Instagram saved me…

Before I had children I thought I was born to be a mother.

As a child I was always feeding my dolls baby food (talc & water,) listing names I loved and imagining what my children would look like.

Even when I was pregnant, all I thought about was holding my new baby and dressing him in all the beautiful clothes we had purchased…

This however was sadly not the reality of motherhood for me…

It began with 64 hours of labour, followed by a colicky baby for 3 long months. Although Rex was a good little sleeper which helped, but my god motherhood had hit me hard.

The excitement of dressing him in all the new clothes soon turned in to frustration “seriously, will you just stop shitting up your back!!”

What used to be a quick trip to the shop, turned in to a 2 hour military operation. Why is it so difficult to get out of the house?

The hardest thing I found though, was accepting my new life. The girly shopaholic that loved to socialise and get my hair done every 6 weeks was no more. Suddenly I was someone’s mum, trusted to bring up a baby with no manual or college course. The old me had left the building and taken all that I was with it, leaving a larger, more wobbly, confused, and very tired version behind. I didn’t know who I was anymore…

Anyone that has children will know there is no love like it. They test every emotion and more, but you would literally die for them. Parenthood is a roller coaster ride and the biggest test you can take, and nothing can prepare you for it.

I knew my hormones had a huge part to play when it came to mourning over the loss of my identity, and it may sound shallow but I felt like I had made all the sacrifices (my body, my income, my freedom, my sleep) whereas my husband’s life hadn’t really changed much at all.

As Rex got a bit older, I found my hormones levelled out, I started to embrace motherhood and enjoy every day with my baby boy!

However, on our 2nd wedding anniversary I wasn’t feeling very well, I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong but I didn’t feel right. I have no idea why but a thought popped in to my head…

Am I pregnant? Surely not?

I instantly went to the chemist to get a test! I knew it would be negative but had to take one regardless so I could erase that thought from my mind.

Oh holy crap…

It was positive!

Ermmmm… Happy anniversary! 🙈

I thought my husband would go mad due to the rocky road we had had with Rex who wasn’t even One yet! But actually he was really happy which was a huge relief! We went out for a meal that night to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and new baby news!

A few weeks in to my pregnancy my mates ‘the hormones’ really piped up! I would wake up in the middle of the night crying for no reason, and everything I did became a huge struggle. I didn’t feel like I had anyone to talk to, I didn’t want to feel like a failure or for people to judge me. I was a mess and I didn’t know how to get my shit together.

In the end I went online seeking advice from other mums on a forum. They all advised speaking to my husband and explaining how I felt. So I did.

I admit it, I underestimated him. He knew I had bad days but had no idea I felt the way I did. Maybe I had post natal depression, maybe I didn’t? I still don’t know to this day, I just know I never want to feel like that again.

As 3 were soon to become 4, we had to get house hunting. That’s when we moved in to our lovely cottage.

I have always been creative and couldn’t wait to get started on the decor. I felt excited about having a project and transforming our new house in to a lovely home for our little family.

Just after we moved in I set up an Instagram page called Betty’s cottage. The purpose of this page was to share my project and new found passion for upcycling with other people. I soon discovered there were more of us out there, a little community in fact that shared a love for all things vintage and home decor related.

I was inspired by so many of you, and was surprised to hear I was inspiring many others as well. Finally after 2 years of feeling lost, I was able to express myself through my house in tiny little squares admired by you lovely lot.

Of course my children are without a doubt the most important thing in my life, however, it may sound a bit sad but I truly believe that Instagram saved me and I may not have found the old Hayley, but this one is doing a pretty good job of being me!

Thanks for reading


Hayley x

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  1. April 22, 2016 / 10:41 pm

    Love this. So heartfelt and you sound like a gentle soul 🙂 keep up the awesome project! Your cottage is dreamy and you should be proud!

  2. May 15, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    Hi Hayley, I\’ve just found your blog through your instagram page, and this post really spoke to me! My wonderful, beautiful, and incredibly testing at times little boy is 14 months old and I\’m 20 weeks pregnant today.. and instagram is keeping me sane (ish!) I\’m just addicted to it! It\’s so good to read that I\’m not the only one in this situation. xx

    • May 15, 2016 / 7:55 pm

      Ah wow congratulations! You know what, most of us mums are in the same boat, however failure or daily struggles seem to be a bit of a taboo subject.

    • May 15, 2016 / 7:56 pm

      Sorry I sent before I had finished writing. Toddlers are hard enough on their own without having a baby or another toddler in the mix. My advice is, if you have a support network then use and abuse. Make sure you have some you time! It\’s so important! Xxx

  3. July 5, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    Hi there. I\’ve only recently found you via IG. I love this blog post. Reading it was like listening to myself describe my experience as a new mother back in 2011. It\’s such a crazy ride. Anyway I thought it was a fabulously honest piece, and I agree that IG is a wonderful place to meet others with similar interests, issues and senses of humour….keep it up, you\’ve got a new follower! Xx

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