For those of you who know me, you most likely also know my sister Heather. She is a bubbly, enthusiastic, energetic, sociable woman who loves other people and has a big heart. Heather is a beautiful first-time mum to Lucas (my gorgeous and cheeky nephew!). He is now 15 months old – his birthday is exactly 1 year and 1 day before Starfish’s!
Heather has been one of the biggest encouragers for me on my journey through motherhood so far. She has lived this crazy roller coaster, not so long ago, and has been blossoming on the other side of this hectic first few months (and year!). She made me my very own little mother’s day gift package (when I was pregnant – I just missed out on Mother’s Day this year!), sends encouraging messages and emails, and visited us lots on the first few weeks with pre-cooked meals and gifts for Starfish. We always chat about our boys and life, and I’m so glad I have her as a constant support in my journey.
So here’s Heather, telling us her story – I hope you find it as encouraging as I have 🙂
I have recently become a graduate primary school teacher, after five years of study. I currently work as the children’s minister at the church I attend, helping to coordinate and plan programs for children in the community. I also have a passion for art and design holding diplomas in Digital Media and Interior Decoration through studies at TAFE at the Design Centre Enmore, Sydney. I believe I am an enthusiastic and sociable person, and hope that people see me as encouraging to everyone around me, and always happy.
Tell us about your family.
I am a mother to a 15 month old son, Lucas, who loves to look through books, discovering nature and playing outdoors, passionate about the Wiggles (learning to sing and dance to their songs) and loves food. I am a wife to an incredible, selfless guy. I am very fortunate to have a partner who loves his family and works hard to ensure we are all happy and looked after.
Can you describe for us your motherhood journey so far?
For me, it was not an easy start. We were very excited to welcome Lucas into our little family. My husband fell in love with him instantly, and I did too – however I quickly felt the struggle with becoming a mum. The dependency he needed of me, from becoming a workaholic to stopping study and work completely to be with him. My husband went to work after three weeks paternal leave. When he had to go to work I felt a slight emptiness and shame that I should be loving my son a whole lot more. It was difficult to keep composed when everyone asked how I was going. Life continued to go on outside the walls of our home and with all the suggestions from nurses and doctors to keep Lucas at home, or minimal exposure, until his first vaccinations I felt very lonely. It was not because people did not care to come visit or help us, in fact we were showered in great love and care that we could not express more sincere gratitude for, though as most parents would understand people continue to work and live life weekdays and those are the days that can be the toughest. When we were able to feel more confident in going out I took him to my church, social gatherings and work times, and felt the satisfaction of seeing friends again.
However, all these harboured feelings and emotions were not helped with a lack of decent sleep. Lucas would sleep okay for the first few weeks but as months passed he only would sleep for about 40 minutes each turn during the day. Some nights he would sleep through but it would be guarenteed after three to four hour sleeps he would sleep.
What has been the best part of motherhood, and the most challenging?
If you could give one piece of advice for new mums, what would it be?