We wanted to put together something special for you all. Motherhood is an amazing journey which does nothing short of change your life. Whether you’re a new mum, or you’re expecting, this letter is for you written by the powerful and strong mums throughout your community. It’s written about their experiences, their journeys and most importantly the lessons which they wanted to share with you, from one mother to another:
"Infertility issues may force you to confront traditions and assumptions you had previously made. You’ll be forced to process a lot of information and endure dumb comments from those around you. But have faith to continue to move forward and explore your available options from both natural and medical perspectives. Join a group of women who are in a similar situation to you - this will be one of the most rewarding decisions you’ll make and will help you feel really understood. Pregnancy will come with its ups and downs, both physically and emotionally especially if you have existing children in the mix too! In regard to your birthing experience, embrace the wide range of options available to you (from dolphin music to surgery) and create a draft plan of how you want it to go, but remember to be open and trusting of your body to do its thing! Be supportive of other mums around you in your community. But try not to be that woman who asks, “Can I do anything?” Most mums will say no. Instead, just get on helping out! Fold the washing, change the beds, or walk with the baby to give the mum a well-deserved break. Don’t judge others or the processes, just be a good friend with active listening skills.” - Julie M
“Prepare for a positive birth. Birth impacts you in more ways than you can even comprehend before you go through it. Attend positive birthing classes, read, watch, listen to only positive stories, surround yourself with people that respect birth as a beautiful event. Be informed - research research research....birth, breastfeeding, caring for your baby. Talk to friends you trust, read books, follow your intuition. Create a postnatal plan. In many traditional cultures, a mother is relieved of all duties except feeding her newborn baby for 8-12 weeks. This time of transformation for the new mother is so well respected in these cultures. It's a huge change for women and they need support during this time. Postpartum doulas are becoming more available now - so if you don't have family and friends that can support you, this could be a lovely option for you. Seek out your tribe. "It takes a village to raise a child". An old saying but it rings so true to me now. Take me back 7.5 years when we were on the other side of the world about to have a baby with the "we'll be totally fine" attitude. And we kind of were, but it was hard. Once we moved home, closer to family and found our village at Playcentre, I really understood what that saying meant. Find people that you can connect with, who think like you. La Leche League, SPACE, Playcentre, Home Birth support groups, coffee groups, exercise groups etc. Follow and respect your instinct and intuition - your 'gut feeling'. It's how humanity has survived, and it's powerful. Listen, respect and follow it. Allow it to be part of your parenting. Give yourself social media breaks. Social media is not real life. It can make you feel like your life isn't good enough. Take breaks, connect with real people in real life, it feels way better. Do what makes you feel good. Can you do it with baby? Dancing (there are cool kanga classes), singing, reading, walking, seeing friends etc etc. Remember you. You need to take care of you. No one else will do that for you. Ask for help (hard I know...its taken me years to do this) so you can have a shower, sleep, exercise, grocery shop on your own. This is why we need our village, to help each other through this journey.” - Vicki
“I know you think you know having children will change your life, but what you can't ever expect is how much the edges of yourself will dissolve and realign as you question and doubt everything at the same time as becoming stronger than you've ever been before. Trust yourself! You are in tune with your baby and your heart knows what is right 99% of the time. Ignore books and people that don't align with that intuition and seek out those that reinforce it and build you up. As your baby grows, make sure you find ways to nurture yourself as well, you've given so much away already and you're important too! Even when it's completely overwhelming, keep communicating with your husband [and those around you]. Even though it seems like he's been able to just continue his old life, he hasn't really. He loves you both and doesn't know what to do to help either! Your heart really will grow bigger with so much love when you have your second child, even though 2 under 2 is actually quite hard and you really need sleep! You will spend so much time worrying through the pre school years but I have exciting news; you will also learn to be happier in your own skin than ever before, so incredibly proud of the creative, confident and kind individuals you have created, and a world of opportunity (and finally starting to feel on top of things) will open up when they are both settled at a great school. So, breathe, and remember that, for both the good and the bad, 'this too shall pass'. (Also, you will really hate the phrase 'the days are long but the years are short', until the long days become shorter and you suddenly realise that it's true)” - Kathryn
“Crying is communication. It’s how babies communicate their needs to you. So don’t freak out! Cuddling and holding is how you comfort your baby. Don’t worry, you can’t do too much of it. Get out of the house and have a daily walk whenever possible. Eat. Drink. Make Milk. Feed Baby. Repeat. Include your partner and involve them as much as possible - they’re not a babysitter, it’s their baby too. Remember to look after yourself. Have a list of jobs on the fridge for visitors and grandparents who are willing to help. Have them bring food, do baking or fold the washing. They want to help and this is an easy way to show them how. - Morag
"Trust your own instincts. You know your baby best, but also allow others to help you, it's exhausting being a new mum and asking for help doesn't mean you're not coping. Understand that everyone has a different way of caring for their babies, comparing yourself isn't healthy for your mental state! Be confident in the way you choose to do things.” - Toni Street
“Find your tribe. Whether that’s through SPACE, or an antenatal group, or your church. In an age where mother’s can be bombarded with information and advice from every which direction, surround yourself with mother’s who are at the same stage. Find the group of women who you can laugh with, cry with, be real with and feel accepted by. Be willing to ask, and be willing to receive.” - Catherine
Welcome to this beautiful community of strong and supportive women, we’re here to laugh with you, cry with you, share with you and grow with you. Embrace the changes and the learnings which you are ahead of you, and be kind to yourself through every stage.
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