Parenthood is surrounded by myths. There are myths about what it takes to be a good mother or father, about how to ensure your child thrives, about what material things you need, and about how a good mother should think, feel and act so that her child is successful and happy. So in the vulnerable period of the weeks and months after your baby is born into the world, it can feel like whatever you do is wrong or ‘not good enough’. The ‘I should be’ or ‘I shouldn’t be’ tendency can feel overpowering at times.
When we enter this phase in our lives, the only thing that is absolutely certain is that wanting to become a parent or indeed having a baby changes everything, and life will never be the same again.
We talk about the birth of a mother and the birth of a father. Whilst being a parent is the real you, it is a part of you that never existed before. It is a new role requiring new skills and a completely new set of rules. What’s more, this new ‘job description’ can change on a weekly, sometimes a daily basis. Taking care of a newborn if you have other children already requires a lot of juggling and much energy.
There are times when you may feel tired, occasionally overwhelmed and anxious about the changes, but allow time for you, your partner and your family to adjust to the new reality. It is important to manage your expectations of motherhood and fatherhood. Don’t expect perfection; you will make mistakes and not always get it right. It is important to give yourself the space to be human!
Having a baby offers you the opportunity to assess and reassess the meaning and purpose in your life, your identity as an individual and as a couple, your life’s goals and what your priorities are.
Whilst your life has undoubtedly changed and you are getting used to a new ‘normal’, make sure you make time for you and your partner. They are likely to be your greatest source and stability, so support each other in developing new routines and schedule in some time together whenever you can.
It is important that you have the right support available to enable a smooth transition to parenthood so that you can enjoy the experience with your partner, any older children and your new baby. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help and support on both an emotional and practical level.
There is no doubt that becoming a parent can be fulfilling and enjoyable. However for some women and men it can continue to feel very daunting and overwhelming after the initial few days/weeks. They may benefit from professional help to adjust to their new lives as a mum and dad. If you find you are feeling low for long periods, unable to switch your worried mind off or struggling with gaining a sense of control over your life as a parent, seek external support. Knowing there is help available should you need it and wish to access it is important. Talking to someone impartial to your family situation can be incredibly liberating. Reaching out for help shows tremendous strength, it shows you have insight into your situation and are ready to move forward.
At easibirthing® we empower our clients to recognise and overcome unhelpful thoughts, and to gain a sense of control in their lives. We enable you to reassess your identity as an individual and as a couple, your life’s goals and what your priorities are.
We can help you to become ‘good enough’ parents, rather than striving for perfection. We can assist you to resist the temptation to criticize what you do and what you don’t do. To relax into your new role as a parent, whilst also keeping the juggling balls in the air of your individual needs, your needs as a couple as well as the needs of your new baby.
As part of our post natal service, we also work with parents to empower and support them to overcome subconscious blocks to conception and decisions about future births, also previous birth-related or perinatal trauma. In addition we work with birth partners who may have witnessed a traumatic birth experience.
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