Navigating Parenthood: My Journey So Far

Firstly, I just wanted to start by saying if you’re reading this because you’re considering buying an iCandy pram - go for it, you won’t regret it. As a first-time mum, I found knowing what pram to choose slightly bamboozling, so I decided to leave it to the professionals. When trialling several prams in John Lewis I asked the shop assistant if, given the choice, what would she choose. She quickly responded the iCandy Peach 7 and described it as the “Range Rover” of prams, so that was my decision made. It has certainly lived up to her recommendation, baby Binky is four months old now and we use it every day, it’s sturdy, compact, and comfy (disclaimer I haven’t sat in it admittedly, but I’m assuming from Binky’s nice long naps in it). 


Now, I should probably introduce myself - hey! My name is Dani, as mentioned I’m a new first-time mum just winging it. I have my own business, a salon specialising in hair extensions. From the age of nineteen, when I opened the salon, it has been my sole focus, I have always been very ambitious and motivated. Work was my life until Binky came along, and now she is my whole world.  


Whilst pregnant I was always adamant that two or three months maternity leave would be ample, not having had a baby before, I thought how could I possibly be off longer? What would I do all day? I was sure I'd take Binky with me to the salon for a few hours a day, get admin done, catch up with the staff and maybe do a client or two. Obviously after having her, I quickly realised this was NOT going to happen and my days are most certainly full-on from start to finish. In fact, she is now four months old and the thought of going back to work still seems extremely daunting, but the worry of having abandoned my business has also been creeping in. This internal battle, I can’t lie, is quite a struggle.  


This is not meaning to be negative at all, just realistic, and I wanted to write the post in case any other parents have felt or are feeling the same. Although the thought of going back does seem like a big deal, I've decided it doesn't have to be a drastic big leap back to work. To ease myself back in I've decided to make some small changes to get myself prepped.  


Okay first things first, and it’s a simple one: 


Morning alarm 


I set an alarm for the same time every day.  


Since having Binky I feel like I haven’t really had a sleep pattern of my own, I tend to just sleep when she sleeps. However, the last couple of weeks I decided to set an alarm for the same time every morning and get up before Binky does, have a coffee and post on my business Instagram. I feel like this structure has really helped me feel a little more in the real world and snapped me out of maternity leave bubble (but in a good way). The only way I can describe how I’ve felt until now, is you know that strange time between Christmas and New Year when you’re almost wandering around the house aimlessly in your pjs – like this but every day!  


Reconnecting with the outside world 


Communicating with friends, family and clients via our business Instagram account.  


I think like many new mums, I really haven’t felt glamorous or put together enough to be popping my face on since having the baby. And with my business being a hair salon, I didn’t think it would be suitable when my hair hasn’t been washed all week and it’s in a mum bun! So, I decided, on hair wash day each week, to film some sort of content or stories and post them which really helped our engagement. 


I also messaged clients to check in, started to like and comment on their posts and interact with people again like I used too. This has great benefits for the business but also made me feel a little more connected again. If you are employed and on maternity leave and don’t have social media, a good idea might be to speak to your employer to set a day labelled as a “keeping in touch” day. Whereby you could reach out to customers/colleagues via email. Initially, it doesn’t have to be a full day or even a full hour at that, as I know having spare time with a little one is minimal. Perhaps start with a couple of emails (you could even copy and paste). 


Me time 


Finally, and this one I found the hardest, was taking time away from the baby to get me used to not being with her 24/7. Again, nothing drastic, but a couple of hours here and there. If you are able to arrange childcare or ask your partner to have the baby even just for an hour while you go for a walk - I found this really helpful! Each week, on a Monday and Friday my mum has been coming over for a couple of hours in the morning to watch the baby, whilst I pop out and just run errands or go to an appointment. At first, I struggled and worried a lot, which made the thought of going back to work even more daunting. However, after a few weeks, I got more used to it and went out for a little longer each time. I realised she probably isn’t thinking about missing me as much as I was about her, she continued to eat, sleep and poop as normal. By just releasing she is fine without me, has really given me the boost in confidence to go back to work.  


Now I know everyone’s circumstances and feelings towards going back to work are different, but I just wanted to share my experience in case it helps even one person who may be feeling similar. 


Wishing you the best of luck on your journey ahead! 

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