Motherhood is a unique experience that makes us grow and enjoy life. When one assumes motherhood, it can go from something overwhelming, to something truly enriching, or a stage in life where you experience both.
It is also a roller coaster of emotions: a vital stage of joy, exhaustion, change, and expectations that we must learn to control.
While we are waiting for the baby, we feel the changes coming and we think we are prepared for them. The truth is, though, that when the time comes, many things can feel overwhelming.
The baby’s arrival is filled with joy and anticipation, but in addition to positive emotions, it also produces a total change in routines and priorities. It turns our world upside down.
Feeling that such a big change destabilizes our lives does not necessarily mean that we were not prepared. It just means that it is a process that tests us according to its size. Like any other important process, we need time to adapt to the changes.
It may seem impossible to look for a balance once we have added such a significant role in our lives. Especially in the first months. However, it is possible. In fact, we need to find balance in all of our roles in our lives so that we can fully enjoy motherhood.
How to take on motherhood
There is not one unique way to do it. In fact, we should say that there are as many ways as there are mothers. But, there are some things we need to take into consideration. Especially if we want to deal with the frequency and intensity of dreaded moments of anxiety and tumult.
Do not try to adapt to external criteria
Motherhood is full of pressure and prejudice. These come from stereotypes and criticisms that seem to establish what is right and what is wrong. What makes people a good mother and what makes them a bad mother. Do not fall for these absurdities. The person who should decide if something is right or wrong is the pediatrician.
Do not focus on what you thought motherhood would be. Instead, focus on what it means for you as an individual. Give it your own opinion. If it is built on external criteria, it will be difficult for you to feel good.
Love is the foundation of motherhood, and true love is always natural. Therefore, follow your own criteria and intuition. Make your own definition of what it means to be a mother and you will probably become the best mother for your children.
Fathers and mothers are different but equally capable, necessary and competent. If we assume that both parents want what is best for their children, then why do mothers usually not delegate and / or fully trust their partner’s abilities?
In many cases, women take on the inherent responsibility of parenthood. Mothers, as a rule, do not allow fathers to become as involved in the care and upbringing of their children as they do. This is not fair. Later, mothers will end up complaining about it.
It is a mistake to have both roles. It is based on convenience and resignation. The responsibility for caring for a baby should not lie with a single person (when it comes to families with two parents). Sharing responsibility is essentially equal.
You have to be confident when you take on motherhood
As soon as we have our baby, everyone seems to undergo an exam in how to take on motherhood. They tell you and insist that you do things one way or another. It is equally valid whether they have seen the baby for five minutes or two hours.
Everyone thinks they know what’s best. They even take the liberty of correcting you or criticizing you.
This will not stop unless you set clear boundaries. The sooner you put them on, the better. The father and mother are the only ones responsible for the baby’s physical and mental well-being. Find a way to express your discomfort clearly and respectfully. Protect your motherhood with respect, and do not allow disrespect, in the form of advice or opinions.
Deal with your guilt
Guilt is a feeling that occurs in first-time mothers. The guilt of not being able to breastfeed, putting the baby in day care, being late for the baby getting sick, not enjoying more time together, feeling sad… an endless source of guilt.
Guilt can become a dead end for any mother. It is not constructive and it never brings anything positive. You need to replace your guilt with responsibilities and solutions. If you think you have made a mistake, try to improve and do better next time.
If you could not have done anything to prevent something from happening, then you are not responsible and it makes no sense to feel guilty. If you feel sad, or have a recurring feeling that you are not enjoying motherhood, stop and think. Reach out for professional help if needed, and keep trying.
Save some time for yourself in motherhood
Being a good mother does not mean being with your baby 24 hours a day. Many times, we do not allow ourselves any alone time because we think it is not necessary. We may also feel that leaving the care to some others makes us a bad parent.
Whether one assumes motherhood successfully will also depend on you not giving up your individuality. We do not have to give up our career, friendships, partner or leisure activities. What we really need is to learn how to organize and adapt our lives to the new challenges we face.
When we become a mother, we do not stop being a person, so we can not give up our individuality. We must join in taking care of ourselves. We must not ignore all other aspects of our lives. Moreover, we need to feel good about ourselves, to feel good as mothers.
It is a fact that happy parents raise happy children. Do not give up on yourself, even though being a parent is something valuable and important. There is more to life than your role as a mother.
Do not compare yourself with other women who take on motherhood
Motherhood is, popularly said, something wonderful, a unique experience. It is true. What is often not said about motherhood is that it is a difficult stage in life when everything changes. We can sometimes feel that it is overwhelming.
That it is not as we expected and that we can not continue. It can feel like a downward spiral of emotions. Especially if we think that other mothers are well and happy.
In the case of motherhood, you and your circumstances are unique. There is therefore no room for comparison. Taking on motherhood in the healthiest way is about doing your best. What other mothers do does not make them better or worse mothers than you. Motherhood is not a competition.
There are endless ways to be the best mom
There are as many mothers as there are ways to deal with motherhood. That means you have to be a mother in your own way, on your own terms. Give yourself the luxury of releasing yourself of unnecessary pressure, and allow yourself to enjoy it your way.
It is important to understand that all uncertainties, doubts and bad days are a part of motherhood, as well as life. It is also important to allow ourselves to feel and accept that not all emotions associated with such an intense experience should be positive. In fact, it would not be natural if they were.
Motherhood is a precious stone that we polish every day. Before we became mothers, we were individuals. We should also remember that we are the central axis of our own lives, the foundation on which our children build their lives. To handle the task of motherhood in a healthy way, all we need to do is be generous with ourselves.