I’ve been reminded this week: parenting IS a journey.

My tiny baby - the one I brought home from the hospital, put down in the middle of the sitting room in her car seat, looked at, and realised it was now all down to us and there was no going back - that baby has turned 18.

How?

In fact, there are SO many ‘how’s’!

How did my body know how to grow a baby? (That’s just amazing in its own right, isn’t it?)

Oh, HOW I LOVED being pregnant… it’s such a shame that you can’t be in the second trimester for the whole of your life! I honestly LOVED that stage, you know, the bit where you feel fantastic (I’m super sorry for those mums-to-be who don’t get to this stage due to morning sickness), that stage when you’re not too big but are clearly pregnant and you have all the energy to take on the world and to cap it all off, you also have your tiny baby with you all the time as a friend and company. As I say, I LOVED being pregnant. Did you?

Then there was the unstated, terrifying, exciting, nerve-wracking, wonder-filled ‘how’ of HOW will I get this baby out into the world…

The unknown-ness of the first time, the emotions really were SO raw… they must have been for me to be able to conjure them up so readily 18 years later.

The ‘how’ of knowing how to look after this baby and knowing when to make changes to her day. The ‘how’ of how on earth am I going to fill the WHOLE day alone with this baby? The ‘how’ of knowing whether I was doing the right thing, if I was doing a good enough job, something I think most new parents ask all the time and don’t really stop asking as they go along their parenting journey.

The ‘how’ of knowing how to deal with each new situation as we came across it.

As I say, SO many ‘how’s’…

But one thing I know is that the people I met then, the other new mums that I found on my journey into motherhood, are some of my deepest friends. They were the ones who were also on that same raw journey as me. We might not see each other often. We might not talk that often. Our lives have taken us in different directions and to different places, but I honestly see that group of women as some of the most important people in my life. There weren’t many of them, but the bond was deep.  As the children, all turn 18 this month and next, those friends and those early days have been really close to the surface.

mums-with-babies-chatting

But it’s also made me reflect on the journey that is parenting.

It’s SUCH a journey.

From the early days of not knowing how to fill the days for your baby or knowing if what you are doing is the right thing for them (the Oliiki app is here to help you with that, and it’ll also give you the confidence that you are ACTUALLY doing a brilliant job 😉) to the fun of the toddler years. From the mysteries of the early teens to the wonder of seeing your tiny baby turning into a young adult. It truly IS a journey. And the amazing thing about it is, that not only is your tiny baby changing, but you are too… and so are the people you are sharing the journey with. It’s no wonder that for most of the time we are questioning ourselves, unsure if we have got it right, and uncertain if we are doing enough.

That’s what Oliiki Thrive is all about…

I want to help you build those deep raw connections that will last a lifetime and get you through the toughest of days, but also have people to share the celebrations with. People who know you in your most vulnerable state and therefore make no judgment but are there to support you in the same way you’re there to support them.

Oliiki Thrive will be a place to discover the next step along the way, to have someone else to ask, ‘is this normal’ and ‘am I doing ok?’

Oliiki Thrive is a membership club that is coming really soon. It’s just for you! To help you on YOUR parenting journey so you feel supported and cherished, as well as a place to build those friends who you too will look back and share your baby’s 18th birthday with. Have you joined the waiting list yet?  We can’t wait to see you! Xx