This month is a very busy month for babies with my extended family welcoming three new little bundles into the fold! Baby Fever has ensued, and nobody is safe.

Except me, because: I couldn’t be less clucky if I tried.

Welcoming a new baby is always an exciting time for all involved but while it can be a thrill and a delight for the new grandparents and surrounding loved ones, for the new parents it is so much more.

Whether it is your first, second, third or even sixth bub! Bringing a new baby into the family can be overwhelming. No two babies are exactly alike, and it can take a little while to get into a routine and properly get to know the new little person let alone introducing them to siblings etc.

With firstborns especially, it is getting to realise that nothing is ever just about you ever again. There is always someone who needs to come first, someone who needs their nappy changed before your own trip to the bathroom. Someone who needs a feed right as you sit down to eat your own dinner. Someone who needs to wake up because they accidentally put their own finger in their eye just as you close your own eyes to go to sleep.

When I had my first child he was the first grandchild on both sides of the family and understandably everyone was very enthusiastic and eager to visit. I myself, however, was extremely unwell after a traumatic birth with a baby who was screaming all day and night. The absolute last thing I felt like doing was seeing people. Any people.

All the people wanted to visit my screaming mini-me. They didn’t want to just fold my growing laundry pile though or straighten the house for me – no, they wanted to cuddle the baby, kiss the baby, play with the baby.

And this was an issue.

I had great difficulty with anyone else holding him. Weeks later I was to be diagnosed with post-natal depression and anxiety but at the time I felt like I was going crazy. I felt like my house was a revolving door of people wanting to manhandle my baby, wanting to parade him around and take him from me.

Obviously, this was not at all the case, but I was ill, I was in pain after an emergency caesarean and I wasn’t getting any sleep. It was a very difficult transition into parenthood and I wasn’t coping at all.

The thing that really did get to me when I was a fresh parent though, was when people would tell me to “just enjoy it”.

My first child would only sleep with me. Sometimes he would also sleep with his father or his grandmothers but as I was the one with him the most, 99% of the time it was me. I look back at this time now, some four years later, and I certainly still do not look back on it with fondness or longing. I look back at this time remembering the anxiety and failure I felt as a mother, I remember how overrun my house was while I was stuck on the couch, I remember my husband making me a sandwich before leaving for work, so he knew I would at least be able to eat one thing while he was gone, and I remember being told repeatedly to just enjoy the cuddles.

Over and over by well-meaning friends, family and acquaintances, I was reminded of how quickly they grow and to just enjoy the time that they are so dependent on every little thing. Well-intentioned as it was this only served to make me feel even worse.

Why wasn’t I enjoying it? Why was I finding motherhood so unmanageable? Why was I trying so hard to get my baby to sleep when I should have just been relishing in the baby snuggles?

At this point in my life what I needed more than anything was to be told I was doing a good job and that I was validated in how I felt.

You don’t have to love motherhood straight away to love your baby. You can think your baby is the most amazing person in the entire world whilst also simultaneously longing for the days you could shower without having to sing a nursery rhyme to the angry, red-faced being glaring at you from their bouncer on the bathmat.

The fact is newborns can be hard work and some more so than others. If you have a newborn who cries and screams 24/7 it can certainly take away from the magic of the motherhood.

But that’s ok. It is also ok to lay there wondering what on earth you’ve done.

It is ok not to love every second of parenting, to find things difficult and to want and need help.

Not everyone enjoys the newborn stage and that is perfectly ok too.

My children are now 2 and 4 years old and with those ages comes a whole new set of challenges but I am the mother who is well and truly glad to be done with the newborn period of my life. The kids still don’t sleep, they still spend more of the day screaming than not, but I am more together and more in control as a mother now than I ever was when they were new.

I didn’t “just enjoy it” and my children are no worse off because of it.

You may also like to read:

Top 10 Things I wish I knew before I became a Parent

You know you’re a Mum when…

Stay-At-Home-Mum: A Day in the Life