Real Mama: Nadine Lynch

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Nadine and I live in the U.K. in an old town called Woburn Sands. I work part-time at a university and the rest of my time is spent at home with my beautiful little girl and awesome husband. We don’t have any exciting or unusual hobbies but enjoy doing things as a family, eating out and meeting up with family and friends. On the rare occasions that I get a bit of ‘me time,’ I’ve been known to dabble in sewing, crochet and baking yummy things. And when I’m too tired for that, grabbing a glass of wine and watching some of my favorite series’ such as Desperate Housewives, Dexter or Vampire Diaries (I guess I’m still a teenage girl at heart).

Nadine Lynch Wedding Photo

Image by Jan McGready

What are your secrets to balancing your life as a working mama?

I’m fortunate enough to have been able to spend the first nine months of motherhood as a stay-at-home-mama, as my employer offered great maternity leave. I’m now back at work part-time, working two evenings per week, plus every Saturday, which means we don’t have to send Layla to daycare.

My mum lives around the corner and loves having her granddaughter on in the afternoon. Equally, my husband Paul loves having some special daddy-daughter time on a Saturday, so it’s worked out pretty well for everyone. I’m really lucky to have a fantastic support network of friends and family.

I’ve also learned not to try and cram too much into one day, as I just end up all in a muddle. Instead, Layla and I do all our socializing around lunchtime, which gives me time to get home to prepare dinner and other such housewifely duties.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My mama! My mum is brilliant. She raised me, for the most part, as a working single parent and has always done what’s best for me. Even now as I start out as a new mum, she is always there for me supporting me and my little family.

Nadine Lynch Maternity Photo

Image by Neil Pollock Photography

What has been the best advice you’ve received as a mama? What do you feel is the best advice, if any, that you’ve given as a mama?

Always follow your instincts! Try not to listen to (albeit well-meaning) friends and family telling you that you “should” be doing this or baby “needs” to learn that… Do what feels right and works best for your family. Don’t get too hung up on milestones either, babies are individuals and have their own personalities and ways of doing things. They’ll get there in their own time. Enjoy their little quirks and encourage them to grow into the unique little person they are destined to be.

Are you the kind of mama you thought you’d be?

I never really gave much thought to the kind of mama I’d be. I was so focused on getting through the pregnancy and birth, I didn’t really think much further ahead than that!

In the early days, my daughter was very fussy due to chronic acid reflux. This meant that I carried her in a sling a lot of the time, as it was the only way to comfort her. I now wear her in a wrap for most of her naps and when we are out and about. In general, I’m led by my daughter and my parenting style has evolved according to her needs.

If you could have lunch with anyone famous (dead or alive) who would it be?

At the moment, Will.I.Am. He just cracks me up and everyone needs a good laugh!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I’d love to be able to read babies’ minds. It certainly would make my life a little easier! Plus, I think it’d be interesting to know what they’re thinking or dreaming about… what do their nightmares consist of? A world without boobies?!

Was your birth experience all that you hoped it would be? If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

The day that Layla was born was truly the best day of my life. I still thank my lucky stars that I was able to experience the perfect birth I had planned. Everything went so smoothly, even down to her arriving on her due date!

After an initial assessment at the hospital, I labored at home, alternating between walking around the dining room table and sitting on the toilet with a cup of tea! I just remember the toilet being the most comfy place to sit. I practiced Hypnobirthing, so I listened to my relaxation music and breathed through the surges. It was a very empowering experience. I’d like to say it wasn’t painful, but I’d be lying. 

My water broke at home at around 8:30 p.m. so my husband, fearing that he may have to deliver the baby in the bathroom (me: “I think the baby’s coming out of my bum…”) decided it was time to go to hospital! I was nine and a half centimeters dilated when we arrived, so the midwife immediately filled the birthing pool, just as I had requested in my birth plan. It felt so good stepping into the warm water, just like a lovely hot bath. The lights were dimmed and the radio was playing softly in the background. My husband was feeding me cheese and Marmite sandwiches and blackcurrant juice between pushes whilst my mum chatted and joked with the midwife. It was a lovely serene, chilled out atmosphere.

At 11:50 p.m., after 40 minutes of gentle pushing, plus a few big pushes at the end, I pulled Layla into my arms and held her to my chest. Layla was wide-eyed and alert and we all just marveled at how perfect she was.

Nadine Lynch, mama and baby in a slingHow has your mothering evolved since those early newborn days? Is there anything, thus far, in your approach to mothering that you swore “I’d never do…” and you are?

I’ve surprised myself at how my mothering has evolved. I certainly never thought I’d be breastfeeding a one-year-old, but here I am.

Breastfeeding has been my biggest challenge so far. I always thought I’d “give it a go,” but never imagined how hard I’d find it and how many hurdles I’d have to jump. However, it only served to make me more determined to succeed and, now that we’ve got it sussed, I want to make the most of it.

Do you have a mama mantra? Or something you find yourself repeating over and over when times are tough?

“It’s just a phase, it’s just a phase, it’s just a phase…!”

On bad days, I find it helps to look back through newborn photos and remember those special moments. It makes me realize how fast the time passes and how precious the time is. What seemed bad six months ago is but a distant memory now, and this too shall pass.

Image by Pixifoto

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