round of applause please! not only have you grown that little human, but now you have brought them safely into the big wide world. mama, you are amazing! now strap in because the fun is about to begin. travelling the windy road of mamahood is as exciting as it is daunting regardless of whether it’s your first time or your last.
each experience is new and unique and challenging and a wee bit wild!
so here are some tips from someone who has been there – to those that are just embarking on the journey. so that you can sit back (metaphorically speaking, obviously there is no sitting back once you’re a mama!) and enjoy the ride.
find your groove
first and foremost, stop and give yourself a pat on the back. you’ve carried, labored and made it back home with your precious bundle. seriously, you are a warrior! now allow yourself the time and space to heal. some cultures encourage a period of solitude where only minimal visitors are welcomed and mama and bubs bunker down, cuddle up and connect. others find comfort in company.
choose what works best for you.
give yourself the chance to establish some kind of feeding and sleeping habits, whatever it may look like for you and your bubs. just remember, it is likely to change over time and as your baby grows and develops - so don’t get too comfy!
a good lesson to learn early on is that your approach to mamahood is unique. there is no right or wrong way – just your way! so find your rhythm, trust your instinct and stay strong mama!
mama needs a crew
when the time is right, connect with mama professionals and fellow mama’s – doctors, breastfeeding specialist, your local mother’s group, online groups, friends and family.
find your mama crew!
the ones you can get into deep and meaningful discussion about nappy contents with, over breakfast without even batting an eyelid! the ones you turn to for advice and help (and chocolate and wine) when you need it most. don’t be afraid to ask for help and support. your crew will be more than willing – they know it takes a village.
and later when you’re the seasoned mama, pay it forward! the tiniest act of kindness can have such a positive impact on a first-time mama. think frozen dinners, always welcome desserts or home help IOU’s!
mama on the move
the time will come when you’ll want to get moving. exercise and fresh air are great for your post baby bod and mind! but remember to go easy; get the a-ok from docs and explore new ways to exercise that are gentle on your body (what you were doing pre-bubs may not be right for the time being).
and as bubs grows you can include them in your routine. from walks to the park together, to mum & bub yoga or pilates.
explore conveniences that make life easier, like our stroller organiser. it straps to your stroller, is roomy enough for a spout cup and fruity snacks loaded into a fresh food feeder to keep bubs busy while you walk and squat and star jump! yet compact enough so you’re not weighed down.
you’ve got this!
get ready it’s about to get messy!
it seems like yesterday bubs came home from the hospital and just like that they are showing signs of food envy as you devour your chicken schnitz for dinner. and suddenly your thoughts are consumed with weaning and feeding and purees and more! there are many ways to approach it, so do some research, have chats with your crew and work out what works best for you.
in the beginning, mealtime can be playtime. enjoy watching your little one explore new flavours, textures and food combo’s. excuse the spills! eventually they’ll learn new skills with aids like a cutlery set that encourage correct hand positioning and a first-feeding set that keeps the bowl in place, meaning less mess (woohoo!) more food and more fun! remember to capture all the super cute milestones.
you know, the token shot of bubs covered in spaghetti bolognaise… priceless!
surviving and thriving
life with a bub is hectic and can be consuming. you spend all your time loving and fussing over every tiny little thing about your little ones.
don’t forget to love and fuss over yourself too. spend some time alone if you need it, do the things you love to do (maybe not as often as pre-bubs but where you can) and practice self-care. even if it’s simply taking a shower, a walk to the local café or chat with a friend, it can make a difference to your day.
your health is pivotal to your family’s health – if mama ain’t happy, no-one is!
overall, just remember to make the most and enjoy your unique journey. don’t be too hard on yourself if things seem crazy every now and then…
let’s face it, you will not enjoy every single moment – mamahood is crazy and wonderful (and a zillion other things) all rolled into one! but in the end, despite the ups and down, many mama’s make the choice to do it all over again. but that’s a convo for another day!
Marie Sarantos is a happy (mostly!) mama of three. Spends her days searching for the perfect balance between being a full-time mama, part-time b.box wordsmith and dedicated coffee consumer. Understands how hectic work and life can be and uses this mantra to live simply: The plan is, there is no plan, just stay as informed as you possibly can. Make choices to suit your family and you. And never apologise for seeing it through. Also, affectionately known as Mama Marie for her random acts of nerdy mumsiness and life mantras!