Motherhood is a complete whirlwind. Sometimes finding the joy and smiles is easy and sometimes it's a little harder, but amid those times it's not so easy we owe it to ourselves to savour those moments forever. Welcome back to the #MotherhoodMondays guest post series. A weekly feature for mothers to share their stories about their incredible journeys of motherhood in all kinds of form, whether these are good, bad or ugly. This weeks Motherhood Monday guest post features Hayley from Devon Mama who shares her experiences of becoming a mother, her expectation of motherhood was completely nothing like she had imagined. I'm so pleased to be able to share Hayley's story with you all, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

A little more about Hayley and her blog. Devon Mama is run by Haley; a 30 year old mama, wife and recovering sleep addict. Living with her husband, baby and the world's bounciest dog in rural Devon, Hayley can be found attempting to cook, googling everything and embracing the strange new world that is parenting. Add in a house with 'a lot of potential' and return to her 'real' job as a company director and it's organised chaos at the best of times. Happy to have you, Hayley.
Motherhood - Expectation vs Reality
Pre-parenthood I had some pretty set ideas on what I thought it would be like. I thought I knew exactly the type of parent that I’d be, the style of parenting I’d adopt and exactly how I’d cope with every situation. Then I had the baby and that all flew out the window. Here’s how we got on

Sleep Patterns
Expectation: Newborns sleep a LOT don’t they?! For nice large chunks of time, waking only to feed before dropping back to sleep easily. Easy.
Reality: Clearly our baby has a massive case of FOMO (fear of missing out) because he hated sleeping. Genuinely hated it. The only way you could get him to sleep was to bounce him for a minimum of thirty minutes which resulted in major knee pain for both me and the husband for the next three months. Once asleep he would only sleep if held semi upright against the body and would wake every ten minutes just to make sure you were still having as much fun. Bounce, sleep, wake, repeat. For months.
And whilst we’re on sleep…
The Moses Basket
Expectation: Co-sleeping – yes. Bed sharing – never. Didn’t people know how dangerous it was? We set up a Moses basket by the bed and another in the lounge so that we didn’t have to keep carrying it up and down the stairs.
Reality: Smug parents, we were not. If we thought getting him to sleep was hard, getting him to sleep in the basket was harder. We managed two nights of pure hell before blearily agreeing to pop him in the bed with us. I sat bolt upright for nearly two weeks terrified to sleep in case I dropped him whilst he snored away between bouncing and feeds. Finally, we cracked and bought a co-sleeping crib which gave me something to jam my body on to whilst he hogged the bed. Entirely what it was meant for. What happened to the Moses baskets? They became laundry holders/clothes horses – definitely a missed marketing opportunity there.
Expectation: Breast-feeding is natural and easy. People have been doing it for centuries. It’ll be a little hard to start with but nothing compared to labour.
Reality: My god. Breast-feeding is anything other than the easy route. In retrospect, I should have known that any body part being mashed and sucked for 23hours of the day would get sore but wow. Talk about a painful awakening. We spent hours squishing and poking my boobs to try and get them into his (tiny) mouth and achieve the Holy Grail aka. THE PERFECT LATCH. We then battled cluster-feeding (ouch), mastitis (double ouch) and nipple thrush (unbelievable ouch) before finally appearing to hit our stride. Never before have I had so many people stare at my boobs or been quite so aware of the size of my nipples in relation to a baby (huge, by the way). That said, I’m quite proud to have exceeded my expectations and still be feeding at seven months. I thought I would have had enough by now but we’re still going strong!
My Body Image
Expectation: Yes, I put on more weight than I ever intended – no, it wasn’t twins, thanks for asking. However, breastfeeding shrinks weight off like magic so it will all be fine. The baby will sleep during the day and I’ll use the treadmill/go for walks to walk off the weight. Yummy. Mummy.
Reality: The first few weeks I lost a substantial amount of weight purely from water loss and the fact I no longer had a person inside of me. That soon stopped and since then nothing has worked to shift it. I’m sure breastfeeding would help you lose weight (the calorie burn alone) but it also makes you ravenous. When the baby wasn’t clinging to me, I lay on the bed willing myself to sleep rather than pounding it out on the treadmill. With that in mind, I resigned myself to putting up with things for a couple of months whilst life settled back to a new normal and generally avoiding mirrors. I’m probably due at the gym any time now!
The Maternal Side
Expectation: Everyone loves their baby but I genuinely struggled to connect to the fact that I was Having. A. Baby. So my expectations for how I would feel after birth were pretty low, obviously I would love them but I was scared that I wouldn’t be maternal enough or that I just didn’t have the gene.
Reality: It wasn’t at the birth that it hit but in the following few hours where my husband slept and I just sat and stared. That protective, awed feeling that is so difficult to describe. When he smiles, it makes my chest hurt. When he cries, it does the same. There really is nothing like that feeling and whilst it’s not been a walk in the park, my previous fears were completely unfounded.

Motherhood – it’s like nothing I could ever imagine!

Thank you so much for taking part Hayley! And you my lovely readers don't forget to check out Hayley's blog and follow her on her social media platforms.


  1. Oh, this is really lovely! I'm sure so many parents can relate as well. Lovely idea for a series too, I'll be popping back to check it out xx

    1. Thank you Naomi. I'm sure so many parent will get great things from all the posts I have lined up for the series. You're more than welcome to come and join in with the series. x