The changes we start to feel when becoming a mother start at conception. We start feeling hormonal, something we only had to face once a month. Add some mood changes and strange things starting to happen to our once perfect skin, it’s all a little much to have happen what feels like all of a sudden.
It’s a strange feeling to change on the inside, but now you have people looking from he outside expecting you to act/look a whole new way. It’s totally normal/expected when we are going through puberty, right? So why don’t we look at pregnancy the same way? There are so many resources for information of both subjects, but the changes we face during pregnancy don’t have an actual word/button or definition to describe what we are facing. That makes it a little harder for most to know what we are doing/facing postpartum.
Postpartum is a very trying and strange time (anyone that says they sailed though it is totally lying). You start to worry that you are going to slip into postpartum depression, when in fact that is not always the case. If you aren’t really “enjoying” your new role as a mother, chances are you are not clinically depressed, you are just completely normal. Welcome to the club of millions!
Guess What? It is totally normal and ok for you to not be in love with your current life situation. Again, it’s ok and you are not alone. It’s just that it isn’t pretty, so no one wants to really talk about it. The expectations of feeling “whole”, “complete” or completely “selfless” (really truly wanting to put the baby 1st 100% of every waking hour) are unrealistic. You are not going to want your sleep interrupted when you are already exhausted, who would? If you are still getting out of bed to soothe that baby, mamma – you are doing the best you can and we promise, it’s enough.
Between our bodies changing and the hormonal upheaval, we are going through a very though transition. This will affect how you feel emotionally and it will affect how you feel about your new role in the world. As humans, out babies are uniquely dependent on us for over a year. We are blessed with a hormone called oxytocin (aka the feel good hormone) rises during child birth and also during activities like skin-to-skin contact. Oxytocin helps us to focus on baby, so they become the center of our universe but we still have our own identity. Remember, the woman you were before you have birth to this little human? We used to have our own and unique identity, hobbies, jobs, and interests. Don’t forget about our physical and emotional needs too. Acknowledging these things is what begins our inner tug-of-war. What about us?
Understanding the natural progression of these changes within us, will help us heal in a calmer and more forgiving manner. Living inside of this push and pull midst isn’t easy. Girl – cut yourself some slack! What would you say to someone who’s life just turned upside down? You would lend them understanding and give them support to help them heal. Do the same for yourself. Don’t feel ashamed or alone when you feel ambivalent to your current situation. Acknowledge it and accept it. You are not alone and you should not feel ashamed.
When you give birth a baby is born and so is a mother. Although our priorities shift, our personalities and perfect the way they were. You don’t have to change or let go of your own identity. In fact, it’s more important than ever to maintain your own so that as your child grows, they will be able to develop their own. Being a mother isn’t easy, but it is the definition of amazing and that’s what makes it relatable.