I am just reading through my previous workshop notes about the issue of Being A Mum and what this meant to the new mums who attended to talk through their adjustment to being a mother.
Some of the previous comments and concerns included:
- carrying the responsibility of looking after their new baby
- concerns about not doing it right and feeling like a failure
- the guilt
- the changes in their life with the lack of independence and having to go with the flow
- feeling like they have lost their confidence as they find their feet as a mum
I remember feeling very lost, emotional and pretty pissed off with my husband when I first became a mum – I had prepared for birth and the practicalities of looking after a newborn baby but I hadn’t prepared for being a mum. I loved my baby girl and I knew how very fortunate I was to have her but I was so ill prepared for the selflessness that parenting requires, for the intensity of it and for how vulnerable and isolated I felt at times. I remember very much the overwhelming feeling that I was getting it all wrong!
My husband could leave the house when he wanted, while I was pinned to the sofa underneath a sleeping/feeding baby, which I just didn’t appreciate at all. It took months for me to get it, to realise this was all normal, that I wasn’t doing anything wrong.
This is why I trained as a postnatal group facilitator, so I could provide more ongoing support for mums, as and when they need it, so they wouldn’t feel isolated and like they were failing. It is also why I now provide ongoing parent support because the challenges of being a mum just change as our children grow.
Janine Smith | a specialist in pregnancy, birth and parent support