A Labour of Love
Motherhood. The hardest, most rewarding, exhausting, amazing, challenging job you could ever have. A universal concept across all species, from the monkeys to the elephants to us, as humans. We all have a mother's instinct, which drives us to protect fiercely and love unconditionally. There are no boundaries for what we will do to protect our babies, even when the consequences result in discomfort for us.
IT’S OKAY TO SAY IT’S NOT EASY
Morning sickness. Gestational diabetes. Round ligament pain. Exhaustion. A few common symptoms of pregnancy, not to mention the general aches and pains you go through as your organs shift and the little life inside you takes priority. From the start you’re subjected to a lot of weird (and wonderful) feelings, but as the flutters turn to kicks and the kicks turn to jabs, nothing can quite prepare you for the awkward, slightly agonising pain of one of your babies limbs lodged underneath your ribcage. Then there is the small (HA!) task of the baby’s exit, whether your baby is delivered vaginally, with assistance or by caesarean section, it’s a trauma to your body and a shock to your system. Unfortunately, recovery doesn’t always come easily to the exhausted mother with a newborn. It goes without saying that it’s worth it, it’s a blessing to carry a child and you’ll always be grateful but it’s okay to say that it can be really hard work growing a baby!
IT’S NOT IN YOUR HEAD
In some ways, the physical effects of motherhood can be easier to manage than the mental changes. When you can’t see what’s wrong and you feel like it’s just in your head, it can be so hard to ask for help. If you can’t process and understand what you’re feeling, how can you communicate that with somebody else? How can you tell them what you need, when you’re not sure yourself? The anxiety around scans, counting kicks and the big unknown world of delivering babies is overwhelming. Not only that, but if you’re taking a slightly different route to motherhood, you’ve got the worries of the ‘two week wait’ to find out whether your IVF attempt worked. Or you’ve got the slight pangs of jealousy watching your surrogate grow your baby. Or you’re learning to let go of what you can’t control as the adoption progresses without haste. A wide and varied range of emotions, which is simply preparing you for the rollercoaster ride called motherhood.
HERE’S TO YOU
So, here's to all the mothers. The working mothers, the stay-at-home mothers, the IVF mothers, the expecting mothers, the adopted mothers and the angel mothers. The breastfeeding mothers, the bottle-feeding mothers, the co-sleeping mothers, the step-mothers and the Fairy Godmothers. Whatever your journey, whatever your circumstances, let's be absolutely crystal clear - you're all amazing.