Empowering parents to trust their parental (and in this case maternal) instinct is at the core of my practice and the philosophy behind my Dr Golly Sleep Program.
To celebrate Mothers’ Day this year I interviewed three pretty terrific mums I know and got them to talk me through the good, the bad and their message for you new or soon to be mums.
The message is pretty powerful – you know your baby better than anyone else, block out the noise (however well intentioned it is) and trust those instincts!
I hope you enjoy these interviews as much as I did! Thank you Steph, Moana & Cassie for taking part.
Love and best wishes to all the mums this Sunday.Dr Golly
Steph Claire Smith
Photo credit: @stephclairesmith
Name of baby? Harvey
Baby Age? 12 months
Highest of highs? Harvey’s ‘firsts’ of anything make me so excited and proud – I’ve had some pretty incredible experiences in life, that I am so proud of, but there is just something about his little wins that make me feel happiness on a whole other level.
Lowest of lows/hurdles or curveballs you experienced? Balancing being a working mum. Some days it’s easy, it works, and I’m on fire at work. Other days I can’t concentrate on anything and I can’t stop thinking about him and miss him so much! I’m lucky I LOVE my business and love what I do, I’m super grateful for that because I know that’s not always the case. When I’m home with family I try and soak it up as much as I can, and do my best to make it home in time for bedtime.
What you’re so glad you did? Moved Harvey into his own room fairly early – he’s so independent with his sleep, it’s helped so much throughout the regressions and different developmental stages and sleep training.
What you’d do differently? Nothing really. We’re learning all the time, changing our techniques every now and again because of things we’ve learned – but nothing so major that we have regretted anything.
Best advice you received? Trust your intuition, and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. There are many different ways to parent, find what works for you and your family.
Worst advice you received? Not to do sleep training… it was one of the best decisions we ever made with Harvey to work on his sleep/routine. The quality of his sleep is amazing because of routine and independence – we were really really struggling with sleep deprivation prior and we’ve never looked back! We’re all much more rested and happier for it. But that’s just us, that works for us!
3 best Gadgets?
Cubo ai baby monitor – I’m obsessed. Love being able to check on Harvey from work via my phone, and capture abs play back memories.
The ‘that’s not my’ books – Harvey is obsessed with books and particularly loves this series of books so he can touch and feel different textures on each page.
Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Gym Activity Mat – This has been one of Harvey’s favourite toys, it’s kept him entertained on many occasions where I needed to have my hands free.
Mothers Day Plans? I don’t have any! I plan to just spend the entire day with my boys – not sure if they have plans for me hehe, we’ll see.
Message for new or soon to be mums? Get ready for a love like no other. When it hits you, it hits you good… and boy does it just keep getting better and better.
Image credit: @moanahope
Name of baby?Svea
Baby Age? 17 months
Highest of highs?Lots of these, for me it started the moment Svea was born. The love and adrenaline in that moment is unmatched. And anytime Svea learns something new.
Lowest of lows/hurdles or curveballs you experienced? I think for the lows are probably when Svea is sick or teething. Feeling helpless in those moment and just trying to be there as much as I can.
What are you so glad you did? Stopped overthinking and started parenting just off instinct. Glad I educated myself on what to expect and also surrounded myself with amazing people, but nothing beats a mothers intuition.
What you’d do differently?Not overthink or stress as much in those first 1-6 months. I think almost every parent does it, but it’s exhausting and taxing on you mentally.
Best advice you received?Go with your gut, you know your kid better than anyone.
Worst advice you received?We are a always getting unsolicited advice, it’s really important that you just trust your parenting instincts, and have a good paediatrician and medical team around you
3 best Gadgets? Anything with lots of colour, white noise, the rocket (best invention)
Mothers Day Plans?Celebrate with my beautiful wife over dinner.
Message for new or soon to be mums? If anyone asks you what you need after you give birth, say food. And don’t be scared to take those first 3-4 days after birth to just be you, your partner and bubs. Best thing we did.
Image credit: @casiehancock
Name of baby? Gia
Baby Age & DOB? 13th of December 2021, 19 weeks.
Highest of highs? Without a doubt, the first time you hold your baby (holding Gia), it still gives me butterflies. All the “firsts”, the first smile, the first coo, all of it! The realisation that you are absolutely everything to that tiny human and you are all that they need.
Lowest of lows/hurdles or curveballs you experienced? The biggest struggle was adjusting to a new life as a mother; let’s be honest nothing can prepare you for it. Comparison really is the thief of joy. In the early days, I had an overwhelming feeling that I was not coping or “mothering” as easily as others. I couldn’t work out how everybody else made it seem easy to “do it all” when I struggled to even leave the house. I apologised to all my friends and family continuously for not understanding what they had been through. At times it felt isolating; what you once needed as tools for your mental health seemed out of reach, and it was easy to think in those moments it was going to be that way forever. Being hormonally, physically, and emotionally depleted took its toll – the fourth trimester is real!
Gia was so settled for the first three weeks, this suddenly changed around 3 weeks – she cried one night for 6 hours straight. My partner and I being naïve first-time parents considered calling an ambulance; we thought something must be wrong! As it turns out, this is entirely normal… The poor thing was so incredibly gassy, her little tummy would be so swollen, and she had difficulty getting comfortable. Seeing her in pain was awful; we all cried!
The guilts! Gia suffered from eczema around 5-6 weeks of age, and thinking it was milk spots, I was not treating it as eczema, if anything I was making it worse. She was so unsettled, it had spread down her body, and she was bothered. Once we started treating it correctly with professional help, it was under control within five days. We were taught how to manage it, and she was so much happier. This was an uncomfortable time for Gia, seeing her so itchy and helpless was upsetting.
What you’re so glad you did? My partner and I focused on having open communication before and after the baby arrived. It was essential for us to be on that same page and know each other’s expectations as a couple and as individuals. A friend described it as a “pressure cooker”, which couldn’t be more accurate. It’s not a time to be working out that you are on different pages when raising a baby.
What you’d do differently?I would have prepared more for my breastfeeding journey and what to expect. I spent so much time nurturing my pregnancy that I had my head in the sand about anything else past that point. I’d smile and nod at friends and family, but I was very unprepared when it came to it. It can feel like a full-time job, worrying about supply, the night feeds, latching, juggling visitors, her hungry cues etc.
Stop and really take it all in. As a new mother and a perfectionist, I wanted to do it perfectly. I wish I didn’t put so much pressure on myself. There are so many opinions (welcome motherhood) but trust yourself – I wish I did this more!
Best advice you received? You know your baby better than anybody. Do what feels best for you, your baby and your family.
Worst advice you received? “If you think this is hard, it gets harder” or “just you wait, be prepared”, people will say (well-meaning, of course), but when you are feeling the struggle, it’s not exactly what you want to hear.
3 best Gadgets?
@yogasleepusa Nod white noisemachine and night light – so many soothing sounds and a brilliant soft night light for night feeds
@haakaaanz baby nail care kit – I was nervous about trimming her tiny nails. This is super easy to use and safe!
@babydinkwear baby carrier fits like a top, has no confusing wrapping, no rings, and is made in Aus.
@babybjorn bouncer– She LOVES it.
3 favourite parenting or parent pages to follow? (other than Dr Golly)
@jessurlichs_writer (her words resonate so well)
Mothers Day Plans? A sleep-in!
Message for new or soon-to-be mums? Run your own race, ride your own wave, and roll with the punches. Things happen! Whether it be eczema, colic, or sleepless nights, remember it will pass, and you will have forgotten those hard times before you know it. You are not alone. I kept saying there are 8 billion people on this planet, and we are all here because somebody did it. If they can do it, so can you. You will be great, remember, all your baby really needs is to be loved and you.