Nurse. Mummy. Wife. Life.

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Quality Not Quantity.

It is not how many friends you have. It is about having those few friends in your life that you can truly connect with and be your true self with.

I have recently been thinking a lot about the friends I have in my life, and how things have changed since having children. Having children changes your availability and priorities. Suddenly those delicious cocktail girls nights aren’t so important. Instead it is trying to figure out what is going to get your baby to sleep that matters.

It is very easy to drop off the radar when it comes to your social life after having a baby, and turning down invites. I always said before my son came along that having a baby wouldn’t change me, and he will just have to come along for the ride. I was in for a big shock, and it took some time to realise that if you want a happy baby, then you have to surrender to them running the show for a while. They are not babies forever, but they need you, and no mother can be in two places at once.

So thinking about friends, there is a shift and change when a baby comes along. I remember before having babies, having no interest in hanging out all the time with friends with babies. I wanted to be out partying and tanning on the beach. I wanted to go shopping, and go out for dinners. I had no interest in listening to someone talk about potty training, or breastfeeding, etc. And now after having a baby those are now the things I want to talk about and analyse. I am not saying I have dumped all my non-baby friends, but I have found myself naturally gravitating towards friends who do have children. People I can be brutally honest with and they get it straight away, and hopefully have some tips to help.

I have some wonderful friends around me, and not all have children. I am grateful for all their love and support. I guess since having a baby, my time is precious. “Me time” is limited, but as the kids get older it will increase. And hopefully through it all my friends will still be there on the other side.

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Motherly Instincts

One subject I am learning about in my course is primary-carer infant attachment. This is about the relationship between the primary-carer (most commonly the mother) and the infant in the first year of the child’s life.

The more I learn about it, the more amazed I am at the complexity of this relationship. There is so much fantastic and current research on the subject, because what has been discovered is how important this relationship is to the child, and basically sets the foundation for all future relationships in the child’s life.

All this learning has made me reflect on my own relationship with my son, and has made me much more aware of the real impact my actions directly have on him. Motherhood, what I am starting to realise isn’t easy, and for a lot it doesn’t come naturally. It is a skill you acquire, and build on day by day, and there is no one rule that works for everyone.

Some really important points I have learnt is that mothers are too hard on themselves, and don’t trust their own instincts. There is so much information out there- books, tv shows, websites, family and friends. It can be so overwhelming, and hard to know what is best for you. From my experience, and from what I have learnt, a baby only needs a few things to form a strong attachment to you. A baby needs love, patience, consistency, nutrition, good hygiene, and a primary carer who is sensitive, and quick to respond when a baby needs you.

You would think this goes without saying, but it is a struggle for some mothers, and to be honest it takes time to really get to know your baby, and be able to read the cues. I can honestly say it took about 2 months for me to get into a rhythm and really start understanding my baby.

I am no expert, but from what I have experienced and learning is that the primary-carer infant attachment is a bond like no other, and a very special one. It should be encouraged, and embraced, and primary-carers should be supported to from this strong bond. So rather than judge or criticise, try and give reassurance and positive feedback to the mothers and primary carers in your life.