It takes a village.

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So this post is a bit of a reflection on my first few months as a mum, how we are going and how I expected to feel by this point!

I feel like the first 6 months have really flown by, Tate has grown so much and is a totally different baby already, he’s gone from a helpless newborn to a real little person with so much personality! The overall emotion about our journey so far is pretty positive, I feel like we have done so well, I’m confident in my ability as a mum and that Tate hitting milestones and we have so much fun together. He’s not a great day sleeper, he doesn’t like to miss out on anything thats happening around him, thats caused me a bit of stress, but you know what – he’s no worse for it, he’s not a cranky or overtired bub, he just doesn’t seem to need as much sleep as I would expect!

On reflection, we would never have gotten to this point without the people around Tate and I doing everything to lift us up and support us, I want to spend a bit of time talking about these people and why they have been so important to me as a new mum.

Number one is Mr Dash, my husband has been a fantastic support, any time I think I can’t do something (first time was about 6 hours after delivery when Tate couldn’t get the hang of feeding), actually breastfeeding in general probably wouldn’t have succeeded without his encouragement and I’m so glad we persevered because its been going so well for the last 4 months in particular (the first two months were so h a r d!!). My husband has always given me a sense that I cannot fail, whether he believes that or not, he always leads me to feel that I can do it if I set my mind to it, this was true of Tate’s birth, feeding, surviving colic (only realised in hindsight) and sleep regressions and now as we start solids and I’m doubting myself again, he’s right there in our corner, gently suggesting alternatives in a way that makes me feel like its all my idea!!

Next is my family, I think the way you are raised and the self confidence that’s instilled in you from a young age will undoubtedly impact the way you start your own journey as a parent. It’s not that I’ve never failed, it’s just the way I was always shown to pick myself back up and carry on thats made parenthood not seem such an unsurmountable challenge. I guess it’s an innate feeling that ‘I’ve got this’ in the back of my mind whenever we are thrown a curveball. So often new parents are  reminded on the saying ‘this too shall pass’, but i like to think of it more that ‘you aren’t the first and you wont be the last’ whenever I face something difficult.

Its not just my upbringing that has been a positive influence on my start has a new parent, but the practical assistance and support my family has given us has been wonderful as well. Plus there is nothing better than seeing the way Tate is bonding with his grandparents, aunts and uncles already too!

The last group of people offering their support, although they probably don’t realise what a huge part of my life they have become are the 6 beautiful new mums in my first time parents group. We are a diverse bunch, joined together at a council run new parents group. We range greatly in age, background and the path travelled to motherhood, from surprise babies and long awaited miracles to infertility and the heartbreak of miscarriage, yet we have come together and share an amazing bond. Each week we meet up and chat for hours as our babies now roll around together on the floor, making their very first friends. For a group of girls who only met 7 months ago we have shared our greatest fears, deepest secrets and happiest moments all because we are experiencing new motherhood together and have found friend who we trust and know will understand.

All in all I know that I wouldn’t be as confident and successful (so far!) as a parent without the people around me offering their support and advice. The greatest lesson so far as a new mum is certainly that ‘it takes a village’ to raise a baby!

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