Motherhood is not always glamorous, in fact, it's really, really hard. In our Getting Real on Motherhood blog series, we had a chance to talk candidly with some of our favourite mamas about the hardships, and wonders, of motherhood.
This week we sat down with new mom, Bailey Peyton, to discuss the realities of postpartum and how she’s been resilient in the face of adversity. Bailey is a new mom to her beautiful baby boy, Beckett. Since welcoming her baby boy in February 2023, Bailey has learned the hard way that motherhood isn’t always glitz and glam. In our first blog post in this series, Bailey shares her story and gives advice to all the new moms out there who might be struggling.
We hope this series will offer a safe space, without shame or judgment, for moms to get real and celebrate the idea of women showing up and doing their best.
You recently welcomed your beautiful baby boy, Beckett, into this world! Tell us how being a new mom has changed your perception of motherhood!
As a first-time mom, I can now firmly say that it is the hardest thing I have ever loved to do. I feel like we hear the statement ‘the days are long, but the years are short’ a LOT…but no one ever tells you how terribly and beautifully hard motherhood is going to be, truly. Being a new mom has changed my perception of motherhood in insurmountable ways…everyday, I have to meet both myself and Beckett with a new understanding of where we are both at that day. I think it can be really easy to get a glimpse of what you think motherhood ‘should’ be, especially with social media these days, but your reality is going to look different than others and that is okay. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. It has taught me that it makes me the best mom for my baby.
You’ve been very transparent on some of the hardships you have faced postpartum - what advice do you have for new mothers?
It is so important to me to share my real, raw and relatable journey through my platform always, but even more so now through my postpartum journey. Our hardships with sweet Beckett boy have definitely rocked our world harder than I could have imagined, and no one gave me a guidebook on how to handle it for myself, as a spouse or as a mom. 1) Similar to my advice to anyone on their confidence journey, do your best to not compare. There is SO much information, suggestions, and opinions out there for moms (for better or worse) and doing the 3am doom scroll during evening feedings has gotten the best of me at times. 2) We need better support for postpartum care, breastfeeding and the first few months with our new babies. Period. It is not accessible and after my experience, I am so passionate to make sure more moms don’t have the experiences I have. See an IBCLC within your first 2 weeks after birth. If you have a gut instinct that something is off with your little one, you know them best so trust it and don’t let anyone label it as ‘oh he’s just a newborn’ or ‘he’s colic’. Advocate for them and trust yourself momma, you’ve got this.
Can you share a moment when you felt particularly proud or empowered as a mother?
We had a perfectly calm, happy, growing baby for the first 3 weeks of his life. And then breastfeeding became traumatizing because he had a shallow latch and was gulping air, he had a double ear infection, and we eventually had to get his oral ties released to help him feed more efficiently. Throughout this entire process, which has consumed the three of us for 2 months now, I have spent nearly every waking moment advocating for my son and his needs. I feel empowered that despite the hardest of days, I haven’t given up even when the tears have overshadowed the laughter.
How do you prioritize self-care and balance the demands of motherhood?
I definitely have not mastered this yet…every baby is so different. I like to say that my life is being lived in very small windows right now - since I never know how long he will sleep solo, it is a game of what I prioritize: pumping, a shower, work, making a meal, dishes, etc. It’s a daily puzzle! In the meantime, I try to do 5 things a day that I enjoy even if they are short-lived. For me, it’s: a) listening to a favorite album or song b) enjoying my morning cup of espresso with whipped cream and frothed creamer c) taking a shower or brushing my teeth, let's be honest sometimes both don’t get done lol d) stepping outside and feeling the sun on my face e) checking in with someone to feel connected.
Can you tell us about a mother figure who has inspired you in your life and why?
Two of the mother figures who inspired me the most unfortunately are no longer with us, but I carry everything I learned from them with me. Brenda and Shannon were two female mentors of mine and very much mother figures to me in a time when I needed them most, as an emotional teenage girl seeking acceptance and self-love. They truly helped me find my brave, confident nature and establish value in the pieces of myself that I felt most insecure about. I hope to carry on that energy with Beckett, sharing daily affirmations with him so that he knows how strong, worthy, and loved he is and that we are his safe space, always.
A big thank you to Bailey for getting real about the challenges of being a new mom. Motherhood, especially #newmomlife, is no easy feat! If you wish to follow along with Bailey’s journey, you can find her at @thebaileyp.
Stayed tuned for more blog posts from our Real On Motherhood series - coming soon!