Luxurious lie ins without guilt, idly watching the sun creep down the neighbours root. Soft breaths in and out, mirrored by the gentle sighs of my newborn baby. Warm smiles of love from my husband as he brings me nourishing bowls of muesli porridge for breakfast. In bed. Every day for one month.
This was my baby moon and how I started every day. I enjoyed the noises of the busy household from my bedroom sanctuary. I laughed in tune with the shrieking of my elder son rough and tumbling his way through breakfast with his dad. I relaxed into the peaceful silence as they departed for nursery school. I got up leisurely in my own time and wandered outside to the garden.
I gave myself permission to do as little as possible for one month and I asked for help and support to make it possible.
My mum came for two or three days a week. She cooked, cleaned and attended to the little things that only my mum could do so well. Another mother, a woman, a sister, she understood and she was indispensible to me.
I felt happy and pampered.
In my husband’s culture looking after a new mother is the norm. When you give birth you are meant to stay in your house for one week. Your mother, mother in law, or other designated female member in lieu if that is not possible, will come and live with you for two or three months and take care of many household tasks. Generally you do not lift a finger for a month. This level of support is taken almost for granted. I am not sure that the women would describe this as a luxury as I did. His culture understands and honours mothers. I am lucky and blessed to have a husband who not only understands and values the role of mother but is willing to take on many of the tasks that would normally be accomplished by women in his culture.
Hence the daily breakfast in bed.
At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to achieve the level of support I had envisioned listening to his descriptions of the village life he grew up in. My mum at first thought that a two day one night initial visit would be enough. That we would want to be left alone to bond. I cried. I explained I needed more help and support, not just my husband, amazing though he is. I needed another woman and so did he.
Although initially surprised my mum heard the deep emotion in my plea, cancelled her diary and stayed for a week. We went to stay at my parents for the second week. Two delightful luxurious weeks which brought us all closer together as a family. Two weeks of extra support that turned into two months or more as I asked for the continued help I needed and gave myself permission to accept it. I gave myself permission not to be the one to do everything, or initially anything at all.
Now, nearly two years on, I look again upon the photographs of me and my family during this sacred baby moon time. I recall those sweet timeless mornings in bed, resting with my baby. An inner acknowledgment of my value as a woman and mother rises up and salutes me. I smile at the new mother smiling at me my heart is full and I am glad.
this post was written by the gorgeous charlotte kanyi – read more about her here
this blog is part of the #postnatalrevolution in honour of sheila kitzinger passing on to the light.
wysewomen workshops hold a very popular motherwarming workshop at different locations all around the country – themotherwarming workshop looks at different ways to keep mum, baby and family healthy in the immediate postnatal period – find local dates near you here
wysewomen are also involved in loving the mother – a week long journey for women to develop love for the mother.