Life Update — 10 months into motherhood
A more personable post for my much-loved audience 🏼 I usually share tips and information to provide value with my content, but sharing my personal journey is a passion of mine too!
So, we are 10 months into motherhood. It's so funny, I literally see my life now as pre-baby and post-baby. And it's like everything else in life is so insignificant now. They say that when a baby is born, so is a mother, and that couldn't be more true. But they didn't express or explain just how huge that actually is. To be born again, born anew, you have to be stripped completely bare of any identity you ever had. It's not like you've just had a makeover or new look, you are actually burnt down to the ground and learn to emerge back out from the ashes.
And that's what I've been doing over the past couple of months. My postpartum depression and anxiety lasted 6 months. GOD were they a long 6 months... It felt like 3 years. And then around 9 months, I started to breathe again. Motherhood finally became easier.
I was actually guided between the 6-9 month mark by dragonflies. They showed up everywhere. As I walked in the park they were flittering all over, I had a lash appointment and one flew into the room and just sat above me (my lash tech has never had one in her room before), a stunning transparent one landed in front of me as I was sitting on the balcony the other morning, one even made its way into my apartment. So, as I do, I looked up "the spiritual meaning of dragonflies". Here's what it said:
"The common metaphysical meaning of a dragonfly is transformation, change, new beginnings, or fresh starts"
I was so ready for my life to change in a positive manner, I'd been in a constant state of fight or flight since birthing this baby so I kept holding out after seeing this sign from the universe, knowing and trusting that the waters would be calming soon.
And they did. Azura is constantly the happiest little girl. She doesn't get overtired anymore, even if she misses a nap she's still happy. I had her car seat turned around and holy shit we can actually drive places now. A note on that: I do not generally recommend it at all. I was the Mum who had the intention of keeping her rear-facing for probably even longer than you need to, for safety sake. BUT. This gal is immensely attached to me, and when she was in the car, could hear me and see me in the mirror, she would be upset and confused and try to look for me beside her. It was safer for me to turn her seat around, than it was for her to be crying, me on the verge of tears, anxiety and stress levels through the roof repeatedly saying "we're nearly there, we're nearly home, it's okay", watching her in the rear view mirror more often than I was watching the road in front of me, trying to hand her toys whilst driving, and even at the point of handing her blueberries as we drove 10 minutes home from the farmers market - big choking hazard. A 10 minute drive was too difficult.
So, as I was saying, we can now go places. We go shopping together, to play centres a couple of times a week, can meet other mums at places, I can actually take her to sensory play and swimming lessons if I want to! Her naps finally have some rhythm to them for me to have some direction of the day ahead, she's going to bed at 6-7pm instead of 9pm (and onwards), she's so interactive and bright and clever and sweet and fun.
To get myself here, when it came to the mundane tasks I had to ask myself "how can I make this enjoyable?". There was a stage where she would only fall asleep in the carrier while being walked outside. I hated it. My back was killing, I was so over walking around and around the neighbourhood, I felt I was wasting hours each day. So I asked the question, how can I make this enjoyable? And I started to bring my AirPods along with me, and scroll through TikTok while I walked. It made time go so much faster, I learnt a lot from the videos (my TikTok feed is a great place), I wasn't resenting the walks anymore and actually looked forward to them. Big shift. And right now, Azura is at a place where she needs me to stay with her while she naps. So, I have brought my laptop into the bedroom and sit with her while she has a big snooze, content knowing I'm close by and me happily being creative and doing things that I love again. Not trying to sneak out, holding my breath the entire time, and feeling like a failure when she wakes up 10 minutes later because I'm not there.
I've also recently said "fuck it, let's enjoy parenthood and do fun shit". On weekends, even with Sam, I wouldn't go more than half an hour away from home. I didn't want Azura to miss a nap (she does not sleep in the car or anywhere else 🙃) but like, she wasn't napping at home anyway. So last weekend we went to the zoo (which you can watch here) and this weekend we're going to the aquarium! I've played it safe for so damn long and I just want to have fun as a family. Plus Azura loves animals and can absolutely handle missing a nap, she may even learn to actually nap on the go! (Ha, as if. This kid is way too interested in the world to close her eyes for even a minute).
I was told by someone that when you become a mother, as you find yourself again and recreate your life, you'll often find new and different interests, passions and hobbies. For the first time in my life I am LOVING cooking, creating my own recipes and being really intuitive with the process rather than following a set method. The passion started because I wanted to nourish my girl with the most nutritious foods available and home cook it all, and now it's slowly opening up to feeding myself with that much love too.
Thankfully my love for content creation has picked back up too! I always wanted to be that mum who filmed "a day in the life with my 6 month old" or "spend a wake window with me" but my days just felt too messy and stressful. The fact I'm now creating and publishing vlogs of our adventures + food journey means more than you might think! I started a new TikTok a couple of months ago too, my previous one had a decent following but the audience wasn't aligned with motherhood at all (it was all thirst traps and bike content), so I've started fresh. I'm also working with some really fun brands now too like Lust Minerals and that has encouraged me to show my face more and bring that confident shine back out from the dark! They also have products I wholeheartedly support and recommend (as with anything I share!) so it's a very easy partnership 🥰
Another thing I have done for myself recently is start the To Be Magnetic program again. Some of you may be new here, but if you've been following my journey for a few years then you'll know that this was the one greatest tool that accelerated my healing, growth, and development journey like no other!! It deserves an entire blog post on its own, but if you have been dabbling and feel it's time for you to start too, my discount code is "CAITLIN1924" for 15% off 🏼 Being a mum I haven't had anywhere near the time I'd love to delve back into it, but I am prioritising to at least do the journal work while Sam's home, and will do the deep imaginings (deep guided meditations that rewire your neural pathways) when I finally have more time.
And I think that's life so far! We are still living in Shell Cove as my previous life update blog post, which was quite some time ago, though we are moving back to the Sydney area soon. It makes me so happy to write so I hope to be on here more frequently, and continue working on my pregnancy, birth and motherhood ebook with a lot of goodies included like labour stages, birth affirmations, homebirth necessities, benefits of natural birth and breastfeeding etc. All the Caitlin things 🤭 It would be absolute insanity for me to have done the immense, immense research that I have done on these topics and not share it with everyone else! Plus, sag north node things, it's my life path to learn all the things and then teach and guide 🥰 It's s comforting to know that the spiritual leader I'm destined to be is still within me, even through the darkness I endured. Thank you so much for reading and for being here, I hope my words can provide some comfort and guidance to those reading ✨