The 5 Most Important Things I’ve Learned Since Giving Birth

It’s been almost 3 months since we welcomed our little angel into the world, and what a magical few weeks it’s been. Having a baby is such a whirlwind of emotions and experiences – in less than a year you go from just looking after yourself, to seeing your body completely transform, to bringing an entirely new person into existence before your very eyes! It’s by far the most beautiful experience I’ve gone through to date. Honor has taught me so much already in her 3 months of life, so today I’m sharing with you the 5 most important things I’ve learned since giving birth (though I know so many more lessons are to come!).

The female body is amazing!
I have a whole new respect and reverence for the female body, including my own. It grows and stretches to house a whole person, not to mention the process of giving birth itself, and its ability to create the nourishment your baby needs to survive and grow strong. Even following Honor’s birth, I’m still so in awe that my body is slowly settling back into what it was before pregnancy. While we can feel so much pressure to lose weight quickly or “snap back” to our old selves, I’ve been trying to be loving and patient towards my body – it will get there when it gets there, and I’m so grateful for what it did. PS. A lot of you have been asking about my post-natal diet and exercise regime. I’m breast-feeding, which means I’m HUNGRY! So I’m eating a lot of warm, hearty meals, but trying as much as possible to be healthy. I’m ramping up my exercise again finally, to include spinning, circuit training and barre class – and I’m creating a vlog for my Youtube channel with all the food and exercise details in it, in case you’re interested or want to follow along.

You can handle a lot more than you think you can.
Before the baby arrived, I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to handle the lack of sleep. People terrify you about it. Add balancing a career and a relationship on top of that, and it seemed damn near impossible. But I think 9 months of pregnancy really does prepare you to be tough. I wasn’t sleeping well towards the end (anyone else pee ten times a night?!) and I had done a lot of reading for tips on maximizing your time (and sleep) as a new mum.

You realize quickly after you give birth that you can handle more than you ever imagined possible, including very little sleep, and all the other responsibilities life demands of you. Multi-tasking goes to a whole new level and this little person seems to uncover all the strength and willpower you never knew you had! But the difference between say, being exhausted for work and being exhausted as a parent, is that the minute they smile or coo, you forget about how you feel. Genuinely, the joy and pride of having this tiny helpless person look into your eyes is the greatest, most tremendous joy I’ve ever felt, times a thousand.

But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
I’ve also realized that just because mums are superheroes, doesn’t mean that we should do absolutely everything. That’s a surefire way to burning yourself out, quickly. If working out, cleaning, cooking or social engagements just seem like too much at the beginning, give yourself a break and ample time to settle into this new life. I mentioned this on my post about how to get sleep with a newborn, but it’s ok to sacrifice that load of laundry or dishes if you just need a moment to yourself when your baby is napping. I got very good at delegating, and asking friends or family to do specific things: not just making tea but going to the supermarket with a list, making the bed, or watching Honor for an hour or two (not just ten minutes!) while I took a bath or got a proper nap. Ask for help and be kind to yourself!

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies.
This is something that I’ve rarely heard other mums talk about on social media, but I know it’s true for all of us. Being a mum is hard, and sometimes it feels too hard. Sometimes you cry out of sheer exhaustion and feel like you’re never going to get your life together. Sometimes you just want a minute to yourself or with your partner, and there are days where even that one minute doesn’t come. Even though your sweet little babe is completely worth all the struggle, it’s not all cuddles and playtime. I remember Honor’s 6 week growth spurt was full-on. She wanted to feed every hour or two (that’s 24/7 for about 5 days), and wouldn’t stop crying. Nothing would calm her down. I had read about this happening and when I asked friends, they all had varying experiences. One said she just took off her bra, sat of the sofa ready to feed all day and had her hubby bring her food. Another said they had barely noticed the growth spurt. But the point is, I was reaching my breaking point and decided to reach out for advice and stories. You guys gave me the best tips online too (downloading the app Wonder Weeks was a life-saver!) and I think more women should feel free to talk about these struggles, without feeling guilt that they’re panicking or worrying they’re not doing things right – we’re human after all, and motherhood is far from perfect.

You fall in love with your partner in a whole new way.
This is something people told me when I was pregnant, and I can say now is completely true. Becoming first time parents transforms your relationship in such a powerful, beautiful way. You go from the fun, flirty, spontaneous days… to falling in love and creating a life together as a couple, to bringing this special person into the world together that you both fall head over heels for. It’s such a journey that only the two of you are on together. Mackenzie comes off as all jokes, but he’s completely mad about Honor, and the most dedicated, loving, protective father. He calls us ‘his girls’ and is so hands-on. Watching him become a father has made me love him even more than I did before.

Parents out there, tell me what having a child has taught you, below in the comments!

Shop the Look:


 
Louise Roe motherhood lessons wearing veronica beard blazer frame jeans anine bing boots and lack of colour hat
Louise Roe motherhood lessons wearing veronica beard blazer frame jeans anine bing boots and lack of colour hat
Louise Roe motherhood lessons wearing veronica beard blazer frame jeans anine bing boots and lack of colour hat
Louise Roe motherhood lessons wearing veronica beard blazer frame jeans anine bing boots and lack of colour hat
Louise Roe motherhood lessons wearing veronica beard blazer frame jeans anine bing boots and lack of colour hat
Louise Roe motherhood lessons wearing veronica beard blazer frame jeans anine bing boots and lack of colour hat
Louise Roe motherhood lessons wearing veronica beard blazer frame jeans anine bing boots and lack of colour hat
Louise Roe motherhood lessons wearing veronica beard blazer frame jeans anine bing boots and lack of colour hat

What I’m Wearing: Blazer by Veronica Beard, Sweater by St. John (similar here), Jeans by Frame(similar here), Boots by Anine Bing, Hat by Lack of Color, Similar hoops here

xx,

Louise Loves

8 responses to “The 5 Most Important Things I’ve Learned Since Giving Birth”

  1. Pernilla says:

    Love this, Louise!! So amazingly written & very important points. For me, this whole no-sleep thing that parents talk about very much happened. Our daughter had many health issues, including open-heart surgery. We spent weeks in the ICU and barely slept. At home, she needed to be nursed every 90 min for weeks straight so she could gain weight. STILL, it’s been possible for us to function. I’m sure people on the outside look at us as huge messes, but I feel we have done okay. We are alive and our daughter is doing great 💖 Our bodies are amazing & very much capable of handling more than I could have ever imagined.

  2. Kelly says:

    So true, it’s lovely to see you go through this journey. Wishing you both all the happiness in they years to come ❤️.

  3. Lara says:

    The value of Time, i used to have so much time, I don’t know what I was doing with it. Fear, never is it more scary than when something is wrong with your child. Love, on a whole new level, and it transforms, I love my teenager differently than my baby (both drive me mad though). That girls and boys are so similar and so different at the same time.

  4. Cheryl says:

    Love this! It brought tears to my eyes. The phrase “labor of love “ never had so much meaning , eh!
    Love your honesty. I remember looking back in giving birth and thinking, if I can get through that I can get through anything. I also had some nights where I was feeding in the middle of the night and felt so sick or in so much pain, I cried myself and the baby back to sleep. Now,I have 4 adults. Now, I get real unconditional love and the love of God. Mackenzie keep up the humor!!! It’s very important to be able to lighten life up! I always had the tendency to take it too seriously. Lots of laughter is healthy!

  5. Janelle says:

    Louise, You make every single look seem so effortless and chic.

  6. Jaimie says:

    ….has redefined the meaning of the terms, cheerleader & warrior, as well as the importance & value of every•single•one of my wedding vows. Most importantly, my faith✨and prayerfulness & gratefulness have been and continue to be so much more profound — enlightening, comforting & enriching.

  7. Lynn says:

    I loved reading this, I just welcomed my first baby in to the world on Sunday and the last 6 days have been a total whirlwind. There’s been tears, uncertainty, self doubt about whether I’m breast feeding correctly…. the list goes on and its reassuring to know that literally every other mum goes through the exact same thing x

  8. Sumbul Amir says:

    classy look.
    Lovely journey. 💖

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I want to dedicate this post to one of my dearest friends, who became a Mummy to premature surrogate twins this year, only to tragically lose them a few hours later, as she held them in her arms. My friend had been through years of trying for a baby through IVF, and finally - after years of hope and patience - we all felt her and her husband’s dream of becoming parents was about to come true.
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