aleisha mcnabb

 

I’ve known you for a long time now and we have gone through completely different seasons of life together. It’s been so beautiful watching you move into motherhood with so much ease. We’ve spoken a lot about the highs and lows of motherhood, and how amazing this journey is. For all the new mamas and mamas to be out there, what is one thing you would like them to know?

Go with your gut! As a new mum you are often overwhelmed with a plethora of different opinions, facts and information and my best advice would be to do what feels right! What worked for one mum may or may not work for you, every baby is so different – it’s not a one size fits all. 

Becoming a mum has really changed my outlook on life, how has becoming Bowie’s mum changed your outlook on life?

Becoming a mum has taught me to not sweat the small stuff, I’m a full blown stresser for the most part and I used to let anything and everything get to me. Now after having Bowie I’ve had to learn (and am still learning) to relax more and let things play out how they are meant to. I guess in a nutshell I’ve learnt to be less controlling!!

You went through a lot of big life changes at once. Finishing up at your full time job & your job of being a (very!!) talented MUA, welcoming Bowie into the world and moving north a few days after he was born. The transition into motherhood can already be so daunting. How did you find all of these changes happening at once? How did you make it through?

I was very lucky because I had so much support during this time from my family, they had everything organised for me while I was in hospital and I basically just had to turn up at home and it was all set up for me! Dinners were made for us and the amount of support and love around was the best while we transitioned into such a huge new chapter of the new home, new town and new baby! Don’t get me wrong the whole transition was definitely a big one, and it took a lot of courage for me to dive right in and go with the flow but it has all worked out so perfectly and I wouldn’t change anything.

I bought everything and absolutely anything during my pregnancy, and Harper used maybe a quarter of this… I love that you didn’t buy much before Bowie arrived and then only bought what you really needed. I’ll be channelling that for our second. What are your three top must-haves for a new mama?

Over purchasing pre-birth is so easy to do! Especially in the last month with all the down time and waiting around to go into labour ha-ha, but I think this comes down to social media and marketing making us think we need so much stuff! So many new mums go out and tick everything off their lists and it’s really not necessary, at least not at the beginning. Just buy what you know you will use, you don’t need all the bells and whistles just the essentials. If I had to pick three I would say anything Merino wool, even in summer it’s great the natural fibres are awesome for temperature regulation and moisture control. Some good clean skincare for baby and mum as well, Ecostore is great, the Tui Bee Balm range is also great, don’t over complicate it and really try to go as natural as possible to prevent any reactions on baby’s skin. And lastly for a splurge our Bugaboo stroller is amazing, I love how light and easy it is to use we have definitely got our money’s worth out of this item over and over.

We have chatted a bit about mental health and how we have both been affected by this pre and post our babies entering this world. Can you tell us a bit about your coping mechanisms? Do you have any advice for mamas out there going through a difficult season in their life?

Talk about it, talk to people you trust and also be brave and reach out to other mums because chances are they feel the same way or are on the other side, don’t bottle it up as it will only get worse. Remember that you are not alone and it is more common than you think to have issues with mental health especially during these massive changes, and if things don’t start to get better pop in to your GP as they are there to help! I know personally seeing a counsellor was a big step up in my mental health journey, it allowed me to feel like I was working on becoming a better, brighter person.

And finally, something we have spoken a lot about. The pressure of your body ‘bouncing back’ after giving birth. The expectation to bounce back quickly after giving birth is so unrealistic. Social media in particular really pushes these expectations out into society. Looking back I wish I had been kinder to myself and spent those first few months soaking in every moment I possibly could with my new family, instead of worrying about how I looked. Did you feel pressure to “bounce back”? And how did you deal with this? What would you do differently the next time around? 

It wasn’t until around 3 weeks post birth that I started really looking at my body and wondering why it hadn’t “bounced back” to the way it was pre pregnancy by then. So stupid looking back, but I too was so hard on myself mainly because of social media, I would see these beautiful woman fitting back into their pre prego jeans when I still looked around 6 months pregnant! It definitely took me a while to realise that my body was just different to those woman, which is completely fine and now I just embrace that my body is definitely something different to before but I know that is fine and I can still look and feel beautiful with this new body because it helped me grow a human! And is now helping me feed a human which is something else amazing altogether!! Next time I will try to have more respect for myself, give my body more time to settle into into its new form and try to love that one just as much.