Danielle wallington, 32, owner and founder of milknfizz. Son- Eddie 14 months
Why/When did you decide to start a family?
My partner and I had been together six years and had always planned to have a family we just never felt we were ‘ready’ I wasn’t always the ‘maternal’ type and was one of those people that had no idea what to do when someone handed you a baby, It wasn’t until I turned 30 I started to think about it more and we said to each other one night, if it happens it happens! Little did we know I was already a few weeks pregnant!
How did it change your life? What was the biggest change/hardest thing to deal with?
At the beginning I found it the hardest time, it was a complete shock and I felt very flat for weeks, I remember just crying about everything, no sleep, struggling to breastfeed, but the biggest thing for me was worrying that our life together would never be the same again, we could never just walk to the local pub; or go for dinner and in a completely selfish way I felt like I had lost my old life; and it took a good few months for that to pass.
How was your pregnancy?
My pregnancy was fine actually, I felt slightly sick the first few weeks (a bit like a hangover) but after that it was a good experience when I look back on it. I found it strange that my body had changed and I didn’t really feel like myself, I think that was the hardest part for me. People treat you differently too, I remember not being allowed to do certain things at work and I thought I’m pregnant I’m not ill.
Any tips on preparing someone for motherhood?
I don’t think you can ever really prepare anyone as it’s such a shock to the system and it’s something you can’t quite explain until you are in that position. So the only thing I would say to someone is ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ especially those first few weeks, they are really tough and it’s ok to feel crap abut it, don’t keep it in, talk to people around you and tell them how your feeling. Everyone is always saying how amazing that time is and to treasure every moment and you feel like you have to keep up this act. Basically don’t feel the dreaded ‘mum guilt’ if you don’t enjoy everyday, or you don’t bond with your baby the moment you give birth, or you feel bored sometimes being at home with the baby, it’s all normal and its all about getting through it the best way you can. The rewards will come… honestly 🙂
Favourite thing about being a Mum
There are so many good things but I love it when its just the two of us and he giggles at something I have said or done, it doesn’t matter how rubbish your day has been all they have to do is look at you and smile.
Did you return to work after?
I had been at my previous company for nearly nine years and I put in a request to work part time while I was still on maternity leave, but unfortunately it wasn’t accepted so I felt I had no other choice but to hand in my notice. It wasn’t a easy decision to make as I enjoyed my job but I couldn’t go back to the same long hours and stress it caused me. That gave me the push I needed to set up milknfizz, I thought I would use the skills and experience I had gained to ‘go it alone’ and I now know it was 100% the right choice.
How does your work fit around being a mum?
Im finding it quite a challenge at the moment as my son isn’t at nursery so I don’t have set days when I’m working, I try and get all that I can done when he is napping or in bed during the evenings.
What childcare do you use?
Eddie was booked in to attend a nursery when my maternity leave ended but then I didn’t end up going back so to save some money we are putting this option on hold.
Do you get out regularly for date nights/socialising
We are very lucky and have a good support network so we still manage to go out at weekends and have the odd week night off. Eddie loves staying with his grandparents or at his aunty and uncle’s so this is a added bonus!
Have you got any tips for making family life work?
I would say just do the best you can, try not to stress, take each day as it comes and try and make time as a couple, thats really important! Especially if you want anymore kids 🙂
Join milknfizz for brunch on Friday 23rd March 10:00am – 1:30pm with the wonderful Anna Whitehouse (AKA Mother Pukka) to talk about all things motherhood and sign copies of the Sunday times bestseller ‘Parenting the Sh*t out of life’ that she co-wrote with her husband Matt (Papa Pukka)