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20th March, 2020
It’s my first day home alone with my new-born baby. I’m tired, nervous, emotional and overwhelmed by my unconditional love for this tiny human. Its 8am and after a feed and a snooze together we are ready to attempt to head downstairs. Now at this point in my 28 years on the planet I have walked downstairs many times. I am what you may consider an expert. Today however is different. Today I feel like I am on top of a mountain.
I start to pack/check the nappy bag with everything I could possibly need for the day:
I’m all set (I think), hoping for as few trips as possible back upstairs for anything I have forgotten.
I put the bag on, pick up and kiss my bundle of joy, open the door. As I step out into the hallway I notice a feather floating in the air. Not an unusual sight but strange within the confines of my home. However, with a glance down the stairs I soon learn this is not the only feather I will encounter today.
At the bottom of this tall mountain, my cat Sherlock is looking at me with a very pleased for himself demeaner. If cats could smile, I would say he was smirking. He is covered in blood-soaked feathers as are all of the walls, floor and ceiling. So, what do I do? call for back up of course. After a panicked call, with a few expletives and high-pitched squealing, I am convinced by my husband that I can tackle anything and that everything will be ok. He cannot come home to attend to the mess and points out, much to my annoyance, that I cannot stay upstairs forever.
The problem I face however is at this point I have only been apart from my daughter for only minutes at a time and on very few occasions. How can I leave her in her crib alone, what if something happens, what if she needs me, what of she feels abandoned and the bond is broken? Typing this now nearly 4 years later I realise how silly these thoughts were, but at the time the urge to just stay in that room and not deal with what lay at the bottom of the mountain was overwhelming. I know I have to do it, and I have to do it alone but its nerve wrecking and panic inducing. Before becoming a mum this would have been a simply and quick process. Get downstairs, kick the cat out and clean up. I would have been annoyed but otherwise I would have experienced little to no emotional turmoil.
I make the difficult decision to tackle the situation. I place my precious little one in the crib. I check 5 times if anything could be a danger to her, even though all these checks have been exhausted time and time again over the last 2 weeks. I put my bag down, open the door and start the decent down from the summit to base camp. My first job is to put the cat out and make sure he can’t come back in so I can keep the bedroom door open and listen out for the smallest of noises possible.
The house looks like a crime scene. There is blood everywhere. I cry a little but then I get to work. I quickly hoover up all the feathers. This is the fastest I have ever hoovered in my life, fearing I won’t able to hear her cry. Next, I clean all the blood up and dispose of all of the cloths and anti bac wipes. I get undressed and put my clothes straight in the washing machine and scrub myself clean. I grab a change of clothes from the tumble dryer and run back up the mountain. The whole process has probably taken 20 minutes maximum, but it has felt like a lifetime. I am so relieved when I see that my beautiful daughter has been, from what I can gather, asleep this whole time.
I put the bag back on, pick her up and start again. The rest of the day is calm but busy, tiring but exciting and I have this sense of achievement within me. I have tackled today head on and I am stronger than I think.
This was day one, on my own in my new role as stay at home mum. It was tough. There was literally blood, sweat and tears, but I survived.
This was most probably one of the most stressful days of my life. The task was not particularly difficult, experience was not required but the mental preparation and strain on your emotions is unfathomable.
Before she arrived, I thought the hardest thing about becoming a Mum would be figuring out what I need to do with this new little baby who depended on me for everything. I forgot that life carries on and sometimes a spanner is thrown in the works. Household chores were time consuming but manageable. Running errands was a chance to get out of the house and get some fresh air. Now they come with an added pressure of the unexpected and inevitable juggling act that is parenthood.
The unexpected however will always be just around the corner waiting for you. A shower of rain when the forecast said sunshine, a visitor when you weren’t expecting anyone, accidentally breaking something and the clean up after, running out of something when the shop shuts in an hour and of course crying over spilt milk. You know you know you can’t change what has happened but having a new-born/baby/toddler/child can make it the most upsetting experience of the day!
Soon learnt that baby wearing was the best tool of the trade. I could cook, get ready and move about with ease as my baby snoozed close to my chest. With time life became a little less stressful as I learnt a few more parenting hacks to help me in my day to day. With more experience and knowledge came a feeling of achievement and success.
Life is now one big juggling act. You have hundreds of jobs and responsibilities, all of which are unpaid, and you are expected to do them to the best of your ability on little sleep and a lot of caffeine.
It is, as cliché it may be, the most rewarding and important job of your life.
It’s days like these when your job title changes from Stay at Home Mum to Superhero. The day has thrown everything it could at you, but you survived. Not just survived, you bossed it!
You only need to look at your little ones faces to know how much you are needed and loved. This feeling is the reason you get up every morning and take on whatever the workload is that day.
Don’t underestimate yourself, don’t under value yourself and don’t forget you are doing an awesome job!
Once you have settled into your role as a superhero and need a new challenge to take on to compliment your new life, give Full Picture a call. We embrace your new superpowers and can help you secure a new role which suits you.
Keep your Spirits high and when bedtime comes, drink them down.