The intention behind this series is to shine a light on some beautiful, inspiring and connected mamas and what Post Partum looked, or looks like for them.
I feel very passionately about this vital period in a new mamas life so i wanted to shed an honest and authentic light on it by asking a few beautiful mamas to shed the light and sometimes the dark side, on this vulnerable and transformational period in their life.
Meet Heather, an earthy and authentic mama to two beautiful boys. Heather tells her story with honesty and simplicity. It is an absolute honor to have her here telling you all about her beautifully ‘Unique Post Partum.’
Name and Age: Heather, 31
Children/Infants name and age: Heath – 2yrs + 5 months old, August – 6 weeks old
Relationship to self or another: Married
How has becoming a parent changed you?
Time had new meaning. I had to learn that my time was not my own but now ours to share. I think I struggled with that in the beginning, it was a huge adjustment. Becoming a parent is the most selfless transformation. You will always put your children first; my children are my greatest achievements. However I have learnt the importance of needing to care for myself as much as I care for them. I need to do it for them, in order for us to really appreciate the here and now. Our bodies are a temple. I now listen to and respect it by eating well (as best as I can!) exercise (Pilates, go for walks) and rest when I can. I’ve learnt that I cannot and will not ever be able to do everything, and that’s OK. Everything will always be OK.
In those first few weeks Post Partum, what did it look like for you?
Post partum was a different experience from becoming a mother for the first time compared to becoming a mother of two. With my first son, I remember wishing time to pass quickly. I yearned for Heath to reach new milestones; smile, laugh, crawl, walk and talk…I remember days feeling long and most afternoons waiting in anticipation for my husband to return from work so he could be with us to enjoy Heath too (and perhaps have an adult conversation) and be a helping hand. Like any new mother, I struggled with functioning with sleep deprivation. I actually lost all my driver license points within the first year of Heath’s life!
However if you asked me this question again after just having my second, I would tell you the complete opposite on how I feel about time. Now I feel there are not enough hours in a day. My second, August, was born into size 000, with many newborn clothing going straight back into storage. From the moment he was born, I knew time was not going to slow down. I have a newfound appreciation for the newborn stage and wish I could pause so many precious moments I am engulfed with every day so I can mindfully inhale it all in. I often stare at my toddler and constantly remind my husband that I feel like he is growing right in front of my eyes.
Of course there were days I would find myself completely overwhelmed with emotions that were unjustified, (thanks hormones), but being present and appreciating the here and now has never felt so powerfully significant than NOW.
Did you feel pressure from friends, family or society in general as to how you ‘should’ parent your new baby? If so how did gently handle that sort of pressure?
There were a few times when Heath was a newborn and I was at the shops where complete strangers (all of whom were older women), felt the urge to tell me ‘why’ my baby was crying. Obviously they did not know my child and I used to find the ‘advice’ to be quite condescending. The worse ‘advice’ I had was to not let my baby cry ‘otherwise I’d give him brain damage.’ I stood there in disbelief and think I just walked away… Whether the advice is wanted/helpful or not, it’s just unavoidable, I’m afraid. I just have learnt to take it as a grain of salt. Most of the time it comes from a good place.
YOU – Because your presence in their little & big moments is ‘presents’ enough
This A2 sized poster is a beautiful reminder of the simple things.
What was the transition into parenting like for both you and your partner within your relationship?
Being a parent is challenging, exhausting and so incredibly heartwarmingly beautiful and raw. When you go through this journey with someone you love, it can either break or strengthen your relationship. We were one of the lucky ones – seeing my husband take on parenthood so naturally, has made me love and appreciate him more than I thought I knew how.
Did you make time for YOU during your Post Partum period? If so, what was your favourite thing to do to get back to YOU?
I felt guilty to do anything for myself first time round! Having learnt to take better care of myself after having August, I would have to say having my husband take the boys so I can crash and have a nap whenever I can, has really helped me maintain my well-being. I also found pre and postnatal Pilates has played a significant role in making me feel strong before, throughout and after my pregnancy this time round.
If you could go back to your gorgeous pregnant self, what loving, nurturing support would you offer her?
Rest. Rest. Rest!
Post Partum & Infant Connection eWorkshop
Are you seeking a deeper knowledge of what to expect within your Post Partum period? Do you crave a supportive, non judgmental environment? Are you ready to be informed and to feel empowered on your new and exciting journey into parenthood?