MY ‘WHY’, AN AUTHENTIC AND OPEN ACCOUNT OF MY MOTHERHOOD JOURNEY SO FAR

 

What’s your why?
Every one of us has a why, don’t we? Don’t you? A reason to live, a reason to be, a value, a talent, a purpose. As Mark Twain philosophically writes:

‘’the two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why’’

That quote certainly resonates with me. The day I found out why I was born was the day my daughter was born. Up until my pregnancy I had skipped and searched my way through life, unsure of my why. The nine months of my pregnancy was a lovely long build up to that pivotal moment in time. My daughter arrived calmly and safely into the world and it’s like time stood still, and everything made sense there and then, my why was and still is my daughter. I was exhausted, drained and overwhelmed by it all, but something in that moment made a whole lot of sense and I felt complete.

tara and matilda bornThe day my daughter was born, a piece of me was born too.
I have always wanted children, since a young age I have always wanted a family to call my own at some point in my life. And when my husband and I found out we were pregnant, we were over the moon, we were having a baby, and a child to call our own, at the size of a poppy seed, our little family had just started. But really thinking about it now, I believe that wanting children of your own and wanting to be a mother are two separate ideas entirely. Children bring happiness, hope, joy, laughter, love, the list is endless. However a mother, a mother brings love, comfort, affection, care, peace, security, attachment, a safe place to call home and so so much more. The day my daughter was born, a piece of me was born too, the mother in me was born.

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Another why.
About three months into motherhood, I realised another why. I had a strong feeling I needed to help, support, raise, reassure and love other mums through their motherhood journeys too. I not only need to mother my daughter, but I needed to mother other mothers. All mothers need love, comfort, affection, care, peace, security, attachment, a safe place to call home. Motherhood is challenging and can be quite lonely as we all know to some extent. And all mothers of all walks of life deserve to be a part of a community, a tribe, a village. A good support network helps, parent and baby classes help, education and knowledge helps, birth preparation helps, holistic therapies help. Every one of these provide a safety cushion for mothers during pregnancy, birth and the beginnings of motherhood. And every single one of those, I am personally aiming to provide to mothers as my new business venture unfolds.

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Motherhood changes women’s lives
I listen to a lot of podcasts, have many mummy friends and personally know older mothers who have lived through the early stages of motherhood. One message that seems to truly echo through generations is that motherhood changes women’s lives so much, and mostly for the better. I know women who have suffered with anxiety before becoming a mother, to be the most calming of mothers following their birth. Women who have had terrible upbringings to be the most loving and caring of parents. And women who are so organised and regimented pre baby, to be more laid back and relaxed once their baby arrives, or vice versa. I was a bit of a daydreamer before I became a mother, never really knowing my purpose, my reason, my why. I enjoyed life to the max and was always grateful and thankful for my family and friends, my experiences and adventures. But I always felt a void, like something was missing, like there was a missing puzzle piece. Becoming a mother has certainly changed my life for the better and I no longer feel that void, that missing puzzle piece has been found and I am so honoured and so lucky to have become a mother. I am extremely grateful to my own mother for her care, love and strength. It’s only since becoming a mother that I now have the empathy and understanding of the true struggles of motherhood. I am so proud of my daughter and the inner ‘me’ she has gifted me, to help me to mother other mothers, as well as mothering her. She is by far my why, my inspiration and guidance in life and I will eternally be grateful to her.

 

Keep calm and give birth. Five simple steps on how to prepare your body for a positive birth.

(As featured on Blossom and Berry’s website)

Want to have the most positive birth experience possible, but don’t know where to begin? Then follow these five simple steps to stay focused, calm and relaxed throughout your pregnancy.

Giving birth is the most amazing thing for the female human body to go through, yet it can be the scariest thing for many of us. Many mothers share their negative birth stories with pregnant women unfortunately without realising the damaging impact it may have on a pregnant mum’s mental attitude towards giving birth. A negative birthing experience can often lead to a mother feeling vulnerable, depressed and sometimes even a ‘failure’. There are support networks and organisations readily available to help parents with the distressing physical, mental and emotional effects of birth trauma. For the pregnant women amongst you who want to prepare yourselves for the most positive birth possible, here are five positive steps you can take during pregnancy to become birth ready.

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1. Pregnancy yoga.
Pregnancy yoga classes are a great way of helping your body to remain supple, flexible and mobile throughout pregnancy. Yoga can really help to relax you and keep your mind calm. It may also help some mums to feel spiritually connected with their baby. You can practice pregnancy yoga classes weekly, or if you can find the time to practice at home, then just ten minutes a day can make the world of difference to your health and wellbeing. Techniques include the mindful act of breathing, and this alone can really help to prepare you for your birth. Yoga classes will help you to connect and network with like-minded mums as well as getting a well-deserved good night sleep.

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2. Affirmations and visualisations.
Affirmations and visualisations can really help you to get into the right frame of mind prior to birth. Try sticking post it notes with written affirmations on around the house. The mirror is a good place, as well as the fridge, your bed side table or even inside your handbag or purse. Little words, phrases and quotes of encouragement can really help you to keep a positive mental attitude and prepare you for the positive birth you are destined to have. Visual aids such as pictures of your favourite things can be a huge support and have a positive impact. By having pictures of your favourite things such as flowers, holidays, loved ones or pets, your body will recognise the love you feel and will produce Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that causes the uterus to contract, therefore making birth a much more positive, pleasant and often quicker experience.
3. Listen to your body.
Think of your body as a piece of machinery, and a fascinating one at that. When your body is tired, sleep. Many pregnant women struggle to sleep at night, so try taking daily day time naps on your lunchbreak at work or during maternity leave. Just half an hours shut eye can make all the difference to your day. When your body is hungry, feed it. Some women suffer with sickness during pregnancy, so try snacking on healthy foods like cheese and crackers, vegetable sticks and hummus or a piece of fruit. Eating little and often can help keep the sickness at bay whilst also maintaining a healthy diet. During labour, it is important you listen to your body and to stay as calm as you possibly can. Fighting your contractions will force your body to tense and therefore slow down the production of oxytocin.

 

4. Exercise ball.
Bouncing around on your exercise ball during pregnancy may seem a little tedious when all you wish to do is lay back on the sofa and put your feet up of an evening, but it can be such a big help for a positive birth. The benefits of using an exercise ball during pregnancy include reduced back pain, reduced contraction pains, and prepares a good position for your baby prior to birthing, as well as keeping you active and healthy during your pregnancy. As you sit on your ball, keep your legs wide, your feet grounded, roll your hips forward so your pelvis is tilted. You can rotate your hips slowly clockwise and anticlockwise and if you want to be a little ambitious, why not try a few bicep curls at the same time? You can sit on your exercise ball at the dinner table, in front of the tv or even at the computer. It’s also a great way to feel connected with your baby, whilst rolling on your ball and rubbing your bump at the same time.

 

5. Breathing Techniques.
There’s a lot to be said about breathing techniques and how breathing is scientifically proven to help reduce stress and anxiety as well as improving organ function. Breathing techniques are used in practices such as yoga, Pilates and meditation. Techniques like the golden thread and counting slowly in before doubling your outbreath can help to slow down your heart rate, in turn creating a sense of calm and tranquillity for you and your baby. Concentrating on your breathing during labour can really help to keep your mind focused and your body relaxed.

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Pregnancy can have its fair share of ups and downs, as can birth. None of us know what kind of birth we will have, whether it be a natural birth, a C section or forceps delivery. No one can ever prepare us enough for motherhood, just like no one can ever prepare us enough for our births. Have faith that you are able to have the most positive birth if you allow yourself to. Try to stay as calm and relaxed during pregnancy as possible, and that can set you in good stead for the most positive birthing experience you and your baby deserve.

xx

Three Magic Words for all Mums

So, here I am, blogging, at long last. After all these years, I have finally jumped on the band wagon with the rest of the creatives and have started blogging.
It’s taken me a while to know what I want to write about. I talk a lot as it is, so I didn’t want to blog just for the sake of blogging. But then I became a mummy, that’s when I found my passion and that’s when I knew the time was right. I know there are so many useful mum blogs out there, but I feel I need to add my own penny’s worth to the mix, put my own stamp on things. Plus as a mum you can never have too much support can you? I am going to tell you three magic words that will help to change your motherhood mindset and give you the confidence you need every single day.
Motherhood, new, challenging, exciting and emotional, very emotional
Becoming a mother and going through the beginnings of motherhood has helped me to recognise my passion to support other like minded and vulnerable mums through their journey of motherhood. Motherhood has so far been the most challenging and most rewarding thing I’ve experienced to date, and I know that most of you mums will probably agree with me on that. It has brought me so many happy and profound moments, yet so many miserable and anxious days and nights.

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THE MORNING IT ALL WENT BELLY UP
I was feeling the pressure one morning last year, I needed to be out of the house sharpish, I was running late, I was rushing around trying to get stuff done, clearing up after breakfast, putting the washing away, getting myself ready, getting Matilda ready, Matilda was crying, I was crying, which made the whole drama of the morning twice as bad. Can any of mums relate to that? I’m sure most of you, if not all of you can. That feeling of overwhelm showed up again and I was an emotional mess.

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THANK HEAVEN FOR MUMMY FRIENDS
I whatsapped my friend Loo_Loo_mummy and ranted (even though I was running late and Matilda was crying) She messaged back with three little magic words… ‘YOU’VE GOT THIS’. I took a few deep breaths, which helped to calm me and make me aware of the present moment, I dried my eyes, hugged my daughter tight and said to myself ‘you’ve got this, Tara, you’ve got this’. So, to my lovely, thoughtful friend, Thank you.

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THE POWER OF ‘YOU’VE GOT THIS’
Within a few minutes my mood shifted. I felt more grounded and calm. The house was still a mess and I was so late, but my mind felt calmer, I felt a burst of confidence and I no longer worried about trivial the housework. The housework felt so trivial after I was more aware of the present, more aware of my daughter and more aware of my feelings. Ever since that morning, that has been my daily mantra, because I truly believe that our thoughts speak volumes. And if I ever have little bursts of negative emotion, or feeling of overwhelm by motherhood, I say those three magic words to myself in the mirror, and it works, it really works. So, thank you to my wonderful friend for supporting me that day. A little bit of support goes a long way. And that’s what all of us mums need isn’t it?
You’ve got this, too.

weve got this
I want to reassure all you mums that, you’ve got this, too. We’ve all got this. We are all mothers, carers, personal assistants, nurses, bosses, cleaners and so much more in this thing called motherhood. We are all doing the best we can, even if we think we aren’t. If ever you think that you are failing, under achieving, feeling the pressure of everything or today is just ‘one of those days’, then take a few deep breaths, dry your eyes and say to yourself ‘you’ve got this’. Because fellow mums, you really have got this. Just waking up in the morning, responding to your baby’s needs and being present in the moment just proves that you’ve got this.
You’ve got this,
Tara xx