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I always knew I wanted children but nothing could ever have prepared me for the reality of what that meant or, of what motherhood entailed both physically and emotionally.

One mum’s definition of Motherhood:

My Definition

Birth

At first glance, both my births went smoothly. With Tink, all I had was gas and air. I also used an Elle Tens Machine (a maternity tens machine safe for use during birth). You can hire or buy these from Amazon now although I did hire mine from another company online; I can’t remember which one. I do feel that it definitely made a difference.

Please note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.*

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The most entertaining part of the birth was when the hubby almost got a broken nose.  He decided to fist bump the air and yell “Yesss he’s not a ginger.” Tink was born. All was good.

4 hours later and the 💩 hit the fan. I suffered from postpartum preeclampsia. All my organs started to shut down. I don’t remember too much other than being very confused. Every time I opened my eyes, a different bloody doctor stood in front of me.

With Pup, I was monitored closely throughout the pregnancy and the birth. This time round I took morphine as well, mainly because I was in so much pain. I also remember being really pissed off. The midwife and the hubby were too busy in conversation, about god knows what, to pay attention to me, the one lying there in excruciating pain, about to give birth to something the size of a large watermelon. I might still be slightly bitter about that.

Babies, Postpartum Depression and More

They definitely don’t prepare you for what could happen. Due to my health issues my milk was late. I also didn’t get the same bonding experience with Tink as I did with Pup. I’ll admit I felt like a major failure.

Tink was breastfed for 8 weeks. I really tried but he just could not latch on properly. This, and the preeclampsia, is partly what led to postpartum depression. They put so much pressure on new mothers to breastfeed that, if it’s not working, you feel you have to keep pushing and pushing yourself. Those first 8 weeks were hard. However, it was the first 8 months that were a living hell. Even now I don’t think I could go into it in too much detail. The hubby was working down in England so I was alone with a new born.

You can now read more about my experiences with postpartum depression in my Top Tips for New Mums.

Hypothyroidism

In September of that year, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. This made me sluggish, sore and so tired I could not even think clearly. Not a good combination with a baby. I would do stupid things like leave a pot on the heat. In the end, I moved in with my mum and dad for 10 weeks. You can imagine what this would do to a person’s mental stability, both mine and my parents. Tink did NOT sleep and I couldn’t walk the length of the house without feeling sore and exhausted. During those 10 weeks though I picked myself back up. I realised something needed to change. It also took a lot for me to realise it wasn’t my fault. I love both my boys but, if things had been different back then, I still feel like my relationship with Tink would be more like it is with Pup.

I didn’t breastfeed Pup and it was the best decision I ever made, for both his health and my own. Part of me admits that I was terrified after my previous experience with Tink. However it’s probably a good thing as I don’t think I could have kept up with his monstrous eating needs. Everything with Pup was more relaxed and it didn’t feel forced. Everything came naturally. I was also determined not to fail again so I became a routine machine.

Routine

Motherhood is about planning and organising your children, your household and yourself. If I don’t have my routine I have nothing. I would lose all control. I strongly believe this. Don’t get me wrong, we have fun but, when it comes to certain things, kids, especially boys, need structure and familiarity. Boys also need A LOT of physical activity otherwise they start to go stir crazy. During Lockdown there was many an occasion where I would fling them out the door to burn of some steam. Without the routine of school, they became bored and complacent. They also developed an attitude. Pup would take all his frustrations out on Tink by using his fists.

When raising boys you need to be prepared to clean up a few bloody noses, or take a few punches yourself.

Count My Blessings

Recently, in school, Tink received the award “star writer of the week” for a piece of imaginative writing. After all the difficulties we experienced during Lockdown, this was an amazing achievement. It proves that he has actually listened and is trying really hard since returning to school. It also proves that, as parents, we are doing something right. All the work I put into home-schooling did not fall upon deaf ears.

All certificates the boys receive from school and clubs, we hand off to my dad to laminate. I am now seriously thinking about buying one for ourselves to save him the trouble as, it is nice to create a record for them that they can come back to in years to come.

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Motherhood is hard but it is a blessing. It is these moments where you feel so proud of them or, when they just look at you and smile that make it all worthwhile. The kisses, the cuddles and the “I love you’s”. It is all worth it.

I now couldn’t live my life any other way, without them in it. They are a part of me and I wouldn’t trade that in for anything. Motherhood is definitely a state of being. As soon as you become a mum, your whole life changes to revolve around that tiny, little life you have created. You are a mum forever more.

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