Today’s post is so close to home and so close to my heart because these are all the things that I struggled with as a new mom. These are things that I still currently struggle with as a mom. I’ve just gotten a little bit better at recognizing these pitfalls and making the necessary changes. It will leave you feeling extremely encouraged knowing you’re not the only one dealing with this.
1. Lowering my Expectations
When I first became a mom I thought things would be different, but I didn’t realize how different they were going to be. I didn’t realize how dramatically my life was about to change. If I had embraced this idea and lowered my expectations, I would have felt more at peace and like I was doing a good job. And I think a lot of times when we enter motherhood, we feel like we’re doing something wrong.
Embrace the fact that becoming a mom changes everything. You learn and you grow in so many different ways as a mom, and you’re no longer responsible for just yourself anymore. You have another responsibility, a child who needs so much attention from you, and that can be extremely exhausting.
It can also feel very mentally draining because now you’re not able to do all the things you used to do. Perhaps certain tasks take longer to do. Household chores and responsibilities are going to look different now, and that’s okay.
Instead of focusing so much on what you can’t do anymore and focusing on what things that are super hard now, think about how you can shift this into a positive light. How can I change my expectations just a little bit to know that it’s okay that I’m moving slower. It’s okay that I don’t have the same amount of energy that I used to have. So I want you to really embrace that idea of lowering your expectations.
2. Prioritizing Myself
It’s so important when you enter into motherhood, you don’t take this idea of being a selfless person to mean that you should neglect your own needs. When we become new moms, we feel like we have to give everything to our children. We’re their mom – that’s our job and that’s what we’re supposed to do. But I see so many mamas struggling right now because they’re pouring everything into everybody else and they’re not prioritizing themselves. And I want you to ask yourself this question, if you don’t prioritize your self-care, who else is going to do it?
The answer is no one. No one can prioritize your self-care except you. Think about what that actually means for you and what it looks like. I’ve mentioned this in a few of my previous podcast episodes (see complementary episode list below) because I think it’s so important. The more repetition, the more that you hear or read things, the deeper the information will resonate with you.
You do not need to be alone to have self-care. You can take care of yourself when your kids are around. It’s absolutely crucial that you show your kids what it looks like to take care of yourself. So we have to go first and model this behavior. You also need to verbalize what is it that you need for yourself and advocate for it.
It’s okay to hire help to watch your baby, and it’s something that I wish I would’ve done. At the time I felt we couldn’t afford that. That’s why I’m staying home; I’m the one who’s supposed to be taking care of our child. But I think especially in the beginning, hiring help to watch my babies so that I could do something for myself would have been a huge game changer.
3. Accepting and Asking for Help
I touched on this briefly in the previous point, but I want you guys to think about the people who have reached out to you and offered help. I can’t tell you how many people said that to me when I was a new mom and I just wrote it off. But take advantage of this ladies! They want to help you or they wouldn’t have said it at all.
I think a lot of people want to come help with your baby and that’s great! Try to let go of control a little bit and also let go of the idea that the mom is the only one who can care for the child. Ask people to come and clean or cook for you – whatever you need ask for it!
I also want you to lean on others for support, especially your spouse. It’s so important that you give your husband the ability to help. If they don’t know how to do something specific for the baby, just teach him. I can’t tell you how many friends I have that have told me, they can’t go out until after their kids are in bed because their husbands don’t know how to put their kids to bed. Take control of your family dynamic and ask for your husband’s help. And if he doesn’t know how to help, teach him.
Think about hiring a mother’s helper, a house cleaner, or someone to do meal preps for you. It’s easy to dismiss this due to the cost involved. Consider the true cost. Is it your sanity? Your marriage? Is it your happiness? None of that to me is worth it and I would rather sacrifice some other areas of my life to get the support and the help that I need.
4. Doing what Worked for my Family
I wish I would have embraced this as a new mom and just do what worked for my family and not worry about what other’s thought. But I want you to know that it doesn’t matter what you decide to do (as long as it’s safe of course) as long as it works for your family.
Whether you decide to co-sleep or you’re going to put your baby in a crib, it’s your choice. Are you going to breastfeed your baby? Are you going to formula feed your baby? Again, that’s your choice. Will you introduce a pacifier? Are you going to let your child suck their thumb? Are you going to let them cry it out? It’s all your choice. You may have heard a lot of advice out there from other moms, but remember to take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt. We’ve all heard that phrase, we all know that, but do we actually embrace that?
I want you to embrace the fact that you have to do what works for your family and let go of everyone else’s expectations.
5. Being Honest About Struggles
I tried to have this persona that I had it all together. Would my friends understand my struggles? I was scared to tell my spouse that I was lonely, and that I wasn’t expecting motherhood to be what it really was. Shame and embarrassment took over because I felt like I should be better.
It’s so important that you have a positive support system. Find or create a group of people you can be comfortable around and not feel like you are being judged. People you can feel like you can open up to about the silliest thing and they won’t run the other way.
If you’re looking for a place to plug-in and feel heard and have accountability with other like-minded mamas who get what you’re going through, join us inside The Purpose Gathering Collective. The Collective is an online monthly mastermind community where you can learn and grow deeper. We cultivate meaningful relationships and have people to hold you accountable.
The Collective is an exclusive membership that’s only open once per quarter, and the doors will be open again on March 15th with brand-new accountability groups. If you would like to get on our wait-list (with exclusive pricing!) visit thepurposegathering.com/mastermind.
But if you’re reading and you’re thinking, I need help right now, I can’t wait to join the collective, then let’s chat about a one-on-one strategy session that would be able to help you find clarity and map out those next steps.
I hope that you have found value in today’s post and leave feeling encouraged and inspired to go and take action. Share with other mamas and follow me on Instagram, tag me at @thepurposegathering and let me know what your biggest takeaway was.
And as always mama, I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.
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