Our beliefs and what we tell ourselves can often be the difference between an experience being a good or a difficult one. Recently, “I’m doing my best” has become my new mantra and I need to remind myself of this at least once day. It has been a lifesaver belief since the little one arrived! I really had no choice but to switch from telling myself that “I have no idea what I’m doing” to “I’m doing my best” otherwise I wouldn’t have left the house!
The turning point for me was when baby was about 8 weeks old and I had my first day where I was finally feeling fit enough to start doing everything (or most things) on my own. I had woken up feeling determined and set myself a goal of getting out with the pram and the dogs and getting some fresh air. At the time it felt like a pretty big thing to achieve and I was determined to have a good few hours out and about. Yes it was cold, grey and windy but that’s standard weather for the time of year. I didn’t want to make an excuse to stay in so I set off feeling a bit anxious but positive.
As I got down to the promenade, which is split into two narrow lanes for pedestrians and bikes, it started to rain and the baby woke up and started to cry. I dug out the rain hood from the bottom of the pram basket (which contained the 10 million things you might possibly need!) and tried to calm the baby. At this point I realised that there was a small group of walkers heading along the pavement so I stepped aside onto the cycle side to let them pass. As the baby continued to cry (despite my efforts) and I wrestled with the rain hood in the wind and rain I realised that the dog lead was wound round the pram wheel …. things weren’t going well. Out of nowhere, a lady on a bike arrived and barked at me about being on the wrong side of the path. It would have been the likeliest time for me to cry (which seems to be a default setting post-baby!) instead I simply said to her that I understood I was on the wrong side but I was doing my very best …..
I untangled the dog lead, took a deep breath and set off again on the right side of the path, and realised that was the first time I had allowed myself a break, allowed myself to be ok with how I was doing and that my best was good enough. Believing this had made the difference between a disastrous first outing and a successful one.
Each day feels like a mixture of repetitive tasks mixed with mindbending challenges. All of these are new, and even with help from family and friends, new mums are mostly on their own trying to figure out the answers (normally by trial and error and luck … on very little sleep!) so it must go without saying …. we are doing our best!
Fyi – todays challenge is tackling the finger nails so his face doesn’t look like he’s been dragged through a bramble bush!