It’s time to bust the perfect mom myth
Everyone has an opinion on how you should be and do motherhood.
From the second you find out you are pregnant suddenly the world is filled with opinions from how to handle pregnancy, labor and delivery to the first year with your baby.
People assume because you are having a baby that you must be overjoyed, excited and so happy.
If you are not excited, overjoyed or happy then people assume something is wrong with you.
We aren’t allowed to feel scared, disappointment, frustration.
We aren’t allowed to talk about how we might have considered abortion or that we are terrified of being a bad mom.
We aren’t allowed to feel safe in our emotional journey as we shift from an individual to a unit.
The journey of becoming a mother is not the pretty pictures on Instagram.
It is a web of emotions that take time to learn, process and grow through.
The motherhood journey transcends beyond pregnancy and the first 40 days of postpartum.
There is no perfect mom
Dr. Alexandra Sacks, a top reproductive psychiatrist describes the experience of motherhood in her book, “What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood” as moments of ambivalence because every mother is constantly juggling between giving and taking.
“But every mother will have moments of ambivalence, because she’s always juggling between giving and taking.” — Dr. Alexandra Sacks
You may be striving to fulfill the perfect mother image only to feel conflicted and disappointed when your feelings don’t match the expectation you are trying to live up to.
The perfect mom image is different for every woman.
Society reinforces the bliss myth in that a mother’s primary emotion is joy in motherhood.
This myth forces us to suffer silently and hide our darker emotions or share the intimate details of days we didn’t want to “mom”.
This perfect mom image is impossible for us to live up to and only sets us up to feel as if we have failed.
Trust your own intuition
Everyone will have a way and say on how to do things with your child.
There is tons of information on the right way to parent, discipline, feed and care for your little one.
But at the end of the day you none of those people and resources will have your intuition.
Trust your intuition in how you feel and care for yourself and your family.
This simple tool will build up a mother’s confidence in her role.
Intuition gives us a validation that we can’t get from anyone else.
It is a small nudge in the right direction and can make a world of a difference when being a mother can be a demanding and confusing role.
You don’t have to love motherhood
The truth of it is you don’t have to love motherhood.
It doesn’t make you less of a mother if you aren’t head over heels in love with motherhood.
And why do you have to love motherhood to be a good mom?
Being a mom is compared to working two jobs.
It is demanding, exhausting, mentally and physically depleting.
It is okay to not love your job every day.
In fact I don’t know anyone who loves their job every day but the passion and commitment to the work is what keeps a person coming back.
Mothers put in enough work, passion and commitment to their little ones that they don’t need more pressure to feel in love all the time.
It is a bit unrealistic to place this kind of extreme thinking on someone.
It’s okay to miss the life you had before
When we launch into motherhood often times we grieve our former lives.
We miss the freedom. We miss time to ourselves.
We miss time to practice self-care.
And there is nothing wrong with loving our child but also missing our self.
I don’t know any other responsibility that is entirely self-less other than being a mom.
It doesn’t make you a bad mom if you want to go back to the life you had before for a little bit.
It doesn’t make you a bad mom if you carve out a little time for yourself outside of motherhood.
It doesn’t make you a bad mom if you grab a drink with a girlfriend and god forbid — enjoy it.
We are meant to still enjoy our lives and explore who we are now in this role but also remember the self we had before our babies.
You are still that woman but re-born.
Welcome to motherhood.