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  • Writer's pictureNiamh O'Reilly

The Secret To Motherhood? Just Wing It!

I often get asked what advice I’d give to a new mum.

There’s lots of things I could say. Lots of things I shouldn’t say. Lots of things I’d like to say, but won’t because I remember what it’s like to be a new mum.

Becoming a mum for the first time is like landing on an alien planet. You’re not one hundred percent sure how you got there, the journey was full of ups and downs, you probably got a little travel sick, the landing was messy and you’ve got the mother and father of all jet lags.

In short, it’s life changing. You no longer belong to yourself anymore, you belong to this incredible new little life that’s been thrust up onto your chest. This small piece of you that you created. There are no words for the emotions you’ll feel, and the thing is, no one can prepare you.

You can read all the cutesy pregnancy books before hand, you can go to all the ante natal classes, you can hear the gore stories from your friends, you can watch every episode of One Born Every Minute, but not one of those things is going to accurately prepare you for what it’s going to feel like to become a mum for the first time.

You have to live it.

So any advice I could pass on would probably be useless, because for starters I’m not an expert. I parent my the seat of my pants every single day. And let me fill you in on a little secret. NO ONE IS AN EXPERT. Nope not your mum (although they do have a fair bit of granny magic when it comes to newborns!), not your sister, best friends, neighbours, auntie Mary or that random lady you met in the supermarket who told you it’s not reflux it’s colic.

No one is the all-knowing, sagely font of wisdom when it comes to babies. We are all learning about this whole motherhood gig every single day. Even those mums you think are zen and have it all figured out, yes they too find themselves questioning their own sanity from time to time and have googled ‘green baby poo normal?’

And that’s the big takeaway here. No, not the poo.


None of us know what we are doing, we just sort of muddle our way through and some days you’ll get it right and feel like super woman, other days you’ll feel as though you’re the worlds worst parent and should be carted away. You’re not by the way, you’re actually pretty fucking amazing.

But that’s motherhood. It’s not the carefully curated montage of clean kiddos and smiling faces you’ll see on social media.

It’s messy, it’s loud, it’s unexpected, it’s scary at times but it’s by far the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. There’s tantrums and tears, tiredness and frustrations, but there’s also a million beautiful quiet moments and hidden within these seemingly mundane days is the life altering love of being a mum. One day you’ll catch yourself staring at your child playing, or running around or watching their cartoons and you’ll think Jesus, how did this incredible little person ever come from me?

So advice? I’ve got none. Other than to say you can do it, even on the days you feel you can’t, you really truly can.

Oh and zip up onesies are life.


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