Natasha Folkes' TTAM

I became a mother at the age of 21 (a week before my 22nd birthday) I'm now 23 with a beautiful, bubbly 18 month little girl. She is honestly the best thing that's happened to me! My 18 months has a mother has had its ups and downs but I'd say 95% ups so don't be alarmed if you're a new mummy or mummy to be. This is my truth behind motherhood. Yours may be completely different or very similar.

Sleep - The first three months of my daughter's life are a bit of a blur if I'm honest and that's because of lack of sleep. Babies need to eat pretty much all the time which means that as a mother you need to sacrifice your sleep so they can. Sometimes they even wake up to a cry about being tired lol. It's going to annoy you. You're going to get frustrated. You might cry, you might internally scream. It's hard to function without sleep and as hard as it is you'll get through it. At the time you won't think you will but you will. But that's what being a parent is about. You've got this tiny little human that depends on your for everything and you've always got to put them first. Every baby is different but with time and patience, you'll start feeling normal again with hopefully long periods of sleep for yourself!

Friends - Now you may be lucky and have really supportive and loving friends that are happy that you're going to or already have a little one. It may be that you may lose some friends too. I've had a 1 or 2 friends I lost contact with after finding it I was pregnant. It wasn't that we didn't like each other anymore, we were just in different places in life now. They wanted to go out and drink and I obviously could not. It's sad to an extent but motherhood is a great opportunity to makes new mummy friends. Over the past 18 months I've made some amazing mummy friends of Twitter, the mummy app "Mush" and of course the lovely Motherhood Group. They've all been supportive and have offered great advice and tips.

Unwanted opinions- These are going to come at you in abundance. Here's a few of the unwanted ones I heard and how I really wanted to reply.

"don't you think you should pierce her ears so nobody thinks she's a boy" - She doesn't need her ears pierced. If you can't tell she's a girl then hit up specsavers

"You shouldn't bottle feed, breast is best" - Not everyone is able to breastfeed unfortunately.

"She should be wearing more clothes than that" - I think I'm more than capable enough of judging how many layers I need to put on the child that came from me.

You should have another. Have them close in age" - are you the one that's going to pay nursery fees? Didn't think so!

I actually could go on forever with these. Annoyingly this is how people are and it's crazy because the majority came from strangers. Like who are you to tell me how to raise my child? When you hear something you don't like I would always suggest taking a deep breath, smiling and walking away. You don't need that stress at all.

Milestones - I can't stress enough that every baby is different. My daughter was 5 weeks early (massive surprise lol) so I was constantly worried and comparing her to other babies telling myself "how comes she's not crawling yet?" "When is she going to start speaking?" "When should we apply for university?" Ok the last one was a joke lol but looking back, I was that dramatic. Don't compare your child to others. They will do things in their own time. If you do have any worries then always speak to your health visitor or gp. They can offer the best help and advice.

Emotions - Motherhood is an emotional rollercoaster. As I mentioned before you definitely have your ups and your downs. I think every new mother experiences the "baby blues." It happens a few days/weeks after birth. It is apparently linked to hormonal changes. It's basically a very low mood. You feel tearful without knowing why. You feel anxious and a whole lot of other emotions. I remember after breastfeeding my daughter in the hospital and I just burst into tears. I didn't know what was wrong with me. My room was shared so I tried to stuff my pillow in my mouth so the other mother next to me couldn't hear me but she did. She came over and offered me a digestive biscuit. It was really sweet of her but the tears didn't stop. They didn't stop when I left the hospital either. I couldn't quite understand it. Then a whole thoughts came crashing into my mind. What if I'm not a good mother? What if I can't afford the things my daughter needs? What if she dies? What if I die? It was horrible. I didn't really want to talk to anyone about it as I'm not that kind of person so I took a pen to paper and wrote down my thoughts and feelings. It was very therapeutic. I turned some of those feelings into poetry. This really helped me. I think my episode of the baby blues lasted about a week. I was very fortunate not to experience Postnatal depression but some experts say that if after a month and you're still feeling the effects of the baby blues then it could be that. Don't feel bad for the way you feel. Get help. It can be from a health professional, a family member or friend, maybe even a stranger. Just try to remember you're not alone. You're not bad for feeling the way you feel. You're a new mother adjusting to motherhood.

Love, love, love!- You're going to be so in love with your little one. From their tiny eyelashes to their tiny toes. Everything about them you're going to love. You're going to love the first time you hold them and never want to let them go. You're going to love the connection you feel when you feed them. You're going to love they way they look at you. You're going to love their little cry. You're going to love the compliments other people give you about your baby lol. You're going to love the smell of them (babies smell good!) You're going to love those late night feeds as tried as you may be.

You're going to learn to love nappy explosions lol. You're going to love the cheeky look your child gives you after doing something naughty. You're going to love the new person your baby as helped you become.

Motherhood is an amazing journey.The time goes slowly but quickly at the same times. Create endless memories and enjoy it.

God bless xx

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