It’s wonderful to welcome talented poet and author of Baby Daze, Sarah Davis to the blog.
Here is her guest post:
The sentimental, humorous and honest poems came from the heart, spontaneously and unexpectedly, while up doing the 3am feeds! Over a number of weeks I had a collection. I put the bursts of early morning creativity down to the intensity of the one-to-one time with my much –longed for baby, hormones and the quiet time for thought. The poems reflect the journey of early motherhood and the associated feelings and emotions that come with it – from seeing the scans through to weaning, the end of maternity leave and hopes for baby’s future. ‘Baby Daze’ has been recommended in ‘Mother & Baby’ magazine in their ‘3 of the best funny reads’ feature. The poems are short, accessible and easy to read – even for sleep deprived new mums!
Like many other women my journey to motherhood was far from easy. I guess life rarely goes to plan for anyone, but when the unexpected happens and our plans get de-railed it can cause us to re-evaluate our priorities and appreciate what we have even more.
In 2003 I was newly married, enjoying my career as a full-time teacher, happy, healthy and looking forward to starting the family we’d always talked about. Less than a year later a series of illnesses resulted in me getting M.E. – a debilitating illness that put our family plans on hold, caused me to need a stick to walk with and to reluctantly give up teaching. It turned me into a shadow of my former self. I felt like I’d lost my self- worth and my purpose. My husband had to look after me so how could we contemplate having a child?
I was told by some health professionals that I may never recover and would need to learn to live with the symptoms. At 33 I wasn’t prepared to accept that! I wanted to be healthy and happy again and more than anything I wanted to be a mum! It was that drive that kept me going to find a way of getting over M.E. and getting my life back, which I did in 2006. Even then, despite me being fit enough to climb a mountain and to go back to volleyball, we still had to wait a further five long years for the arrival of our precious baby boy. I once read in a clinic somewhere, “There is something more painful than childbirth – not being able to have a child!” This rang so true for me. So many of my friends were becoming parents (or having their second or even third child) and although I was pleased for them, after congratulating them on the news of their pregnancy I’d have a quiet cry later when they’d gone. So many people presume, just like we did, that they’ll be able to have a baby when they decide that the time is right, but on our journey we’ve met so many people who also had a long wait for a variety of reasons and some who will never get to experience parenthood.
I no longer take my health and fitness for granted and my family comes first. I know that being a parent is a privilege rather than a right and even on the tougher parenting days I feel thankful to be a mum. My work/life balance is great now! As a part-time supply teacher working 3 days a week I get to do the job I love without the paperwork and the politics, leaving my evenings, weekends and holidays free for family time. I get to do the school run twice a week and have the flexibility to go to Matthew’s assemblies, sports days and concerts.
When Vicki asked me to choose one of my poems to include in this post I toyed with the idea of including one of the wittier/humorous ones like ‘Nappy Days,’ ‘Human Milk Machine’ or ‘Public Conversations’ or one of the more sentimental ones like ‘Getting to know you.’ In the end I chose ‘Mums and Babies Group,’ because the support of other mums has always been, and continues to be, invaluable. It’s so easy to feel isolated or to be overly self-critical as a new mum and it helps to know that others are having similar experiences and feelings.
From the collection ‘Baby Daze’ published February 2018 by The Book Guild:
Mums and Babies Group
My local Mums and Babies group
Helps to keep me sane.
With adult conversation
To stimulate my brain.
When I am feeling anxious
It helps to get me through
To hear that all the other mums
Have fears and worries too.
We talk about our babies
And get stuff off our chest
And reassure each other
We can only do our best.
We have a laugh and giggle
About the week we’ve had
Sharing our experience
The good things and the bad.
By the time our tea is finished
And we’ve put the world to rights
We’re re-energised to face
Another week of sleepless nights.
by Sarah Davis
I never gave up the hope of becoming a parent one day and I feel very lucky to be in the position that I’m in now family, health and work wise. When I had M.E. my concentration span was too short to read a book or listen to the radio – now I’ve written a book and been interviewed live on the radio! But my biggest achievement by far is being Matthew’s mummy!
You can order ‘Baby Daze’ published February 2018 by The Book Guild here: