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Confessions of a first time mum

Debby Harrington

A friend said something to me a couple of weeks into my new life as a mum that has been my go-to ever since.

“Anyone who says it’s easy is lying,” she told me.

That one sentence has made me feel better more times than I can count. It’s okay to say it’s hard. I don’t think there’s any shame in admitting that.

Almost three months ago life changed. It was turned on its head with the arrival of our son Levi. He came a week early but my husband and I felt we were as ready as we’d ever be.

I chose not to read the books or ask my mother friends for advice and felt I was prepared for sleepless nights, a crying baby and lots of dirty nappies. Closing in on 12 weeks, I now don’t think a first-time mum can be prepared for what’s to come.

The first month was probably the hardest time of my life.

I questioned whether I was capable of looking after a baby. I felt I had no idea what I was doing – I’d never done this before.

Why was he crying? He’d been changed and fed and winded and then changed again.

What could I do to get him to sleep? Was I doing this all wrong? Is there even a right way to do it?

Being exhausted was compounded by being so emotional. Tears randomly and sometimes uncontrollably flowed in the first few days. This is perfectly normal, known as the baby blues, but was another thing to contend with.

There were times when I wanted someone to take him out of my arms for five minutes so I could have some me time in the form of a shower or the chance to wash my face. Did that make me a terrible person? I felt so guilty about it.

There were days I didn’t shower or get out of my pyjamas until late afternoon (this still happens by the way). Putting on makeup was an achievement and it didn’t happen very often – still doesn’t. I barely left the house except to walk him to sleep when nothing else would work.

With all my thoughts and feelings and lack of sleep, I understand why some people choose to only have one child. It really is hard work and you doubt yourself more than ever.

The saving grace, the silver lining that makes me know this is all worth it and the greatest thing I’ve done is seeing the real smiles (not the ones when he’s doing a poo) and getting the cuddles. Seeing my husband interact with him warms my heart more than I thought anything ever could.

There are already plans for a second child – crazy as it sounds – but not for a while. It’s not like you forget the tough first few weeks but now I see light at the end of the tunnel – the second most important thing I was told by a friend.

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Debby Harrington

Debby is a journalist by trade who grew up in Perth before making her way to Canberra. As long as she can remember, her mother has always followed a beauty routine methodically, morning and night, which is where Debby developed her taste for the world of beauty. Debby loves trying new products and can’t live without lip balm, sunscreen and concealer. She also has her own blog featuring all things fashionable and beautiful so check out www.debbywithawhy.com.au. More about the Author

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