New mums revel in joys of motherhood
WHEN it comes to being a mum it is much more than biology and genetics.
The miracle that is motherhood is sometimes planned, other times a complete surprise.
A woman's desire to have a baby has taken a backward step in recent years with more women choosing to wait until later in their lives to become a mum.
But for first-time mums Anne-Maree Nolan, Tianna Muscat and Samantha Mitchell, the joy of motherhood is the one job where they feel their lives are complete.
All three women are in their early to late 20s and never thought they would be mums to Liam, Kiara and Scarlette so early in their lives.
"It was never in my plan to have a baby in my 20s," Miss Mitchell said.
"Women want to live their life, go overseas and have a career."
But for Miss Mitchell, having Scarlette last year was one of the most amazing things she had done in her life.
"In my situation we had just got to a really comfortable place as us, and to throw another person into the mix was frightening," Miss Mitchell said.
"I thought, we don't know enough about each other to guarantee this was going to work.
"Right now is the best time in my life. Scarlette is an amazing little person who I get to hang out with. It is allowing me to be a kid again."
For Miss Muscat the news that she was going to be a mum was a daunting experience.
"I thought, 'I am too young to have a baby, can I do this, am I going to survive this?'," Miss Muscat said.
For Mrs Nolan she always wanted to be a mum and couldn't wait.
After Miss Muscat's daughter Kiara was born she said the first three months she was in survivor mode.
"It took a while to register that I had a baby to look after," she said.
"The first three months you are in survivor mode and sleeping whenever you can".
Miss Mitchell said when she became a mum she learnt more patience.
"This is going to sound really cheesy but I think being a mum has made me a better person. It has given me a lot more patience, a lot more respect for people and I see the world a bit differently now, because I have something so amazing to care for."
And Mrs Nolan agreed and said it was the best job she ever had.
"I just love watching my son Liam grow plus all the cuddles and smiles," she said.
Miss Muscat said one of the joys of motherhood was when her baby did something new each day.
"You can be excited over the littlest of things, like clicking their tongue," she said.
Change in lifestyle the biggest hurdle
THE biggest hurdle in becoming a mum is the change in lifestyle.
Samantha Mitchell said it was the things you gave up for yourself, such as making your own money.
"My partner makes his own money and goes to work and gets that social interaction."
She said when she and her boyfriend were expecting their first child they sat down and worked out if they could afford it.
"We went through our finances - on paper we were fine but in reality we have to budget," Miss Mitchell said.
"Going on a coffee date or for lunch are things you don't do on a whim anymore because that money can do elsewhere.
"When I say we have to think about what we spend, we are still incredibly comfortable.
"We don't go without.
"I just don't spend money like I used to.
"You lose your independence because you are not making your own money."
Tianna Muscat said one of the biggest changes was losing your career and your body.
"You lose all self esteem, you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror and you go 'Is that what I look like now? What happened?'."
"You have stretch marks and caesarean marks and flabby bits - but it is all worth it."