Challenges of motherhood
Giving a birth to a first child is one of the most important life changing events that people experience. This is a time to change old habits, mature up, give up on some old routines, re-evaluate the lifestyle. On the top of all the changes, this is also time to learn from new experiences and educate yourself on every day basic new reality. It is not common that new moms (or not so new) make certain mistakes that cause them unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Here are the most common misconceptions:
- Getting well right away after giving birth
Many new moms feel that they need to get well, as soon as, they leave the hospital. They create their post-baby plan and try to stick to it putting pressure on themselves and often their partners. Checking weight almost every day, wondering why their body is not the same as all of those women on social media, asking themselves “what is wrong with me?” etc etc etc.
The truth is that every body and every person heals differently. We all need to stop putting pressure on ourselves and strive for something that our body and mind is not ready for. Let’s get rid of the scale and focus on mindful eating, mindful exercising, and mindful motherhood as ways of getting in pre-pregnancy or our brand new post-pregnancy shape.
- I got this!
New moms often feel that they “have all this under control.” They turn the “auto pilot” and go through the day non – stop trying to accomplish as much as they can. The books and the Internet articles advise them to sleep when the baby sleeps but they believe that they need that time to cook, clean, do the laundry, or read another article on how to be a “Super mom.”
The truth is, we all need help. New moms need to sleep, rest, recover, and adjust to changes that are happening not only in their life and body but also in the life of a little human being next to them. It is ok to sleep, nap, and rest. All this cooking, laundry, dishes can wait…or husbands, partners, parents or even friends can always come in and help out!
New moms often neglect own needs and sacrifice themselves and their own well-being. They are often afraid to verbalize how they really feel because they don’t want to be judged, criticized, or misunderstood. They keep their fears and worries inside and many times have obsessive thoughts about the safety of their children, about being a good mom, or doing the right thing.
The truth is, moms needs to talk to others about things that bother them. They need to speak up and break the stigma of motherhood and challenges that it brings. As much as some of the worries are normal for the circumstances of giving birth and adjusting to the life changes, there are also some concerning thoughts and worries that need to be addressed and help of a professional may be necessary and extremely helpful.
- I know it all…
New moms often have a tendency to avoid asking questions so others will not think that they do not know what they are doing. The pretend that they understand what their doctor says, they keep the smile on their faces when others give them advise, and tend to Google their answers that many times result in increased anxiety and even more chaos in their minds.
The truth is, asking questions are very important and it is always a sign of being a good mom and not a neglectful one! Asking right questions eases the mind and calms the nerves!
- My love is towards my baby
New moms often tend to neglect their husbands/partners. They are so focused on their newborns that they tend to forget about the importance of keeping the romance going. Usually moms feel a very strong bond and a connection with their baby or if the connection is not that strong they tend to focus on building it. Husbands/partners of new moms often feel neglected, forgotten, and unimportant.
The truth is, as much as mama-baby bond is growing, mama-papa bond should grow too. Dad is a part of the dyad and needs to feel the same love as the baby in order for the family system to work. A little TLC and taking time to cherish the relationship by going on dates, talking about positive aspects of each day, watching a movie together are just a few examples of how to strengthen the partnership.
The most important advice for a new mom is to find a balance in everything you do. Baby is a wonderful and loving addition to your life that will shake it and change it but will also make it feel complete and fulfilled. Mindful motherhood is all about balance and positive outlook on every day life. Do not be afraid to ask for help, take care of yourself and your partner, sleep when you can, breath through the day, go for walks while listening to the happy music, and live your life the way you want it and not the way you think you should.