I just wanted to let you know that you’re doing a wonderful job.
I hear you saying, but the washing’s not done and all of your little one’s vegetable purees are not organic, but you know what? None of those things matter. None!
As a woman you are most likely dealing with one of the biggest emotional and physical challenges in your life and you need to treat it as such.
Emotionally, you need to know that it is totally OK to be exhausted. The washing will wait. The time to cuddle and enjoy your children is now, even if you’re still in your pyjamas and have messy hair. Emotionally, all you need is love, so have a few cuddles and just “be” with your children and enjoy your children. Everything else can wait.
Physically, your body is still recovering and your brain may be a little screwy. But do you know what? The time will come when you enjoy the idea of exercise again and your body will be the best it has ever been, your figure will be amazing because it has done an amazing task – it’s grown a baby.
Your brain will also recover. It will one day be clear again and you won’t have to make 500 trips to the supermarket because your mind kept going blank for the one thing you actually needed. One day you will wake up and realise that it can focus on more than survival and the needs of a very demanding small person. That small person will probably be the one bringing you breakfast in bed. Focus on that for a little while!
Sleep will return. I promise. Some nights will feel like torture, and if you begin to despise your partner because they can sleep while you’re used as a milk bar, don’t worry, his time will come. Draft the contract now, while you have the advantage. Make sure it states that he will be doing the midnight teenage pick-ups and drop offs. Then keep it in a safe place, it will come in handy in about 15 years.
Be kind to yourself and don’t compare your achievements to others’. Getting out of bed after being woken three times overnight is a huge achievement. I wish they had a medal for surviving a night from hell; every new mum would get one.
Finally, please just relax. All will be OK, it may just take a few years.
As I work my way through labeling my youngest son’s school pencils I can’t help but feel empathy for my early mummy self. It was hard work, really hard work. I had three boys under four, a husband who worked long hours, too many bills to pay, and too little sleep. But I also had me — my biggest critic.
I always felt like I wasn’t doing a good enough job. Some days the boys would not get baths, didn’t have perfectly balanced meals, and got away with things they shouldn’t have. I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough, I needed to work more to help pay the bills. I needed to be successful again, not “just a mum”.
I wish I could tell myself then, what I know now, that when you answer the door to the parcel post delivery man at 2pm, still in your pyjamas, to receive the third item that week that you won on eBay (just because you needed to win at something), that is completely OK. Oh, and invest in some quality pyjamas, they will be getting a good workout.
The blur of having small people in your life will not last forever. They will grow up, go to school, and you will miss them and those days where you could stay in your pyjamas all day. Even if you wish you hadn’t.
Give your babies a cuddle, tell them how much you love them, and promise never to sell them, no matter how tempted you are. Find some joy, whatever it takes, even if it’s chocolate, or a movie, or a hot cup of tea.
You, Mum, are doing a great job.