So moving on from my last blog, I thought I'd discuss more about 'the stuff no one talks about' when you become a mum.
Strangely enough, one of my best pieces of advice is always try and get dressed. Sounds obvious doesn't it? But it's very easy to stay in your pjs all day, with the curtains drawn and only the tv (and baby) for company. That's fine on occasion, but it all too quickly becomes normal and acceptable if you let it. Getting up and getting out works wonders. I used to set myself daily 'tasks', small things which were easy to accomplish and involved me venturing out into the land of adults. Tasks would range from attending a baby massage class, to going into Boots to get nappies and cotton wool. I found that this did encourage me to get out and about, even if it meant raincovers and waterproofs! Increasing the level of physical activity is also important, so if I could afford the time to walk then I would do as a preference to driving or using the bus.
I didn't stress about getting my body 'back' for a long while, yes I gained weight, but I had a tiny baby and I couldn't bear the thought of putting more pressure on myself to squeeze back into my size tens, so put simply, I didn't. A little more physical activity may not have hurt and in fact since having the big baby there are now mum and baby classes such as Pushy Mums, workouts with baby in the buggy, which would have been good following the 'all clear' at my six week check. With my second it was virtually impossible to do any keeping fit, as I found my day very short indeed whilst incorporating a school run...so yes, I still have baby weight. I'll find the time to sort it when they're bigger though, I eat well which is the most important thing (especially whilst breastfeeding!)
I breastfed, first time round the deciding factor was mainly because I'm lazy but also because of health benefits (I'm nothing if brutally honest) which did give me fantastic cuddles with my little man, but it also took time and patience and required me to all but give up housework. This was not easy as someone with OCD but I had to make peace with the fact that my child needed me right now and he wouldn't be a baby forever. Someone told me 'you can do all the housework you want when he's left home' which appeased me for a while. Chucking the washing machine and dishwasher, making sure baby equipment was sterilised and surfaces clean was about my limit! The house needs to be clean, but not sterile to surgical levels, so take a breath and calm down about it. No one expects you to be superwoman.
Most importantly, don't feel guilty about finding the early stages either lonely and/or boring! Motherhood is incredibly rewarding, but it's not all smiling babies and glowing mothers. In reality there are days when you do struggle, there are days when you think 'is it too early to have a drink?' and realise it's 9.30am (I'd urge you not to do this!). It's ok to feel fed up and it's ok to ask for help.
In the same vein, if you think you or someone close to you is suffering from post-natal depression, then it's important they seek professional help. Contact your GP or health visitor for more support. Do also feel free to get in touch with me if you'd like a herbal perspective, but it is really important that this isn't left untreated.
Much love xx