Friday 18 June 2021

A Journey into Parenthood - What I wish I had Known Sooner!

When it comes to have a baby I think there is one thing most parents will all agree on, its hard work! Its crazy to imagine really that you can't drive a car without extensive lessons and tests, you can't get a job without an interview or training, but you can have a baby and be sent on your way home to care for a brand new little life. All whilst you are left wondering what the heck you are even doing and often what even just happened! 

As I sit here now as a mum of two I feel much more confident in my parent decisions, especially when I think back to how nervous I was as a 19 year old, first time mum. However I am a big believer that it doesn't matter how old or young you are, how many children you have or how much knowledge you may have there is always something more to learn. 

However over the many years of being a parent lots of people have given me plenty of advice, powerful phrases and mantras as well as words of wisdom that have really helped me. Not only with parenting but as a person in general. So today I wanted to share some of my favourites in the hope they may help you during your journey too... 

Not everyone falls in love with their baby straight away and "motherly instinct" doesn't always happen immediately.

The likelihood is that many of us will have watched, read and seen all about this mythical "motherly instinct" this fierce mama love that kicks in as soon as your baby is placed upon your chest. And for some, yep it happens just like you probably imagined, but for others it doesn't. I was absolutely exhausted after the birth of my son, I was tired, confused and in a lot of pain, when they tried to place my baby on my chest I refused, I thought I might drop him through sheer exhaustion! 

That instant connection, heart stopping love just didn't happen straight away and I genuinely believe that feeling as though I was some how in the wrong, that I was broken because of it really damaged the first few weeks of my parenting journey. But after speaking with others I realise it just doesn't happen for some people, it might take days or weeks but it is important to just embrace parenthood and trust in everything else happening when it happens. 

Every parenting journey is different, embrace it and remember comparison is the thief of joy! 

We've all heard of the saying "comparison is the thief of joy" and it couldn't be more true than when it comes to parenting. It is so easy to want to compare our parenting styles, milestones, struggles and successes with others. But the reality of it is that no two parenting journeys are ever really the same, just like no two babies are the same either. 

Take on the advice, the help and the information you are given, but take it all with a pinch of salt and remember that what works for a friend, might not work for you and that is ok. It doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong, everyone has their own path to follow. 

"Never a Failure, Always a Lesson"

The above is a quote I came across when I really needed it and it gave me so much hope. It made me turn around how I felt about things that didn't go my way or didn't work. Rather than holding onto them and feeling bad I tried to take a positive from it, a lesson learnt and move on. 

I regularly tell my son (who is now 11!) that its impossible to fail if you don't give up. Failure only really happens if give up, instead as long as we try our best its a lesson learnt not a failure so hold your head up high, learn those lessons and move on from it. Don't let one thing get you down or make you feel as though you have failed. You are still standing, doing your best and learning and that is all any of us can do. 

Becoming a mum (or dad!) doesn't mean "parent" is your only identity, its still ok to be you. 

This is something I struggled with immensely as a new parent. I felt like becoming a parent had striped me off any other identity and I struggled with finding a balance in my head between allowing myself to be me and feeling guilty for not spending every moment as "mum". And that's just it, as parents we often deal with this big internal struggle of guilt between wanting to give our kids everything and every moment of our day but also needing time for us. 

But remember that being a parent is a PART of your identity, it isn't all of it. You can still be you, wear the clothes you love, take part in the hobbies you want and let your personality shine and still be an amazing parent. 

Life will never really be the same again. 

Now this may sound really dramatic but its probably one of the hardest long term lessons I had to deal with. Life never really is the same again and it takes a while to realise that. You will lose friends, gain friends, find new things you enjoy and realise that some of the old things you used to love doing are hard to fit in now or not practical with a baby. Late nights take on a different meaning (hello night feeds and sleepless nights, good bye movie night and snacks!). 

And whilst life might not ever really be "the same" again, this is the stage where you are carving a new, amazing life. One where you are a mother as well as you, one which sees you carving a path not just for you, but your child too. Life is over, it's just a new chapter, a new exciting start of an adventure.

I hope some of the above have helped or perhaps you know someone who they may help (please do feel free to share). Nobody can deny that parenting is hard, its a journey and an exhausting one at that. There is nobody who gets it right all the time and that is absolutely ok. Just try to be kind to yourself, remember that tomorrow is a new day and when all is said and done you will realise that your best was ALWAYS good enough. 

Please do share your advice or mantras etc below as I would love to hear them and they may even help other parents to relate to aswell. 



  1. This is such a great post and I am sure it will be so useful to new parents. I think a lot of the time the not so good isn't talked about and it is crazy as everyone should know it's OK and normal in many situations.

  2. Some lovely advice here. I am sure many parents to be will appreciate this. I will share it with my friend who is about to give birth to her 1st child.

  3. I agree, there is no manual for parenthood and it's probably one of the most hardest but rewarding 'jobs' you'll ever have. But I've always said the same you need to study and have tests for certain things but parenthood...another story x

  4. Yes to all of these, especially the comparison bit....there's nothing worse than getting stressed about someone else's baby doing something first. It doesn't matter...they all get there in the end!

  5. Your so right about journeys being different, it must be so hard as a parent to compare how your baby is doing and how you're feeling to others, but that's not healthy. I don't have kids but the whole idea of being more than just a mum is something I would worry about x

  6. This was a really interesting read and I found myself nodding along. There is so much that I wish I had known sooner too!