I really want to write a post all about my hopes for 2018, but it seemed wrong to do that without first reflecting on this year. The hardest and best year of my life. I thought I would summarise it all by sharing the five lessons I have learnt in 2017.
It might be a cliche, but motherhood has certainly changed me for the better in nearly every way. And it has changed lots of other things too, my friendships, my relationship with my husband and with myself. It has been a whirlwind.
LET THINGS GO
I have gained so much from being Freddie’s Mama but I have also learnt to let a lot of things go. Friendships that didn’t make me feel good about myself, my expectations of what being a Mum might be like, my career ‘plan’. Letting things go has been scary at times and upsetting at others but it has ultimately made me much happier.
GOING WITH THE FLOW
Before Freddie, I liked to plan absolutely everything. That couldn’t be more different now! People that know me really well, have told me that I am so much more laid back since becoming a Mum. Especially when it comes to Freddie. I don’t read parenting books, I don’t really know what milestones he should hit and when, I just go with the flow. By doing so, I have found everything so much less stressful.
EVERYTHING IS A PHASE
This has applied to all areas of my life this year. Friends that come into my life for just a short while, tricky times in my relationship, sleepless nights and moments of self-doubt. It all passes and it always gets better.
TRUST MY INSTINCTS
Through becoming a Mum, I have learnt to trust my instincts over the opinions of others. When I don’t, when I let other people’s views cloud my judgment, I feel it. Every time that I have gone with my gut feeling, it has turned out to be right. It is true that only you know your baby best, even if the self-doubt does creeps in sometimes!
SHARING OPENLY IS STRONG TOO
When I decided to make my Instagram account public and indeed start this blog, I really wasn’t sure why I was doing it. I suppose I felt that if there was another first time Mum, finding it tough like me, then maybe she would feel a little less alone reading my posts. I had extended family members comment (in private) that clearly I wasn’t enjoying my baby and that they hoped maybe I would enjoy him soon. It hurt a lot. However that sort of feeling is exactly why I share so openly.
Finding motherhood hard at times, questioning yourself, feeling utterly exhausted, are all totally normal ways to feel. All too often we see such rosy views of motherhood on social media, all of the best bits, the highlight reel. In real life, it is not always like that and that’s okay. It doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t mean you don’t love or enjoy your baby. It makes you strong, for getting through the really tough bits and being brave enough to acknowledge those feelings. Every time another Mum tells me that a post of mine helped them, it reinforces why I continue to share so openly. If it helps just one other Mum, awake with an unsettled baby at 3am, completely sleep deprived and feeling lost, that is more than worth it to me.
What have you learnt this year? I would love to know!
Thank you so much for reading and see you on Sunday for my final post of 2017!