In my experience, many, many, MANY moms are hard on themselves. Are you one of them?
Put down the stick, mama.
It doesn’t help your children. It certainly doesn’t help you. Perhaps it’s just underneath your awareness- that judgemental voice that drives you to an impossible standard of perfection.
How do they do it all? How do other moms manage? Why can’t I manage? Why is motherhood so hard for me?
I hear variations of the above questions OFTEN from my clients. What I hear them asking is why am I the only one struggling with motherhood? Why do other moms seem to have it all together? What is WRONG with me? Why can’t I hack it as a mother? Why is my life such a great big mess and that other mom seems to have a perfect life?
There’s a belief that other moms must be well-rested, go to the gym regularly, have perfectly behaved children, never feel overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted or at their breaking point.
But the truth is ALL mothers struggle, at least some of the time.
Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash
Many, many mothers of young children struggle.
Are you one of them? Do you feel in your bones how hard it is, but have trouble admitting it, even to yourself?
Do you feel like you need to put on a brave face and show the world you have it all together… but underneath the surface there are big feelings simmering that (even you) are barely aware of...
It used to be that everyone decided on their New Year's Resolutions this time of year. Then most people realized that they weren't keeping their resolutions even into February... so now the trend is to set New Year's Intentions.
This is a trend I can get behind and something I've done myself for the last few years. It's not about hitting the gym, or losing weight, or making more money. It's more about your overarching experience of your year to come.
Before having children I took pretty good care of my own needs. When I had free time, I more or less did what I wanted, when I wanted to.
When I had my first child, everything changed. Suddenly, his needs came first- which was a bit of a shock! And people stopped asking how I was doing...it became all about my baby.
Do you feel like you’ve lost yourself now that you’re a mom? Have you given up on most of the things you used to do, let go of what you used to love, and have trouble remembering who you used to be?
Really, really common mamas.
When your focus shifts to being all about your baby, it’s hard to remember who you were.
But it’s still in there, you are still there. You are still you, yet you are transformed.
Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash
Do you feel alone as a mother? Are you desperately wanting to have more connection and support in your life, but not sure how to go about getting it?
It’s become the norm that so many moms feel isolated and lonely. This is especially true for new moms on maternity leave who are home alone a lot of the time with their baby.
Maybe your husband/partner is supportive. That’s wonderful! But is something still missing? A yearning for a community of women who really understand the beauty and the struggles of what it means to be a mother.
Did you go into motherhood with expectations?
Maybe you imagined days filled with joy and laughter as you snuggled with your sweet newborn and marveled at how she was growing and changing.
And what you actually got were long days filled with frustration and exhaustion while dealing with a colicky baby who barely slept.
Maybe you imagined you would breastfeed into toddlerhood… but instead you struggled with milk supply and only managed to breastfeed for 4 months.
Are you a new mom feeling resentment towards your husband/partner for not contributing as much as you'd like?
Maybe he's not rolling up his sleeves and being as involved of a daddy as you'd dreamed of, or maybe he’s spending a lot of time away from the house...
So how can you get him to change more diapers, hold baby more often, spend more time at home with you?
It’s so easy to become a martyr mom. Your baby is born and then it’s like you forget about yourself…
Shower? When you can fit it in.
Make-up? What’s that?
Doing the things you used to love that bring you joy. Huh? No longer part of your vocabulary.
Does this sound like you? It’s all too common to focus entirely on your baby and forget you have needs too.