motherhood ? what have you done to me?
transition to motherhood
Well here we are. Motherhood has truly got a grip on us and there is no spell or magic cure which can influence the power and impact on realising motherhood now drives our very being and controls our every move and decision.
For one short, sweet second and to get this out of my system I would like to ask why does fatherhood not play out this way? It really doesn't. The love of a father for their new born and the impact on their life is definitely a big change and on the whole, for all the great fathers out there is a very positive shift which can be blended into their lives, which they led up to the moment you gave birth.
Motherhood is a little different.
You have got through the initial impact of actually giving birth, the madness of the first 6 weeks as you learn to cope with little sleep or, should I say, no sleep and try to walk around your home convincing yourself and others you are totally on top of everything and in complete control. Fathers are usually back at work by now however you remain in the 'hold' of motherhood and what a grip she has!
No mother will tend to want to leave this grip however the grip in itself is so strong and powerful and sweeps over you constantly until you are pretty much "brain trained" into motherhood.
While a significant change and emotional roller coaster, motherhood leaves no "instruction manual". By now you will have realised that the books about pregnancy and the months beyond are really only about the practical stuff - nappies, bathing your baby, settling your baby, developing your baby.Not much else focuses on you, other than getting sleep when you can and taking help when it is offered.
Here is where the transition begins. If this has been your first baby the impact of the transition is the greatest. No more can you put you first. No more can you decide what you do and when and for how long. No more can you simply drop what you are doing and switch to some other activity when the fancy takes you. No I'm afraid those days are gone for rather a long time.
Your hobbies and time to yourself become like precious gems which you try to grasp onto until at some stage you will fathom what were your hobbies and time to yourself are almost non existent, for the first few years anyway.
The difficulty does not lie in the realisation of this change but in how you handle it and how well you are supported by those closest to you. Your role of mother is 24/7, 365 days a year. no time off really unless you get a weekend break however overall it is full time and full on.
If there is any hope to transition to motherhood seamlessly it lies in the relationship with your other half and your nearest and dearest. never before have you needed their help and support more than now, however this can the hardest thing to ask for as too many new mothers feel they are not succeeding in their role of mother if help is taken.
This is a mythical mindset crafted by those who did not have the savvy to accept help when it was offered, opting instead to try for martyrdom in their endeavors as a mother, openly communicating to all those who will listen what a terrific job they do to manage it all and to manage life so well.
Deep down this is baloney however you will never hear this.
Why would you?
Who wants to openly admit they are finding things hard. Often our other half wants to simply and quickly "fix the problem" which is not always possible. As women and mothers the key thing we need is an ear to hear us, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to run us a bath, take the baby away for a long walk to let us be happily alone for a couple of hours. We need this often and we need to take every offer of help like it were gold dust. If your other half does this, you are onto a winner, if not then perhaps its time to sit down and have a chat about how you are feeling and how very simply they can support you. Fathers need to feel part of it all and in this way, particularly in the early days, you are giving them some special bonding moments while you recharge the batteries and try to get a little of "you" , pre-motherhood, back.
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth is a well known phrase and should be recalled every time you feel yourself hesitating when a loved one offers to assist you. While you may not feel you need a nap or a break for an hour or an hour at the shops on your own, you actually really do need it.
Take it and enjoy it - These moments pass so much quicker than an hour on your own at home with a new baby.
Accepting help is the best thing for you and just as importantly for your baby. You will come back refreshed and excited to see your little one again. Make the most of it at every turn. You deserve it.
Welcome to Motherhood. It is a blessing however it can also be very hard work and the acknowledgement of the toll motherhood can take would greatly benefit all the new mums or mothers transitioning from 1 to 2, or 2 to 3 children.
If you enjoyed this hub and would like to read part 1 here is the link