A picture of Arlene and her three boys.

Name: Arlene

Job: Pupil Support Officer

Children: 3 boys (1 step son)

What surprised you most about having children?

How I was able to love so much. It literally makes your muscles cramp and feels like it oozes out of your pores. I’ve always been quite a selfish person, but was amazed that that changed so much too.

What’s the hardest thing about being a parent?

The hardest part is when your child is in pain physically or emotionally. Trying to explain to them why someone would want to hurt them when they have done nothing wrong is heart breaking. It’s also very hard when your child is obviously upset with you. It’s instinct to do everything in your power to make your child feel better, but when you are the reason it feels horrendous!  

What do you wish you’d been told before having a baby?

I wish someone had told me about what happens after labour with the placenta!!! It’s like a whole second labour and feels like you’re being turned inside out! I was glad to have been warned about day 9 emotional dip though, as if I hadn’t I may have been convinced I was going mad!

How can someone best help a friend who has just had a baby?

The best way to help a friend who has just had a baby is to bring them food! Find out what they like and bring it to them. Often new parents don’t have time to eat or cook or are literally too tired to think about eating and there is nothing better than a getting a lovely, hot, healthy meal without even having to think about making it.

Do you have any advice for other mums or anyone planning on having a baby?
The best piece of advice to mums or future mums…? Give yourself a break!!! No mum is perfect, even the pushy social media queen!! Mums will only post positive moments on Facebook/Instagram but remember that is not real life. Parenthood is hard and messy and smelly and mostly thankless, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s the little things that make it great, the way their wee faces light up when they see you, what happy little things they are in the mornings and the fact that your face is the last thing they want to see before they go to sleep. It’s true what people say about it being the best yet worst job in the world and I agree, except it’s not a job it’s a privilege!

As part of out Mother's Day celebrations, this is a picture of our second mum Arlene's three boys.
Arlene’s three boys.
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