As my maternity leave comes to an end, I am a bundle of nerves and fears.
At my worst, I feel like I have just got into the swing of things, Bub and I have our own (loose) routines, plenty of hugs on tap and the odyssey of learning-to-breastfeed has finally been overcome, only to be ruined by the Big Return to Work which will send me back to square one of how-will-I-cope-ever-again.
At my best, I am so proud of how far Bub and I have come, little man is ready and raring to gain more independence and I feel ready to use my mind and to have conversations that aren’t to the tune of a nursery rhyme.
But back to my worst, because I spend more time in that zone at the moment, dreading the Big Return.
The fears are many, and range from: How and why would I want to leave Bub ever, let alone for 8 hours in a row? Will he forget me? Or worse, will he be bitter and hate me for leaving him? Will he cry constantly? Will he take the bottle every day? Can I survive without him in my sight? The wildness of some of these fears as I type does not escape me, yet I feel these things all at once.
My mind turns to the giggles, stories, songs and rocks to sleep I will miss during the day, the looming pain of the breast pump sessions to come at the office. Ugh, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the mountain ahead.
But then the tiniest voice of encouragement peeps out from behind it all: come on there, mama. No one said it was easy, no one said you won’t feel a million things at once, no one said the season of first time mama hood will be fear free. Don’t quit before you’ve even started, give it a go and try your best, you can’t do any more than that.
In my heart of hearts, more than anything I feel grateful. Grateful that I got the precious gift of spending this time with Bub, bonding in a way I could never explain or understand without going through it.
Everything feels a bit more intense now (thank you hormones), but along with the fears and nerves feeling strong, the moments of joy and wonder are richer than ever before too. Our precious Bub has made my other half and I into a family. He has changed it all for us and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just have to try to accept that my bundle of emotions are part and parcel of mama hood now, and the right decision will always present itself, and worrying about future ifs and buts help no one.
I came across a brilliant quote from Mamadisrupt’s Instagram that will have to become my mantra for the next few months: She was powerful not because she wasn’t scared, but because she went on so strongly despite the fear.
Wish me luck.
Sophia is a new mum, slowly adapting to the many changes that a new baby brings to life. She is a keen writer and adventurer who loves to travel, although now considers leaving the house and walking around Kennedy Town, where she lives, an adventure in itself (ah, how times change post baby).
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