Come on in, welcome, grab a coffee, pull up a chair…
So… you’re a new mum, or about to be any day now. How are you feeling? Excited? Fed up? Tired? Glowing? Tired? Sweaty? Thrilled? Tired? Did anyone mention tired…? Pull up a chair, put your feet up and settle in. We know why you’re here (is it the enormous breasts, or bags under the eyes that give it away?!), but you’re probably wondering about us!
In many cultures around the world, young women still learn about pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting from their grandmothers, mothers, aunties, and sisters. New mothers are cared for following the birth of their babies, taught how to mother their newborn, and supported through the trials and challenges of the early days. Unfortunately for many of us in New Zealand these communities no longer exist. But that’s not to say that you need to go through motherhood alone.
As sisters, we were lucky enough to live in the same suburb, go through our pregnancies together, and have our four children close in age. The support we gave each other has been irreplaceable. But we have also drawn on the experiences of our mum, our mothers-in-law, our friends from school, church, work, our antenatal groups, online chat rooms, and countless books, magazines and websites. You too can find or create your own community of women to support you and share their wisdom and knowledge. We hope that you will consider us a part of that community as we share with you the things that we have been through along the way, the things that made us laugh, that made us cry, and most of all the things that helped us enjoy being parents.
One of the things your community of support should do is to encourage and affirm you in your choices as a parent. Where there are clearly proven preferences for you and baby, good information and gentle guidance can be a huge help, but as with most things in life, parenting is a buffet of choices and what you select is almost entirely up to you. You may already be acquainted with motherhood’s close companion ‘mother guilt’. Since none of us are perfect, it’s inevitable that you’ll sometimes feel like you’re not the best parent you could be, but you should never be made to feel this way just because you choose differently from the next person in line. Unfortunately in our society, obsessed with producing perfect children and women who ‘have it all’, it can be pretty tough not to feel inadequate when everyone around you is telling you there is one right way (and you’re not doing it!). So, we’re here to solve the problem. Guess what? We don’t have the one right answer, the one right way to be a great parent. BUT we think you do! We’re here to give you the confidence and hope to recognise that, despite all the experts touting the latest theory on food, sleep, or discipline, you are the one who is doing the 24/7 shift, you are the one who knows your baby best, and as a result, you are the one best qualified to decide what the right answer is!
Didn’t anyone ever tell you that Mum always knows best?!