You’re pregnant, congratulations! Whether you are expecting your first or fourth bundle of joy, welcoming a new bub is one sure way to take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute, the rush of dopamine and oxytocin has you flying high in a euphoric state of (delirious) bliss where all you want to do is stare at the tiny person you’ve created. The next, you’re feeling aaaallllllll the mum-guilt for dreaming about how wonderful it would be to have just one evening to yourself, while you tackle the near impossible mission of getting a tired, screaming baby to sleep.
We know it’s no small feat adjusting to motherhood, and rediscovering your new identity as a woman, friend, daughter, partner and chief-life-giver and caretaker (aka: mum) is a journey. To ensure your sanity remains intact as you go through this transition, we’ve shared our top five tips on how to emotionally prepare yourself for the crazy, beautiful, and overwhelming journey of motherhood.
1. Expect a bumpy road
Let’s face it, while being a mama is perhaps one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, it isn’t as easy as those Insta-mums would have you believe. At times motherhood can feel messy, confusing, frustrating and hugely challenging… oh, and did we mention messy? Just remember, very few people have bubs that breastfeed perfectly or sleep through the night without a sound, so don’t be so hard on yourself if things aren’t going as smoothly as you’d hoped! You are bound to hit a few speed bumps along the way, but all you can do is your best, so take it day by day and don’t forget to remind yourself that you’re doing an amazing job.
2. Find a strong support system
Whether you’re a mum or not, everyone needs a strong support system to lean on, and these people are even more crucial through this incredible, all-consuming experience.
You’ll find yourself relying on various people in your life for different levels and types of support. While your single bestie living her best child-free party life is not likely to be helpful when it comes to parenting tips, she’ll be your ultimate go-to for coffee catch-ups when you want to talk about anything other than your cracked nipples.
Being a mum is made all the better by sharing the ups and downs with those closest to you, so don’t be afraid to lean on your support network – from partners, parents, siblings and extended family to friends, colleagues, neighbours and mothers’ groups. We also recommend downloading the Mush app, which is a great way to meet women going through the same experience, PLUS you can regain your sanity by laughing at the silly and awkward shared moments of mum-life.
3. Treat yourself
You heard it here first, ladies! We officially grant you permission to spend a little time and money on making yourself feel happy and human – you can thank us later.
You’ve worked hard growing a tiny human, so you deserve every bit of R&R… and a little shopping too. For some downtime, we recommend putting on a sheet mask and resting your constantly swelling feet in a lavender-infused bath. Pregnancy also comes with an odd list of serious food cravings. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself if that’s what is going to get you through the day! Our Livvy + Harry Real Mums know all about weird and wacky cravings...!
Becoming a mama shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on personal style. If you haven’t picked up a stylish baby bag yet or you just want some pretty inspiration, the L+H range has you covered. From functional nappy bags to stylish accessories, we have designed each product with each mama’s personal style in mind. Because as cute as they are, not everything has to be about bub!
4. Practise mindfulness and self-care
Whether it’s deep-breathing exercises and positive affirmations, or music, meditation and yoga, arming yourself with techniques to help you relax and feel calm is essential (especially when your pregnancy and post-birth hormones take the wheel). There will be enough crying and screaming for one household from bub!
To get started, download some calming apps and prepare some Spotify playlists that will ease you out of panic mode and slip you into relaxation. Our fave app right now is Breethe.
5. Treasure the special moments
Among the chaos of dirty nappies and teething, it’s surprisingly easy to let life fly by without taking the time to treasure the special moments. Keepsake boxes and baby journal are the perfect place to hold and document all of your baby’s mementos and ‘firsts’, as well as your journey through pregnancy.
In years to come, you’ll huddle around the keepsakes and “aww” at all of your beautiful memories. Having a physical reminder of all those intimate early moments is priceless, and journaling is a great way to be mindful and reflect on your journey through motherhood.