Anxieties of being a new mum
It’s life changing!
As a 44 year-old mother of two, Maria, age 11 and Ben, Age 14, I had forgotten what being a new mum was like until last week. I was visiting my friend who had just had her first child, a gorgeous little boy.
Her living room was full of gadgets, a musical swing, a vibrating chair, a singing mat and all because the poor little man has reflux and never settles during the day. My friend looked great on three hours sleep and seemed really chilled with being a new mum. She had even got a white noise app for her phone which helped her boy sleep and said she had learned to zone out from the crying.
She then stopped mid sentence with a new realisation and said “It’s life changing Wendy, I mean really life changing!” and we both laughed at the enormity of what she had said. I don’t think anyone or anything can prepare you for becoming a parent. All the books and discussions prior to birth merely gives you knowledge but nowhere near prepares you for the responsibility and the unconditional love you feel.
I am writing this piece with hindsight, in the hope that if you are a new mum or mother of young children you might relate to some of things I am saying and maybe take on board some of the advice I am giving.
As a life coach I spend a lot of time helping clients decide on what direction to take in their life, they are desperate to change but don't know how or which way to go. They also say they wish they had enjoyed the time more when the children were young, instead of being anxious and worrying a lot of the time.
So I have put together a list of tips that may just help reduce the anxiety of being a new mum.
Tips to reduce your anxiety of being a new mum:
- Try not to compare your child to anyone else, your baby is one of a kind and will reach milestones in their own time.
- Do what you feel is right for your baby, listen to advice but act on your instinct.
- Let someone else take over when they ask, rest when you can.
- Try and be tolerant of your family and in-laws; let them spoil, it’s their prerogative. Baby will grow up to know they are spoiled when they are with them, no harm done.
- Be grateful for all you have, even the sleepless night, colicky gripes as this time is so short lived.
- Keep some part of the old you, a hobby, seeing friends, nights out.
- Have some time away from baby: plan this and enjoy it.
- Let the father do it his way (baby won’t come to any harm when fed differently or burped differently).
- Make some time for you as a couple, if you have a partner. It is so important if you are to stay strong during the following years.
- See the funny side of motherhood, the bags under your eyes, the sick stained best dress, being late everywhere and laugh at yourself and the wonderful situation you are in.
- Cry or shout when you are tired and get your frustrations out, don’t bottle them up.
- Share with others how you feel.
- Look after yourself, eat well and try and find time to exercise as it releases the feel good hormones you need (pushing the pram quickly is great and buy a hula hoop).
- If you want to bottle feed them, or give them a dummy then it’s your choice.
Last but not least
Motherhood is life changing. With its huge ups and downs it is the hardest job in the world. But it is the most rewarding and special too. Both my two will be at high school soon and in contrast to when mine were babies, I am desperately wishing time would slow down. University and empty nest syndrome looms.
I am definitely trying to mindfully enjoy the now as much as I can.