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Meditation Fairy

Why Having Friends Is Essential For Mother’s Well-Being

Last week I met up with a group of girlfriends for the first time before my daughter was born. 

For the last four months, I stayed at home because I was either too big (near the end of the pregnancy) or still adjusting to being a new mum again. 

As we sat there, laughing and chatting about nothing in particular, I had a sense of contentment and peace. 

All the challenges of the last few months, that feeling of ‘how am I ever going to get through this’ or ‘when will things go back to normal’ slowly melted away as I sipped my tea and ate some scones.

You know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”? 

I think the saying should also say it takes a village to keep mums mentally and physically sane.

My friends weren’t doing anything special, it’s not like we were having a semi-therapy session instead of breakfast. 

But just being there with them, laughing, enjoying each other’s presence, talking about what was going on with their lives and how mine had been over the last few months made me feel seen, appreciated and loved.     

When you become a parent for the first time, life changes beyond recognition, and often we feel we have lost a part of ourselves in the process. 

Good friendships help remind us that we are still us. 

Perhaps a bit more tired and less able to hold our alcohol or sleep past 10… but we are still ourselves. 

Whether in person or over zoom, spending time with friends is just as crucial for our mental health as spending time in nature or practising meditation. 

So if it’s been a while, call your friends, spend time with them and enjoy their presence. 

And remember that you are seen, appreciated and loved… even if you might forget sometimes. 

The Challenge All Mothers Know: Breastfeeding

About two months ago, we welcomed a healthy baby girl into this world (she is the main reason I’ve been quiet here for a while). 

It had been a very much wanted, anticipated and planned pregnancy. Being a second-time mum, I prepared myself mentally and let go of any expectations surrounding the birth. 

I just wanted her here safely. 

However, one thing I was determined to do differently was breastfeeding. Given my experience with my eldest (a story for another day), this time around, I enlisted help. 

But WOW, I did not expect breastfeeding to be what it was. 

Those first two weeks were brutal. Not because she was feeding around the clock, but because it was so excruciatingly painful. 

I had to do focused breathing exercises EVERY single time to overcome the first couple of minutes.

In addition, we had to supplement initially, make a plan to increase milk supply and then just as things were getting better… boom – mastitis 😱. 

Throughout this time, I kept hearing similar tales from my friends, all ending with but “we got there in the end.” 

At the time, I thought maybe breastfeeding is NOT wonderful after all, how could anyone do this for six months, let alone two years.

But I also thought maybe it’s a lie, perhaps I won’t get there in the end, and all this effort has been for nothing. 

And even though I wanted to quit, I reminded myself of the reasons for my decision, I kept at it, adapting and trusting that things would get better. 

Then one day, “we got there.” 

She latched on quickly, there was no pain, and she was gaining weight healthily. It certainly wasn’t the end, but we got there. 

The same thing happens in many aspects of our lives. So many of us quit before “we get there”. Perhaps because it’s:

  • boring
  • hard 
  • taking too long
  • overwhelming 
  • tiring 

I tried meditation several times many years before and quit before I got “there” – to that sense of peace and relaxation that I had read about. 

Until one time, I decided to keep at it, learn, adapt, and trust that it would all be okay. And I stuck with it long enough to “get there in the end”. 

Perhaps you are in the middle of the grind now, wondering whether it will work out… remember that it will. If you adapt, keep at it and trust, you WILL get there in the end. 

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