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.

Hello you lovely lot and welcome back to another instalment of the #MotherhoodMondays guest post series; a  weekly feature for mothers to share their stories about their incredible journeys of motherhood in all kinds of forms. Don't forget to get in touch if you want out get involved, we're always looking for some more mamas to guest post for us.
For this week's feature we have the lovely Sara from Mind your Mamma. Sara is a London-based mum of 3 boys who very recently came to the realisation that life was too mental, and something had to give. She left her 9-5 job in London to spend more time with her children, look after herself a bit more before she loses the plot, and to give this writing thing a go. She blogs about family and parenting, self-care and mindfulness on her blog Mind your Mamma. In this week's feature Sara will kindly share a post about all the things you don't learn from all those books and I can relate to her post so much. As first time parents my husband and I thought that we were all prepared for this whirlwind called parenthood, but there were so much that we didn't even consider. It doesn't matter how many books you read nothing can prepare you for being awake for 6 days straight or figuring out what to do when your new baby decides to have an explosive poop all over you because your nappy changing skills are not up to scratch. Thank you so much Sara for wanting to take part in our series, it's greatly appreciated.
Why you don't learn to be a mum from books
I got married a few days before turning 28, and my first little boy was born 9 months and 3 days after our wedding. To say that we had planned and prepared for this baby for a long time would obviously be a lie! We always knew we wanted children, but obviously we weren’t sure how long it’d actually take us to start a family, so it was amazing to be able to fall pregnant straight away and without any issues.
At the time we didn’t have many other close friends who had already had babies, and it’s fair to say that we were yet to be exposed to the wealth of information, advice and parenting methods available ‘out there’ for new parents! So during my pregnancy, armed with a copy of What To Expect When You Are Expecting, we attended the free NHS antenatal and breastfeeding classes at our local hospital, and we thought we were good and ready.
Well, not quite.
Labour and birth
When the time came, it wasn’t long after labour had started that I found myself in a state of complete panic. “It couldn’t possibly hurt so much so quickly?! Something had to be wrong!”. Six miles and an excruciating hour in the car later (in the West London peak traffic), we got to the hospital, only to be examined and told to go back home! Needless to say, that poor midwife’s advice was totally ignored - I was NOT going back in the car.
Despite all my reading and attending the courses available to us, I now know that I had no real understanding of the physiology of birth. I had no idea of how uncomfortable internal examinations felt to me or that you could refuse them, as there are other ways to check the progress of your labour.
I had no idea that there was such a thing as ‘back-to-back’ labour, which is very taxing on your lower back and can call for a longer and more uncomfortable labour. And I had no idea about what diamorphine was and that it crossed the placenta and could impact early breastfeeding. Considering how much I didn’t know, it’s a bit of a miracle that I had a good birth! And of course all of the labour drama was soon forgotten when we got to finally meet our little baby boy.  
I was over the moon.
After a shower and a few hours spent trying to sleep next to our new wonderful baby boy (I was too excited to sleep), morning came, and I just felt great! My mum came as soon as the hospital let her in, and when she asked me whether I changed his nappy, my answer was: “Am I allowed?”
She gave me that look. You know the one. The one your parents give you when you’re in trouble.
And you feel like you’re 5 years old again.
Mum: “Allowed? Who’s going to do it otherwise!?”
Me: “I thought they’d want to see the content of his first nappy?”
At which point my mum rolled her eyes and proceeded to changing the boy’s nappy.

Going home
We went home later that day, and aside for being on cloud nine, what really hit me several times during the course of the day is that I felt that I didn’t really have a clue as to what to do with this boy.
Looking back now, he was quite lethargic at first. Perhaps the diamorphine I had accepted without knowing the first thing about it did affect his initial behaviour and feeding. He didn’t feed at the hospital, and I was in a hurry to go home – I didn’t like it one bit, and I just wanted to leave. I hadn’t slept in two nights (you know, being in labour and then busy giving birth), and I was shattered. Once I hit my bed I remember spending that very first night at home being in and out of consciousness. I’d somehow emerge from that state long enough to try and feed him, but in vain.
Whenever I tried to feed him, he’d just scream.
On his dad’s chest, he’d sleep.
By the time 48 hours had passed, our son still hadn’t had a proper feed. We just couldn’t make him latch on. I had been to the classes, I had seen the videos, I had looked at the pictures of a ‘perfect latch’, but I had no idea how to make it happen.
He’d cry, he’d fuss, he’d come off the breast. And repeat.

Getting the hang of this breastfeeding business
But thankfully, we got lucky again! Our new neighbour was a midwife at our local hospital. One evening, out of desperation we called her over, and she took the time to show us, for 40 long minutes, how to help him latch on. Every time after that and for the first few days, he’d take the two of us (myself and my husband) 40 minutes to help him latch on. 40 minutes. For him to feed for another 40. But slowly but surely we found our feet. And we learnt that when he had finished feeding he wanted to sleep.
On me.
I have fond memories of spending my days alone with him on the sofa watching TV. He’d either be feeding or sleeping on me.  It took us a while to find ‘our way’, but it slowly happened, of course.
Now I look back at the time being a mum to my first boy, as a new-born, and at how different it was the second and third time around, and I just know that I wasn’t prepared at all.
I thought I was. I thought I had done what was needed.
But you don’t learn to be a mum from books.
Being a mum can be hard at first.
Being a mum is mostly learnt ‘on the job’.
But it’s a job worth learning.

Thank you Sara for taking part! And you my lovely readers don't forget to check out Sara's blog and follow her on all her social media platforms.
You can also find her on
If you'd like to be part of the series then please feel free to send me an email to and I'd be thrilled to get back to you with more information! Please get in touch even if you don't have a blog and you would simply like to share your story.


  1. Such an interesting post. I wasn't really prepared for the birth of our oldest daughter either, despite all of the reading etc. Well done on perservering with breastfeeding too. x

  2. A lovely post. So true - motherhood is only learnt 'on the job'!!! It's so hard the first time, but it really does get easier and in my experience is more straight forward the second time around too! x