As it approaches my youngest daughter's birthday (International Women's Day. 8th March), I can't help but feel nostalgic. I remember back to when each of my children were newborns. I have to admit I love the newborn stage, but there is only so long that I can last on very limited and broken sleep on a daily basis. I struggled for the first 12 weeks with C when she was born. It was as if she was allergic to sleep, turns out she had silent reflux. K and E were fantastic for the first 12 weeks and then flipped it around. K only started sleeping through a month before E was born. E now sleeps through most nights but will still wake up on a regular basis.
Living away from the friends and family that I grew up with, I had to find a new tribe, although I still had my online tribe. When C was born, we lived in a city that I didn't know that well. I was lucky if I recognised my neighbours and maybe, we might say hello and smile. I attended loads of baby groups so that we would have an excuse to go out and talk to people. It can be so lonely as the mum of a newborn. When she was 4 months we moved house. I felt that I needed to try even harder to settle into our new community. After all, this was going to be our home for the foreseeable future. I had to throw myself again into meeting new people. Luckily, where we moved to was very family friendly and had loads of other mums in the same situation. I could use C to hide behind and use her as an excuse to talk to other people. It's really not easy to make new friends as an adult. And with that I got to meet some great people.
K was born when C was 16 months old. And like I said, I love the new born stage. I personally find it the easiest stage. Although you have to find your own groove. You are inundated with help, love and support. But then this begins to fade. This began to fizzle out as I needed the help the most. Although I didn't feel like I was able to ask for help. Luckily, a dear friend came round to visit and recognised that on this particular day I was really struggling with lack of sleep. I remember that I felt that I could barely function nevermind string a sentence together. She sent me to bed so I could rest. I never would have been able to ask someone to watch my 2 children under 18 months while I went for a nap! Those 60 minuets where glorious. I was a brand new person when I woke up. Afterthat, I never asked her or anyone else to watch my children so I could rest again.
When K was 22 months old, he became a big brother. I now had 3 years and 6 weeks between my girls. E was born on International Women's Day 2017. I really struggled to recover physically from this c-section. It took a lot longer than my previous sections. With that in mind, my parents stayed longer to help me out more. Alas the day came that they had to return to the Emerald Isle. But 3 children in, I was more confident in my own ability and with this confidence I knew when I needed help. I was able to ask my tribe for a helping hand and support. Each time, they were coming out in their droves willing to assist me.
I will be forever grateful to those ladies who I know will always have my back. They aren't necessarily all on my doorstep, or even in the same country. But they are always there for me. I would like to think that if ever any of them needed me that they would just ask. But if it wasn't for that one recognising that I wasn't coping and forcing me to take time for myself I doubt I would have be able to ask for help later on. What do you have to lose? They are part of your tribe for a reason. These are women that you love and trust. These are women that are there to support you and make you the best you that you can be. If any of them were finding things tough, would you want them to ask you for help? Would you be willing to help? This support for each other has to work both ways. You get out what you put in. I know that I am a stronger and better person because of my tribe. Thank you ladies. I've got your back like you have mine xxx