I first discovered Rachel via some amazing photos she'd taken. Once I started following her on Instagram I adored her colourful, happy squares, her honesty and her humour. It's been brilliant getting to know her and I was so pleased when she said she'd be happy to share her feelings about the monumental change that is becoming a mum. Follow her on Instagram here and check out her fabulous photography here.
The feeling of extreme tiredness, being utterly overwhelmed and not really having a clue what I was doing with this teenie tiny human, who arrived in November 2016, was fairly expected.
Naively, I didn’t expect the huge dent in my confidence following my pregnancy, birth and fourth trimester. Losing sight of who I was as a person and a significant loss in confidence came as a massive shock, and I really found it tough. This tremendously effected my wellbeing and was something that I think is important for new mothers to be aware of.
I’ve always been outgoing and fairly self-assured, but after having Jenson my confidence vanished. Puff. Gone. I really felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore and was having a serious identity crisis. Was I a mum? A woman? A wife? A friend? How was a possibly going to be all things to all people as well as provide for the new tiny human?
It felt like forever since I’d put some glad rags on that I felt good in, that empowered me and infused confidence back into my soul.
Fashion and clothes have always been important to me. Don’t get me wrong - I’m no style icon - but I’ve always felt like dressing up is a massive part of who I am. Following my birth via emergency c- section I felt at a loss as to what to wear and how to look. What do mums wear? Twin set and pearls? Breastfeeding Bretons? PJs?
I found a massive amount of inspiration and empowerment from social media, and in particular Instagram. Being able to follow inspirational woman such as @dresslikeamum, @motherofdaughters and @stylemesunday (usually whilst tiny human was attached to the boobie at 4am) was so uplifting! Seeing that as a new mother you can be every bit as ‘cool’ (ha!) as you were pre- tiny human was a breath of fresh air.
It was getting back to wearing clothes I love and my bright lipsticks that really made me feel so much better. Yes, I may only going to a baby sensory class, but why can’t I wear my swishy silver shimmery skirt? I hugely appreciate this may seem vain and trivial when many woman experience severe physical and mentally distress postnatally, but this is a little thing that made a big difference to me.
In essence, remember who you were pre-baby and try and find a way to incorporate that back into your day to day life. For me it was clothes and red lipstick, for others it maybe yoga, singing or drawing!
You’re even more incredible then you were before giving birth, you grew a tiny human and delivered it safely into the world. That gives you superhero status! Right?