Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Food and love. That's all. That's everything.

I love seeing a new mum with her new baby snuggled in her arms. I look at her and I'm a little over-full on emotion and I'm thinking {and probably staring}, "Wow, you amazing woman, you grew, nurtured and birthed this beautiful babe into existence." Wow indeed.

So when I recently spoke with a girlfriend a week after the birth of her first baby, I had all these thoughts and emotions. And more.

And I waited a while before I dared ask how she was doing, you know with the day-to-day and the torture of no sleep, trying to get everything done and adjusting to being truly needed by a little person 24/7. I asked because this is what I wished someone had asked me. And then blown my cover when I gave them a phony answer.

I won't lie. Motherhood was a big adjustment for me. After having my first baby I got lots of comments on how good I looked {thank you}, how cute my baby was {thank you} and that I was doing a great job {thank you}... but inside I was shrivelling a little bit. I was dehydrated {my own fault for not drinking much at all} and low in iron {read: emotional, exhausted, teary} and honestly I felt like I couldn't get everything done {because, well I couldn't!}.

I thought it was going to be easy, and it would all feel natural {especially breastfeeding}. But it didn't all come naturally, and most of it {especially breastfeeding} I was learning on the go. I worried when nothing was getting ticked off my to-do list. I had unrealistic expectations, and put ridiculous pressure on myself. I see that now.

So when I spoke with my beautiful friend, and asked, "How are you feeling?", I got thrown a little. Her reply: "Great. But I'm not doing much." I was confused. Not doing much? Much? I think my muffled reply came out as "Huh?" Her response: "Oh, well I'm breastfeeding, and cuddling, and then breastfeeding again, and cuddling, and breastfeeding, and changing lots of nappies. That's all."

My response to this was perhaps the most surprising element of the conversation: "That's beautiful. Really that's all baby needs, feeding and loving."

Feeds, and loving. Love, and feeding. That's all. That's everything.

I'm left wondering why I couldn't have worked this out say 2.5 years ago, prior to giving birth twice? Because I {hopefully} would have spent the first six weeks of my baby's life doing a whole lot less, but more loving.

I'm also left feeling a little lighter, because my beautiful intuitive new-mum friend has reminded me of what really counts. And that I really don't need to do it all, right this very second.

Elisa xx

{image credit: you can buy the "Love is all you need" artwork here}

Are you good at striking a balance?


  1. Words of wisdom that I will try to remember, should we ever have bub number two.

  2. beautiful post. we've been trying for over a year for a baby and have so far been unsucessful. it's really hard and horribly heartbreaking most of the time and honestly I did cry a little reading your post longing for the chance to feed and cuddle, and love. But it also made me think how i'm lucky for the chance now to read posts like yours that might help me prepare for those times ahead should I be lucky enough to have a baby..a blessing in disguise you know? :)
    Thanks x

  3. This is such a beautiful post! I wish I could have read it when my twins were small! Such wisdom shown through such sweet words, E xx

  4. @Jess - I wish I had heard/read this before having babies, so I do know what you mean. Thank you xx

    @Daisy @Kylie - Thank you so much. Only wish I'd worked this out sooner xx

  5. You amaze me with your wisdom. How beautiful it is that you are able to share your thoughts so honestly and lovingly with others.
    Love you mum xxx

  6. You are being a bit harsh on yourself, wondering why you couldn't have worked it out. All of us cope differently. I found the early baby days incredibly easy because, well, I wasn't doing much. And when other mums in my mothers group were asking 'When is this going to get easier?' I was secretly thinking 'How can it possibly get any easier?'... I was on high (possibly hormone-induced) and I felt I could do anything. The fatigue and the sleepless nights all caught up with me eventually, but it took a few months. There is a big adjustment in motherhood for all of us, but the curve is different and it comes at different times.

    I wish your friend all the very best, I hope she continues to love every moment of it!

  7. this is absolutely beautiful. our society thinks new mums should be doing SO much when really, they should be at home, nursing, cuddling, loving. You write beautifully x

  8. Hey love,
    You know I know what you mean and I thank you for sharing it with others.
    I make an effort sharing my stories with as many mums to be as possible as I want them to always know they are not alone.
    Your girls are so lucky to have such an amazing mum.
    Love you.
    xxxx LJ

  9. @Tat - you're right we do all cope differently, and it's important to remember that. Thank you xx

    @Jodi - Thank you! I agree xx

    @LJ - thank you xx


Thank you for your words and support. I'm so glad you stopped by xx