Discover more about Entice author, Sarah Bilston, author of Bed Rest and Sleepless Nights.
In your first novel, Bed Rest, we watched Quinn go through a difficult pregnancy. In Sleepless Nights, she’s surprised to find herself unprepared for the changes a new baby brings. What did you find most surprising about the first year of motherhood?
Before I was a mother I used to see new mums out and about with babies in strollers, and I thought motherhood looked pretty easy. You had a lovely baby to hold AND you got to take some time off from work. What’s not to love about that?
Within twenty-four hours of having my first child I realized just how hard parenting can be. I’m an only child, and before becoming a mom I was used to plenty of me-time. Of course, me-time went out of the window of the delivery room. I nursed, and my oldest daughter was quite small at birth, so I was on a two-hour feeding schedule – which, as all nursing mothers know, means one hour for feeding, one hour for changing, then you start the whole thing all over again. Forget me-time – I found it hard to grab showering and tooth-brushing time.
My oldest girl also had colic, which was another big shock. I’d always assumed that babies cried for fairly obvious reasons, and that their problems could be easily fixed by a loving mother. Not true. Wall-to-wall crying, on no sleep, was not fun at all. By the time she was about three months old I was so sleep-deprived I was seeing purple flashing lights.
1. Other people LOVE to tell you how to raise your children – and what you’re doing wrong. Ignore the unsolicited advice. Half the time people only tell you what to do because secretly they’re worried they could have done better themselves. They’re really trying to reassure themselves about their own choices. Feel free to smile politely and walk away.
2. I used to believe in nurture over nature. Now I think kids’ personalities are 99% nature! My children are all so wonderfully different (I have three, including twins). Accept that their little quirks are all their very own, and focus on helping them manage (and love!) the people they are.
3. One minute you can hardly change a nappy…. the next (or so it seems) you’ve got one child on the left hip, another on the right, and you’re helping a third cut out and glitter-glue a paper snowflake. At the same time you’re cooking dinner, sending a dozen work Emails, and finding someone to come and fix the roof. Motherhood is an amazing journey. Find time to enjoy it along the way!