A Helpful Guide to a Happy Mother’s Day : A Mother’s Day Message from Fiona Cooke
Another year and another Mother’s Day in lockdown. And, while it’s been a pretty intense and unexpected year for us all, mums really have been an enormous support for so many. In our most recent blog post, Fiona Cooke, author of ‘A Helpful Guide to a Happy Baby’, shares some words of wisdom this Mothering Sunday.
Wow, what a year it has been – and the second Mother’s Day in the UK in lockdown. It has been a very challenging 12 months for everyone, and for those expecting a baby or those with children, being at home and not having the freedom to move around or see extended family for support has certainly been very isolating.
For parents with new babies born during 2020 and early 2021, on the bright side they will have had some undisturbed bonding time – albeit perhaps a little lonely at times. Without grandparents, aunts and uncles or friends to help free up time so that new parents can sit back and really relax, it has been difficult. And for those with older children too, home-schooling will have been on another scale. I have the utmost respect for all parents working from home and home-schooling their children, or looking after younger children whilst being teacher to older ones – a real double whammy. No one ever signed up for that, and I wonder if they would again? However, I’m sure it will be a year children will remember fondly forever. They will have nuggets of amazing memories, time spent at home with their parents and siblings, time spent outdoors, time spent playing and learning.
To the new mothers, who may have gone through an entire pregnancy and now given birth all within these strange and unprecedented times, I hope that you have discovered that just because we are in lockdown does not mean you have to be alone. Facetime your family and friends, make a time and date to catch up and have a virtual party to celebrate milestones. Trust me, even if you’re tired, they’re more fun than they sound! As well as catching up with extended family for support and socialising, if you are at home with a small baby and need advice you can still access advice virtually via your phone. Consultations via video can be extremely beneficial, and it can really feel like someone is right there with you. I’ve offered my services as a virtual maternity nurse this year, and found it’s quite possible to see and hear your baby and the way they are crying and moving their body via a screen. Just from listening to the sounds babies make, and watching a mother feed, it is possible to support breastfeeding. Being able to translate a baby’s body language has been helpful when unable to see new mums in person. Thank goodness for technology! And even when it’s tricky, I find that something to bear in mind is that everything is temporary. I hope to see us all getting back to some normality soon.
So, to the superhero mothers this year, Happy Mother’s Day. To the first-time mums and to those who have enjoyed this special day before, to those have struggled and to those who have thrived, this day is for you all, to be celebrated and honoured for all we mothers do for our family. Enjoy it! Do not under-estimate the importance of self-care, which is an essential part of your mental and physical health. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Everyone’s idea of a treat or relaxation is different so put yourself first for today. You deserve the love you give so freely to your family. Give it to yourself today. A mother’s love is so strong, she holds everything together. As a maternity nurse, I know that if a mother is happy, everyone is happy!
Have an amazing Mother’s Day.