What I learnt from 10 months on maternity

The time has come for my wonderful maternity leave to come to an end. I decided to take 10 months off, and even though I’m excited to go back to work, I’m also incredibly emotional about it. 

This new chapter of entering the ‘infant phase’, starting nursery and planning a first birthday party feels like it’s all come too quickly. 

With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the things that I have learnt / experienced from 10 months on maternity.

Finding your super power 

Becoming a mum (or parent) takes you to a whole new level of patience, persistence and tenacity that you never thought you could achieve. 

In my parenting journey, I chose to (and still do) breastfeed Evie (see my post here on my breastfeeding journey). This is something I thought I’d never do, especially for this long, but it has been the greatest achievement of my life to date.

From chapped nipples to cutting our dairy, I’m proud to have grown my baby through the milk that I’ve made for her. Although, I still stand by a fed baby is a happy one! 

You also find that having a block of 4 hours sleep makes you feel like you can take on the world and anything longer than that is simple wonderful. 

Becoming a parent really does turn you into a superhero, because you push all boundaries and endurance beyond that which you ever thought you could achieve.

The days are long, but the weeks go fast

When I first started my maternity leave back on October last year, I remember thinking to myself... I have so much time off, what am I going to do with it all.

Once Evie arrived, I found that some days we just sat on the sofa having cuddles and watching films and other days we’d go out to baby groups or to see friends and family. The days felt so long, but the weeks very quickly mounted up onto the months. 

Fast forward 10 months and I now find myself looking back and longing for those early days, wondering where on earth that time has gone to! 

Take the time to recover  

I feel like everyone tells you how to be pregnant and how to have a baby, but no one really talks to you about becoming a parent. The “fourth trimester” as it’s named, is something that I would recommend any new parent reads up on. 

However the physical side of it for me was incredibly intense and not how I imagined it to be. My experience was a gruelling 30 hours on gas and air before going in for an emergency C-Section. 

All I wanted to do was do “get back to behind mobile”, but this wasn’t this case. You need to take the time heal physically and most importantly emotionally too. 

They say it takes 9 months to grow a baby and 9 months to recover from one and I personally have found this to be true! 

Simplify things in your life. 

There’s a few things in this that I’ve experienced. The first one is, if you find yourself exhausted and struggling to get out to the supermarket then just do an online shop. 

For the first coupleOf months I would alternate between supermarkets to make use of the online voucher codes and had everything delivered to my door! 

I would do the same with any online shopping for clothes or accessories for me and Evie. Places like Boots offer a click and collect into your local store for free, so you’re more having to take trips into the bigger stories (which are usually city centre based) or I would find myself ordering more nursing bras from ASOS or H&M during the 3am morning feed to my home or my nearest collection point. 

Note: Just make sure that you order them to your home address and not work. I’d like to say a big thank you to my work buddy Carlene for always bringing these parcels around to my house 😂

Parents will buy anything! 

The final thing that makes me smile a lot, is that parents will buy ANYTHING!  

From teething aids to singing sheep that “help your baby to sleep”... my advice here would be buy the baby essentials like nappies, creams, bubble bath, sun cream etc. Then see who and how your baby is first before you spend endless amounts of money on things you probably don’t need. 

I’d also like to say thank you to my husband for persevering with me on this, as he’d come home from work most days to a new Amazon order for Evie - oops! 

And here we are today. Ten months of spectacular memories with my little girl from her first time on the beach to her first time crawling; but what I’m happy about is that we’ve got a lifetime more to come. 

To all the parents out there, you’re doing an amazing job, I’ll end this post here by simply saying - parents, you got this. 

Steph x

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