Meet Manda, Mum to Sophie, George, Alice and baby Maggie - four all under the age of 7.
Manda likes hanging out a little bit on the gram and sharing her motherhood chaos through a mix of beautiful photos and real life stories and captions. It's hard not to be captivated by Manda's beautiful squares and stories on Instagram.
"I love the connections I’ve formed, and creativity I’ve embraced through being on Instagram, and find it a fun way of record keeping what this time in my life is like."
I love the arms around my neck and seeing them grow and flourish and achieve things! I love their laughter and imagination and their total innocence. Motherhood is the extremes of emotion for me - ultimate love, joy and pride, but also very real exhaustion and relentless and fear.
I think people without kids always imagine it to be easier than it is in reality, or think they’d be able to manage a lot better than we actually do! But my Mum gave us an honest appraisal of what motherhood would be like - at times really hard, but always worthwhile, and that really is how it is.
Most Challenging Time
The biggest challenges have been different for each of the babies - Sophie was tricky with sleeping, it took George a good few weeks to work out breastfeeding, and Alice never got a proper sleep in, being the third child. Personally I find having a baby sick with a cold or virus really challenging - I hate seeing them unwell and not being able to help too much!
On Baby Advice
The best advice was that you can’t spoil a baby - I wish I’d spent less time worrying about sleep times, feed times, and feeding to sleep, and more time just soaking in baby snuggles! Someone also once told me it’s never too late to start a new routine or habit, and that was helpful - it made me realise it was ok to do things in my own time.
Manda's advice to a first-time Mum
Be kind to yourself, keep realistic expectations, accept offers for help, try to build a support system and you can’t ever take too many photos or videos!
Manda's Top Baby Must-Haves
I found the Haakaa breast pump/milk saver so useful in the early days of feeding and I love the Bimby and Roy bralettes for feeding in too.