We met up with mummy blogger, Dawn, to hear about her experiences as a first time mum, for the ‘My Biggest Challenge was…’ movement.
My biggest challenge after giving birth to Laurent was not having time and space for myself. Laurent is my first child so before he came along, my husband and I were able to enjoy a lot of time to ourselves as a couple and as individuals. To me, the change from being carefree and having full control of my time to spending all my time and energy caring for Laurent and having to plan my schedule around him, was rather drastic.
I love my child and I enjoy motherhood for all the amazing experiences that comes with it but I am the kind of person that needs some time and space to myself every day to gather my thoughts and check in with my emotions. I’ve read up about Postnatal Depression and I think it is very real, so I definitely see the importance in checking in with our emotions and taking care of our mental health.
However, having time to myself was not easy especially when Laurent was young and when I was staying at home to care for him full time for the first 8 months. Sometimes I even feel guilty for thinking that I want to time for myself as I believed I should place him as my priority. During the first 8 months, the routines that we established allowed us to spend our time better and helped me to regain some control of my schedule.
I am thankful to have a very supportive, understanding and hands-on husband. When he comes back home from work, he will take over some of the childcare duties, like bathing Laurent and putting him to bed, so I can have some time for to myself — to take a longer shower, have some quiet time or do some reading.
After Laurent enters infant care and as he grows older, he becomes more independent and can spend longer time entertaining himself without needing my full attention.
I am also very thankful for the support from my family members as they are always very happy to babysit Laurent when we need an evening or a weekend off from baby duties.
Besides family members, it is also good to gather a few mummy friends together and have a play date. The kids can entertain themselves, and us, mothers, can have a chat together.
I believe as moms, we should not feel guilty for wanting to take care of our own emotional needs first. Because when we are able to check in with our emotions regularly, we are better able to engage with our child in a positive manner and instil positivity in them.
It may not be easy to do so especially when you are caring for your child full time, but try to rope in some help from the people around you. They are usually more willing to help than you think. Establishing a routine can also help new parents have more control and certainty of their time and schedule.
Dawn Wang, 30, is a mummy blogger at http://daprayer.com where she writes on topics ranging from travel, to parenting and lifestyle. Follow her (@daprayer) and her 2-year-old son, Laurent (@laurentl.jr) on Instagram for cute ootd-s and a glimpse into their lives
Dawn also picked up hand-lettering as a hobby, and as a creative outlet, for her to express herself. Here are some of her creations!
The ‘My Biggest Challenge was…’ movement encourages mothers in Singapore to open up about their struggles after pregnancy and to leave words of encouragement for other mums out there. We want all mothers to know that they are not alone in this journey and many others faced similar challenges as well. To find out more about this movement, check out our Facebook album here: http://tinyurl.com/MyBiggestChallengeIs