Advice from one mum to another

By Elisa Reeves, ONE.CHEW.THREE

Who better to turn to for advice than your own mum. Elisa from ONE.CHEW.THREE asked mums for that one piece of advice their own mum passed on and here they are - our top 6. After all, mums have been there, done that!

Follow your instincts, mum knows best

Such an important tip, especially for all the new mums out there. Despite me trying my hardest to find one, newborns don’t come with an instruction manual and it takes everyone time to adjust and find your feet. But there’s a natural instinct in women we need to learn to trust, because it is so true. Mum knows best! So don’t doubt yourself and follow those instincts – sure, talk to others, get advice and make educated decisions, but when something just doesn’t feel right, follow that feeling.

You’re more than enough

We’ve all been there. Feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, emotional. Motherhood does crazy things to our hearts and our minds. But at the end of the day, children need very little and the one thing they do need is mum. One of the personal motto’s I live by is ‘run your own race’ and is the context of parenting to me - this is about not comparing yourself to others. It is even more important in this social media world where everything is shared (the filtered ‘perfect-life’ everything, that is) and it can be easy to feel like you’re inadequate as a mum. But the truth is everyone struggles and no matter what your struggles look like, you are more than enough.

Follow your heart, but take your brain with you

Let me tell you, I hate decisions! Even deciding on lunch can be enough to send me into decision meltdown. But fact is, life is full of decisions and the choices we make for us and our family will have a major impact. So follow your heart, but make educated choices along the way. I recently quit my job to focus on ONE.CHEW.THREE and let me tell you, that was a tough one! I gave up a 15-year career in well-paid roles to focus on a home based, small business because it gave me the flexibility to build my work around my family. But, income is not so stable. My heart would have seen me quit a long time ago, but my brain ran the numbers.

Take it one day at a time

Ahh, isn’t that the truth! Some days, getting the kids out of their pyjamas is success in this house. And some days that’s enough. Just take it one day at a time and remember, there’s bad days and good days. The bad days will feel long and exhausting, and you’ll count down the hours until bed time. But at the end of the day, you’ll go to bed and wake up to a brand new day. The constant tantrums or unexplainable crying from the day before will be replaced with a happy baby and feeling like you’ve got it all under control. So love the good days and accept the bad days and take it one day at a time. You’ve got this!

Ask grandma before Google

The web is a wealth of information, which is an amazing resource for us to have access to, but it can also be misleading and navigating so much information can be daunting to any new mum. I know I’ve Googled so many illnesses at midnight worried about a spot or two, a high fever (or low fever – I still can’t figure that one out), a cough or rash, and by morning have self-diagnosed the most devastating scenarios. We don’t know it all, and we never will. But it takes a village to raise a child, so reach out to your support networks for one on one advice. And of course, don’t forget tip 1 - trust your instincts!

Just say yes and ask for help

For some reason, mums feel like we need to do it all - alone. But you know what, we don’t! The transition to becoming a mum is probably the time when we need to accept a helping hand the most. There’s a lot to navigate and adjust to (sleep, what sleep?) and sometimes, little things really do go a long way! When a friend/mum/husband offers dinner/cleaning/babysitting, just say yes (and thank you, of course)! Accepting the help of others doesn’t make you a bad mum, in fact it actually makes you a better mum. A happier, healthy, sleep-deprived better mum.

While we’ve touched on some great advice and acknowledged some of the more challenging feelings to being a mum, it’s important to recognise when more help is needed. Post-natal depression is a very real illness from the changes in our bodies and brains during the transition of motherhood. So, if you feel like you're more down than up and struggling to cope daily, head straight to your GP and ask for help. They’ll be able to assess you and point you in the right direction for some amazing support services.

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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