Lorna Hayward on Motherhood...honestly
Since the dawn of antenatal groups, motherhood, the early years in particular, has lent itself to an element of competition, saving face, and an all round lack of honesty. While there is no doubt that social media has fuelled this game of parental oneupmanship, it has also paved the way for a new approach - one where mothers can share openly and spark honest conversations about what we are all going through - the good and the bad. As part of our honest motherhood week, we spoke to a some 'insta mums' that we really respect, asking them to give us some insight in to what life with kiddos is like for them.
Lorna Hayward - mum blogger at The Mumblings, and the brains behind Pizzup, a mums night out that is genuinely fun and inclusive - had her 3rd baby last year, and here shares just how she is making it work...honestly.
I live in Wandsworth, South West London with my husband Jamie (our PIZZUP resident DJ) and our three (still can’t believe I am saying that) children. Elsie 5, Marnie 3 and Reggie 4 and a half months.
My 3rd baby, Reggie was born on the 8th November via a wonderfully healing, calm, and planned caesarean, and it is so different 3rd time around. From having two weeks in bed once I was home from hospital to just juggling two other children – alongside a newborn. I’ve taken it slower, I’ve cared less, I’ve cried more. I’ve used the word ‘lean’ a lot. Lean into the tears. Lean into the emotion, lead into the tiredness. It’ll pass.
This time I think I’ve been kinder to myself. Hindsight is a wonderful thing right? And with hindsight, and experience (and it really has taken me three children to do this) I’ve been able to learn from the past and where I’ve allowed myself to get overwhelmed and consumed with the post partum process. That’s not to say I’ve not been upset, or felt down or worried. Course I have. I’ve googled with the best of them, and I’ve felt isolated but I’ve spoken about it so much more. Instagram has given me such a brilliant platform to be able to share my current situation and with that, I’ve been able to experience my newborn haze alongside a load of wonderful strangers which is pretty mega.
With two older kids it’s hard to find balance and something I struggle with the most is FOMO. More so in the early days – feeling sore and unable to get up and around quickly, whilst trying to really take the time to heal myself and my body (I had a huge infection after Marnie and I was determined not to go there again). But the best and most simple way is to divide and conquer, and realise that it doesn’t have to be a whole day together. Just an hour with my biggest baby, Elsie, having a cup cake and an apple juice, or taking Marnie with me on the food shop. They don’t have a measure of time, they just like to know that they are having a bit of you, that another one isn’t. A lot of organisation has to happen too. I prep a lot from school uniforms to breakfast bowls being out in the morning – small things but they do make a difference.
I love motherhood, but I find work is important to help me maintain my own sense of identity. I started freelancing again when Reggie was 12 weeks. It’s not something I would have even comprehended after Elsie or Marnie, but now – with my life as it is and being around for the kids – it really works for me. I have a hugely flexible and supportive client who, whilst my contract lasts (and these things don’t last forever so I a trying to make it work whilst I can) allows me to work flexibly from home. And I enjoy it – I like being able to be with Reggie at home but without the guilt that I would have felt before about not doing enough, or occupying my already very busy mind. It keeps me grounded and I bring in money that I can feel proud to be able to use for holidays, and enjoying our time as a family (oh and planning a baby free weekend away with my girls at the end of year!) I think that and arranging my next PIZZUP provides me with a great opportunity to do ‘me’ – PIZZUP was born from a selfish need to still go out out and have time to myself, and that is why I still do it. I still get a huge buzz, a brilliant night out and can provide a night off for excellent women who deserve a little opportunity to feel like their old selves.
What do I wish I had known first time around? That good things come to those who wait. You will find the mum mates that you so need and crave, but they might take a little longer to unearth. You will manage juggling all the children but it might take each time to learn and develop and find your own little routine of how it works.
So if you are a new or first time mum, or a mum to be for the 1st or 5th time, just remember to give yourself time. And talk. When I had Elsie there really wasn’t such a huge conversation around motherhood and the more ‘real’ side to things, but now you can seek support from those around you and via social media to really understand that time provides a huge healing element to motherhood. And trust yourself, your instincts. Not google.
We LOVE following Lorna's family life via insta, and would really like to thank her for sharing her thoughts on motherhood. Here's hoping she has a happy Mother's Day with her little tribe!!