The Afterbirth

The trouble is, traumatic memories have a habit of jumping up and biting us on the bum just when we’re least expecting them. Even when any physical damage has healed, the psychological wounds remain as raw as ever. They could be as obvious as nightmares, or as subtle as a feeling of guilt when you look at your child. They could reappear as feeling sick when you catch a certain smell, or bursting into floods of tears at hearing about someone else’s birth.  But, because they are so raw and mixed up, it can feel easier to push them away again and try and forget about them.

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Who Made you the Expert a time when ‘just’ being a Mum isn’t enough, following a parenting manual gives us something else to focus on, a marker of success. And, dare I say it, a way to justify our choices because, in our unbaby-friendly world, it can feel too difficult to own what we’re doing. So, instead of just being the Mum we want to be, we back up our choices with the words of others who have a bit of research to back them up.

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There’s washing to be done

And still you feed on

There’s dinner to be made

But you want to be swayed

There’s telly to see

You won’t let go of me

There are sisters to call

You curl up in a ball

There are parents to Skype

You grouch and you gripe

There are husbands to see

You crawl back to me

There are books to write

Are you asleep? Not quite

There are problems to solve

Round the bed you revolve

There are worlds to change

(I’m becoming deranged)

Oh- at last there’s a snore!

I’ll stay one moment more

Walking Womb

Emulating life in the womb for this frazzled, overwhelmed and overstimulated creature is one of the kindest things you can do for your newborn. For him or her, the only thing that has remained the same in the journey from the womb is you.

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The Bubble

Entering into motherhood can feel a lot like being ripped in two – between the individual that you once were and the mother you are growing into.  You might feel completely obsessed with your new baby, but unable to talk about it because it feels so unusual. Or you might be panic stricken at the enormous sense of responsibility you now hold. From having been a well functioning member of society, suddenly your universe revolves around a miniscule bundle, the sofa and bed.

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Unleashing the Lionness

What do you need to bring that nice cool cave to life? What you need may be totally different from the relaxation kits you can buy for a tenner – Led Zeppelin full volume is another woman’s aromatherapy candle. Think about how you usually handle stressful situations. Do you need to retreat off and be alone or do you want support? Do you get flustered and jittery or angry and irritable? Think about what you have done in the past which helped you deal with difficulty – but also what you have done which made things harder for you.

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