image #Beingamother project issue 35: What motherhood means to…Handbags and Snotrags


Welcome to the 35th issue of the #beingamother project. This week sees Emma from Handbags & Snot Rags with her take on motherhood. I feel like she is speaking the thoughts of so many new mums out there – who are never really prepared for the incredibly daunting life and identity shift that parenthood is. We have all these hopes and aspirations, but somehow, it ends up being totally different to what we had envisioned. But in the end we all make peace with that. So enough of my dilly dally…let’s hand over to Emma with her motherhood story…


I can’t remember much about my life pre-kids, it feels like a vivid hazy dream. I can however remember almost every detail about my pregnancy and how my outlook on life completely changed over night! When I was growing up I had always imagined I would fall in love, get married go on an amazing honeymoon, make myself the perfect home, have a great career then have children. Yes, I had very high expectations!

I was fairly young when I found out I was with child”. Not stupid young, just younger than I wanted to be! (22). Although I was (and still am) with the man of my dreams, it happened in the wrong order!!

Anyway, I have always been a strong person and although I was absolutely petrified and my clubbing days flashed before my eyes like my youth was about to be thrown in the trash along with the stick I just peed on, I had to face it head on.

The 9 months were a whirlwind of emotions, fear, worry, excitement, love, fear, worry! I didn’t know how “to feel” how could I have known? I had never been a mum before! How are you“supposed to feel”?

Towards the end of my pregnancy I had established (from Google) that when you become a mum the love is instant! You instantly know what you are doing and you get the “motherly instinct” which gives you this mad rush of protection, love and the ability to feed, hold and change your baby like you have been doing it your whole life!

So D Day arrived, baby popped out and she wasn’t as teeny weeny and cute and amazing as I thought she would be. She was covered in gunk, she had split me in two and she weighed 8lbs!

Don’t get me wrong, after I had stopped shaking and being sick and Little M was in a cute little baby grow and all clean, I thought she was pretty cute but I was still scared and I still didn’t know what to do!

I knew one thing, I wanted to take her home as I didn’t want people to know I was a bad mum because I didn’t know when to feed her and how to get her dressed without upsetting her and my motherly instinct didn’t seem to have kicked in. I wanted my mum!

Paternity leave ended quicker than I could change a diaper, visitors stopped visiting and I realised I was on my own! I walked to toddler group one morning, a group of mums who I actually thought were my friends, walked straight past me and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go in on my own. I shut myself in my home and cried.  I was overwhelmed with a feeling of loneliness for months. This was an odd feeling for me, I had my mum and my sisters who I am actually quite close to. I had my boyfriend and a very helpful mother-in-law but I was lonely!

I had temporarily left my professional, fast paced career as a legal secretary for maternity leave, my reason for being up at 6am in the morning was not to beat the traffic to work but to be with my baby and my friends had disappeared off the face of the earth! At the weekends when I would have been out having fun like other 22 year olds, the other half was still going out as he wished and my ex? friends were having a ball, why had nobody asked me? I was sat at home with a baby, isolated in a small village with no close friends and family around and painfully lonely.

Why was I so emotional and why did I feel so lost?  I had just given birth to the most beautiful little doll I had ever seen in my life. I had her, I didn’t need anybody else. There is a lot of pressure on you as a first time mum, you feel like you have to prove to a midwife and health visitor and everyone else that sees you, that you are good enough to be a mum and your baby loves you and the house needs to be spotless. Because if the house isn’t spotless, that means you are not coping, right?

Your partner is still going to work so you feel obligated to make their nights, mornings and evenings as stress free and painless as possible and you feel the pressure to make sure you are still the best girlfriend. Because, if he has enough of my whining and flabby belly and decides to leave, who will want me now!!

Although I was having massive arguments with myself in my head and probably not until a year later, I had come to realise that I didn’t like my old life anyway. This was the start of a new adventure, me, Luke and little M. It was the beginning of me, I had found something I was actually really good at. I am good at being a mum, I can be a mum and I can still work and be a girlfriend and keep my house tidy. When I finally got the balance right I never looked back.

Read more from Emma on the blog Handbags & Snot Rags here and connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus.  

Why not take a nosy at some of the past editions of the #beingamother project featuring lots of great bloggers here?

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