It’s at these times we forget who really are important. Ourselves!
Are you giving yourself the love and respect you deserve? Are you able to take the steps to put yourself first? If you’re struggling with this, like many mums are, it’s time to take some action.
Now that it is not just you but another tiny human being to take care of, you may have the feeling of losing yourself with lots of mixed emotions. You may feel you don’t know if you’re doing the right thing and you may be feeling especially judged by other people’s standards & advice that really doesn’t fit into the lifestyle you are used to enjoying.
How come it is so hard to give yourself permission to live the life you want? You have for years trained and worked hard to become who you are today. Yet now you have a baby you get told by others that once you have stepped into the world of motherhood you have to give it all away.
Well maybe not quite that dramatically but it’s certainly the essence of what I hear from many new mums. The first few months can be particularly hard. It’s often not until our little ones are around the age of 4 that we start to get some sort of order in the house and maybe then you have the opportunity to find yourself again.
Do you remember that person who knew what she wanted to be? The person who felt confident in her career and worked hard to get there. Remember that person! Deep down, she is still there. It’s just with all the chaos and our sleep deprived state of minds we have forgotten. Why is that?
For me I have been passionately interested in this topic for a very long time. To realize there was more to me than being an at home mum has taken me years. It’s only been over the last 3-4 years that I have had the confidence to venture out into new territory and rediscover my calling.
I have always been in the business of helping new mums with babies right through to ages 5 while nursing in the areas of Obstetrics, Pediatrics and as a Royal New Zealand Plunket Nurse, before starting my own family.
Now 18 years on, with more determination than ever, I see the importance of giving my mums the knowledge and support to thrive on their own intuition, while living life. The road to finding this truth even for myself hasn’t been an easy one.
I had to overcome many hurdles to reach a point in my life when I knew I needed the balance and needed something for me so I could give back to my family with more confidence and energy.
Today many mums are heading back to work much earlier than before. Our lives are much busier, more stressful, and the financial strain is all too real for the majority of our families, which means going back to work is not just an option but also a necessity.
Often there is no family around to lean on, a lot of couples these days have moved countries and so are worlds away from their support systems. Friends with babies are back at work or you are the very first to start a family.
To top that off with expectations to conform to a parenting style, or to conform to ways to feed your baby, where to sleep your baby, and the do’s and don’ts of parenting while feeling sleep deprived, will pretty much send any mum into a frenzy of emotions.
It’s no wonder we see more cases of postpartum distress than ever before. Mums are feeling more guilt, judging themselves too harshly about their parenting styles, and not looking within themselves for their knowledge and strength to make their own decisions.
Too often I get asked questions like…
Is it ok if I? What do I do now? If I do this, is it wrong?
If you’re asking yourself similar questions you are not alone.
Mums need to trust themselves and yet that seems even more difficult as our lives have become so complicated. We have less time for ourselves and feel we are judged by the decisions we are making. You would think that something that comes to us naturally like parenting is far simpler than it really is.
Advice given to our families is creating far more uncertainty and guilt than ever before.
Technology has taken over our own senses. Lack of support is leaving our mums vulnerable.
Pressure to feed or sleep a certain way gives mums guilt and a lack of self-worth because they feel they’re not caring for their babies like others say they should be.
The list goes on.
The best advice that I can give to mums is, put yourself first!
You are just as important as your baby. Give yourself permission to trust yourself. Believe in your strengths. Believe in your decisions. Stand your ground.
Feel empowered with the choices you have made.
Stop feeling guilty and step up and make yourself count. Whatever life decisions you make, they’re yours and your family’s and for no one else to judge.
Nurturing, trusting and believing in yourself will ultimately make parenting much simpler and more enjoyable.
So here are some simple steps for you to follow.
- Ask for help
- Take time out (even if it’s just for a coffee)
- Trust and allow your partner to take care of your baby (so you can confidently go out)
- Delegate household chores
- Keep in touch with friends without children (it’s important to have balance of baby and adult talk)
- Keep up with fitness or start fitness classes
- Dress up rather than dress down
- Take advice that you will benefit from
- Love yourself
- Most of all believe in you