For me, the transformation to become ‘mum’ was not an easy one….
The week before bubs came along- I was prepping the nursery with vigour, finalising all household admin and filling the fridge with healthy meal options – doing everything to prepare for having all the time on my hands, once we brought our baby home.
Everything was fine at the hospital until the day was nearing that we could go home…. An overwhelming sense of dread came over me, every time I faced the thought of being alone with my newborn.
The nurses assured me, we would be ok, we could handle it. My husband was positive that we could handle the situation. I just wasn’t so positive…
The first few weeks were a blur as all new parents say…. A few tears, a few laughs, a few calls to the Health Direct line from an over-anxious mother and many puzzled moments staring at this little human, thinking “now what do we do?”
Fast forward a couple of months later, and I had slipped into what I thought was a good mat leave routine…. Mother’s group, Baby Sensory Classes, coffee visits with my new mummy friends…. I structured my days so everyday had an ‘event’.
But as time went on, with never ending nights and busy ‘event filled’ days – I started to get tired. Tired of getting meals on the table, tired of night feeds, tired of washing a never ending pile of clothes, tired of watching the world race by whilst I struggled with the simplest tasks with a baby attached to me.
Instead of asking for help - I did what a lot of new mums do…I started to become resentful. Resentful to my husband for being able to leave each morning and tick off a ‘to do’ list happily at work, resentful to my friends for being able to head out for dinner whilst I’m at home trying to put a sleep routine in place, and worst of all – becoming resentful that I was losing my sense of "me".
So one Tuesday around 5pm, me being Mrs Resentful was storming around my local supermarket, annoyed at absolutely everyone dressed in black heels, nice work blouses and with brushed hair. I was so annoyed that I didn’t even notice the circulation in my arm being cut off with a heavy shopping basket hanging off my arm whilst pushing a heavy pram. It was at that moment, a middle aged woman walked up to me, gently took my basket off my arm, put it in her trolley and said she would help me with my groceries. I still remember her words, “I know how you feel…. I was a new mum once too and the simplest tasks seem insurmountable…. it does take a village to raise a child…”
And with that, my world made sense. Why did I think I could do it on my own? Why did I think I had to keep myself busy and seem like I was ‘balancing’ everything and I was happy doing it? Why couldn’t I ask for help? Why couldn’t I ask for an hour to myself after 4 months, to have a haircut without feeling guilty? Why couldn’t I get a massage to heal an aching back, from all night feeds without worrying about accidently missing a feed? Why couldn’t I ask for a break?
The next morning, Love a Break was born. This concept is for all of us to become that ‘village’. We can all ‘gift a break’ to someone that needs it, whether it be a new parent or an established family juggling too much, or anyone that just needs to ‘take 5’.
We all know someone that could do with a break and we wanted to make it easy for everyone to be able to help, without the restrictions of time or distance.
We hope your loved ones enjoy a peaceful moment with a Love a Break experience and for them to know that their ‘village’ is right behind them.
It certainly helped me when I understood I wasn’t alone….
Kim, Founder of Love a Break