Updated: Aug 13, 2019
For the whole 9 months of pregnancy women have time to prepare themselves for being a mother. This can feel too long, but once the baby arrives women often feel confused and unsure of who they are as a mum.
Society has changed and the media now generally presents this rosy, glamorous picture of motherhood for celebrities - flat stomachs, shiny hair and day trips here, there and everywhere. In reality, it can be a whole lot different.
There is a lot of pressure to be a yummy mummy so soon after baby is born. Often with only one parent back at work there isn't much money to be spending on new glamorous breastfeeding/maternity clothes while you still have a small receding bump. Time and energy for exercise is hard to find and maintaining yourself often becomes the last priority of the day.
This is the powerful yet awful side of being a mother - the good and the bad and the ugly all at once. For every positive there is a negative, for every delight there is a worry, for every new development there is an unwelcome change. This continues and never goes away. Learning to be a mother is accepting life as it is and enjoying it. Noticing the difficult aspects and sharing them with a good listener, whilst delighting in and celebrating the life-changing good parts.
It can also be a challenge for many to transform their enjoyment for the fast paced society we live in today with the time needed for providing a baby with their needs. Accepting this push and pull of emotions can help women survive that first year, whilst learning to become their new identity, new name and new figure as a mum.
At some point many realise that it helps to think of their sacrifices as a gift to their child of a healthy and wholesome childhood.
Here are 20 top tips for mastering the hills and valleys of motherhood:
Be aware of yourself as a person, try to talk about your experiences and understand them.
Be aware of how your life has changed and your new identity as a provider.
Accept how your body has changed for now.
Learn to live with this intense love for a child.
Understand what parent you want to be.
Learn to value small repetitive tasks.
Watch out for sleep deprivation.
Look after your self esteem (don't plan too many tasks for one day).
Watch out for accidental parenting (choosing the easy route today only to make life harder in the future).
Know your big goals for the first year, this can help with the small decisions.
Talk away from baby.
Look ahead to put worries in perspective.
Go outside everyday even if for only a moment.
Find time for yourself, baby will be okay with someone you trust.
Have a shower everyday, even if baby cries, you still have needs.
Be aware of when guilt affects your decisions.
Find a hobby, passion, interest that you can do alongside baby so you have more than one identity.
Don't be afraid to ask other mums to swap phone numbers they are probably in equal need of adult company.
Understand that children develop and change so slowly that you have plenty of time to figure out your style of parenting and get it right.
If you are interested in how life changes for dads - watch out for my upcoming blog on parenting for dads.
Swaddling To Toddling Antenatal Course
To discover more about becoming a mother and father join a Swaddling To Toddling antenatal class in Bristol. Find out how your own childhood can affect you as a parent and learn useful strategies for sustaining and enhancing your relationship as couple. Book online now to secure your place.