The hardest year of my life!

September 20, 2013

As many of you know, Johan and I recently celebrated Scarlet's first birthday. Boy, what a huge day it was! Here is little miss on her special day (more photos & a long post on this next week). 

Our beloved family and friends came to celebrate this milestone, and a lot of them kept congratulating us for "making it through the first year". At first I thought this was an odd thing to say to parents of a 1 year old (I just kept shrugging it off) and it wasn't until I was writing in my journal the next day that it started to make sense.

(Warning - lost post ahead) Let me paint the scene with my diary entries...

Sunday 16 September 2012
Our baby girl is here. I can't believe it, we finally have our perfect little bundle. I can't express the joy nor the happiness that is filling up my heart. Birth was stupidly painful but one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced. I don't think anything can top that actually!

Monday 17 September 2012
Still in hospital today and I didn't get any sleep last night besides a 20 minute nap. Scarlet wouldn't STOP crying. I don't know what to do to make it stop! The nurses took her away from me so I could rest but she was chucking a tantrum in the nursery & was waking all the other babies up. I'm exhausted. My midwife keeps telling me things will eventually become easier - feeding will be natural. At this stage, I don't believe her! I feel like the world's most incompetent mum.

Saturday 22 September 2012
Home for a few days now. Scarlet is gorgeous, I'm so in love with her! For some reason she doesn't like night times. As soon as the clock hits 7pm she will just yell her little lungs out and boy can she cry! I'm getting the hang of things but the exhaustion from the last week has just kicked in. I'm so emotional, so tired and so low. I will burst into tears at any little thing (Johan forgot to hang the clothes on the line & he copped a bit of my teary tantrum). What is happening to me?! 

Tuesday 9 October 2012
Catnapping SUCKS! I'm so desperate for rest that I will hold her in my arms so she can sleep. So that I can sleep too!

Tuesday 16 October 2012
Scarlet is a whole month old today! It has felt like the LONGEST month of my life ever. She is getting more and more beautiful every day and I am so in love with her but boy is this thing hard. Motherhood is hard. I am constantly struggling with getting no sleep. I know this is selfish but when Johan gets home from work, I want to spend time with him and frankly for the last month, I haven't been able to because I've been nursing a crying baby! Yep, she's still not sleeping at nights. Didn't the midwives say this will get better?

Monday 26 December 2012
WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?! Seriously, why won't my baby settle at nights? She will just scream and yell and shriek until she's picked up again. It takes us at least 2 hours to get her to sleep at nights!! I feel hopeless, helpless.. like I'm in a bottomless pit that will never end. I feel so incompetent. Why are other mums getting it right and I'm not?

Monday 7 January 2013
My girl has mastered the art of smiling back. Oh my gosh. Melt my heart! I am so in love with her. So so in love I think my heart will just burst.

Thursday 14 March 2013
She's back to NOT SLEEPING at nights! Why why why why WHY?! I don't understand it, we just had a good run. Lately it's sleep at 9pm, then wake up at 11pm, 1am, 3am and 5am! I am exhausted beyond belief and I've been the worst person ever to be around - so cranky.

Saturday 27 April 2013
I love seeing Scarlet with Johan. It's the sweetest thing ever. He's so in love with her (and secretly calls her his "little girlfriend") and she in turn just adores him. Please stay this small forever my little treasure.

Thursday 2 May 2013
This is it. Scarlet's finally sleeping through the whole night without waking up! Goodnight night/early morning feeds! Nia = 1, Sleep problems = 0.

Wednesday 10 July 2013
I've realised something. I don't want to be that mum that thinks she's "entitled" to have her sleep, her "me" time, her freedom. I don't ever want to take my baby for gratitude. She is the biggest blessing in my life and to have her healthy is enough. More than enough - it's everything I'll ever need. Here I am complaining about how I'm not sleeping enough, she's not sleeping enough, I'm tired & she's tired... well at least I know she can cry out with her voice when she needs something. My baby is alive, healthy, thriving and growing everyday. Not a lot of people have this opportunity or privilege. I've realised how selfish I can be, always thinking "what about me?". I never want to see my baby as a chore - something that I have to "do" everyday. I want to keep reminding myself how precious and innocent this child is, and how important this motherhood job is. 

I won't bore you with anymore diary entries but if you read through all that (high five if you did!), you get the idea of how up & down I've been in the last year. Some days I feel like the world's best mum and but there are those days that I feel like the worst human being ever. Don't even mention the late night/early morning tantrums I've had. I remember clearly having to leave the room, close the door and sit in the kitchen to cry because I couldn't settle this baby. Motherhood is HARD. It will always be the most difficult thing I'll ever do in this lifetime. But at the same time, it will be the most rewarding.

The last year has taught me so so much. How to be patient, to be kind and gentle to this little person (who can really cry until it makes you want to tear your hair out!), and how to love all over again. There were times when I thought that I wouldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel but here I am... my Scarlet is more beautiful than ever. She's smart, independent, cheeky as anything and sleeping so well (YAY!). I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world. We still have bad days of course, but when she crawls towards me, climbs up my lap to give me a kiss on the lips... that is when I realise just how special and precious this job is.

If you're a mum, how did you cope with your first year of motherhood? I'd love to hear and have you share your stories/experiences!


  1. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Nia. x

  2. Oh my, so wonderful! How lovely for her to have your journals! You're amazing, have loved sharing her life with you! Xxxxx

  3. Hello Nia,
    Chloe and Lilly told me to read your blog and it's just lovely :-) Your post about your sweet daughter felt very familiar to me! My little boy turned one last week as well and it has hands down been the hardest year of my life, nothing comes close to feeling that lost and out of control! It's amazing that they can be so much work yet so totally worth it :-) Happy birthday to your little one

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for introducing yourself & for sharing your own experiences! Crazy how hard motherhood is hey? It feels good to know that there are mums out there who are going through the same thing because for awhile there I thought I was the only one! Happiest birthday to your little man as well. Such a special day :)

      p.s I wonder if it's much easier for the second one? x

  4. You are doing such a great job with her. Thank you for being vulnerable & opening your thoughts & struggles xx

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I think it's hard for mums these days to open up and be vulnerable about their experiences (or struggles) as a first time parent, so thank you!