It seems like a lifetime ago since we had these pictures taken. Evie was 9 days old and we were in full swing of those hazy newborns days, the baby bubble, the joy, the fear, the excitement, the love, the anxiety. It’s hard to actually remember those days as it genuinely feels like it was so long ago and so much has happened since then. It seems quite fitting that we re-visited the photographer who took our newborn photos a couple of weeks ago to do a Christmas mini session because it made me think about those last two years, how we’ve both changed and grown and the parent that I’ve become.
Like anyone else I was a shy and nervous first time parent, I lacked in confidence and questioned myself more times than I’d like to admit. Maternity leave was a struggle for me, not really in terms of getting to grips with caring for a baby but more the learning to be alone, learning to trust yourself and the enormity of it all. All of a sudden you become the sole responsibility for another human being and that in itself can be overwhelming never mind the lack of sleep, the crying, the constant feeding, the cleaning and everything else that comes with a newborn.
I absolutely adored becoming a Mum, I really did, but looking back now maybe I didn’t give myself enough credit, I certainly didn’t appreciate what a huge life changing experience I was going through. I almost brushed it off, tried to make it look easy, didn’t ask for much help, because that’s what us women do isn’t it? Try to make it look as though we’re ‘fine’ all of the time except now I know it’s not normal to be ‘fine’ all the time (whatever fine is) it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to say ‘well that was an shitty day’, it’s okay to admit your child has driven you to the brink of insanity and been able to bring you back down to earth with just a giggle or a smile. But this isn’t about comparison, no one expects you to become a Mother and know what you’re doing straight away (will we ever really know what we’re doing!?), you can’t compare the newborn days to the toddler days. They’re worlds apart and as your child grows you evolve with them. You evolve as a person and evolve as a parent.
The parent that I’ve evolved into now knows that you know your child better than anyone else. It is perfectly okay to have confidence in your decisions and your parenting. I’m no longer afraid to stick up for what I know and for what I believe in opposed to the Emma with a 3 month old baby who smiled politely and laughed when someone suggested I should be feeding her mashed potato already. I now know I can be Emma and Mummy. You don’t have to give up your ‘previous’ self just because you’re a parent. Mothers no longer sit at home knitting and making the dinners all day, we take our kids to festivals, we let them get messy, we encourage them to be exploirative and imaginative. I’ve become the parent I never thought I’d be, sometimes I let her watch an iPad, sometimes I let her eat chocolate, sometimes I let her stay up late, sometimes I let her get filthy. No I’m not a soft touch but nor am I strict but I’m a big believer in moderation. I do what’s best for me, my family, my daughter and if someone doesn’t like what I do or doesn’t agree with how I do things well that’s fine, because in this day and age we’re going to be questioned no matter what we do. Judgement comes from everywhere but the biggest thing I’ve learnt and the biggest change I’ve seen in myself since becoming a parent is to focus on us!
There’s always been this outdated idea that you’re life is over when you have kids, you can’t do all those things you use to, you will have less money, you will never sleep again; and while there is some truth in those things my reality is that becoming a parent has enriched my life in a way which overrides all the ‘negatives’.
This post was kindly sponsored by Johnson’s as I am working with them this year as a baby ambassador but as always all words and opinions are my own.