was one thing I wish I had known: it was about cosleeping!
I also discovered Michel Odent. In ‘the Face of Birth’, he spoke about Scientific versus Technological Birth. Oh how this spoke to me! YES! Science: biology, normal biology, natural, evolution, primal. Technology: interventions, interferences, interruptions, interactions, interrogations!
I feel I have found myself. I am coming into my Full Moon Phase of life, a guiding light for my children, a beacon and focal point. Always they will be able to look to me and feel comfort.
Looking back, with the power of Hindsight, on The Journey into Motherhood, the change, the transition, I feel a desire to support others through their transition. I want to make sure they never say “I wish someone had told me!”. Knowing all your options is important. Understanding normal biology (scientific birthing) is important. And being able to Own your Journey.
There is no way of Knowing Then. You can only Know Now. Embrace Now. Live Now. Love Now.
Give the Now as much attention as it deserves and hold the memories of Then, the stories of Then that led to the Now. This Now, will become the Then of the future, always learning, always growing.
Moonsong is worth a look, Journey deeper into womanhood and discover a Fabulous network.