4 Lies We Tell Ourselves as New Moms (and How to Navigate Motherhood Without Them)
Raising children can be an emotional experience, and we often tell ourselves some pretty big lies along the way about what motherhood “should” be like. As new moms, we constantly feel like we are doing everything wrong, even when we are doing the best we can in a given moment.
If you can cut through the negative self-talk and readjust your expectations, it can make the transition into motherhood easier and more enjoyable overall. Here are four lies we tell ourselves as new moms and how to navigate motherhood without them.
1. I Don’t Have Time for Myself
For most new moms, your routine shifts dramatically when you first take on this new role. You’re sleep-deprived, you’re trying to manage all of your baby’s needs, and probably have other responsiblities as well. Suddenly, you don’t have as much free time as you did before children. When we don’t feel like we have enough time for ourselves in our busy schedules, it can cause resentment towards our new role and even isolation from family and friends.
2. I Should be Doing More
As a new mom, it’s easy to feel like you should be doing more. Maybe you’re on maternity leave or a stay at home mom, and you’re with the baby all day. Or, perhaps you’re a working mom and your home to-do list is ten miles long. No matter your circumstances, it’s common to feel like you should be doing more with your day. Many moms feel like they should getting more things done around the house, catching up on work or errands, or pursuing a new hobby, when they find some down time in their day.
The truth is, you don’t always need to be productive. It’s okay to just sit and stare at your baby for a while. Or take a nap. Or watch TV. Sometimes taking the time to be present in the moment or relaxing can actually make you more productive.
Realistically, the to-do list doesn’t end, especially when you add motherhood into the mix. There will always be another task to add to the list. However, if you actually take a step back and see all that you accomplish in a given day you might be surprised with yourself. Take some time and list all the things you have done in your day (even if that is playing with your baby, because that’s important too). You might realize that you are more productive than you think.
Yes, of course chipping away at the to-do list is important because things still need to get done (ie. laundry, grocery shopping, thank-you notes etc.), but they don’t need to be done in one day, or necessarily by you. Every morning take a look at your list and identify one or two items that are essential for that day. You can also identify tasks that other people can do, such as a partner, relative, friend, or someone you hire. Remember, you are not superwoman. Give yourself grace as you navigate this life transition.
3. I Should Enjoy Every Moment of Motherhood
New motherhood is hard. You won’t always enjoy every aspect of it, and that’s okay. You will frequently hear people tell you that you should enjoy every moment because they go by quickly. Yes time flies, but that phrase can sometimes feel invalidating. Just because not every moment is enjoyable does not mean you’re doing something wrong. There are tought times and moments that aren’t the most enjoyable, period. What’s important is that you find ways to cope with the tough times and make the most of the good times. Nothing is permanent, including the tough times.
4. If I Ask for Help I am Not a Good Mom
For most new moms, asking for help is about as comfortable and easy as—well, eating with your hands tied behind your back. But whether you’re trying to fit in a workout, manage household responsiblities, or dealing with emotional and physical health issues, there’s no shame in accepting help. In fact, it can be good for both you and your baby.
It’s not only okay to ask for help; it’s often necessary. Your postpartum body needs time to heal and recover from childbirth. You might also need time just to sit down without feeling guilty. Asking someone else for assistance doesn’t make you less of a mom; It makes you more of one!
Whether you are reaching out to family, friends, or a professional, you do not need to take on everything yourself. The postpartum time period is challenging and finding support can ease some of the overwhelm.
If any part of what I wrote resonates with you, then please make an appointment. Let’s work on this together.
You can also learn more about how Mindful Reflections can support you by checking out our Postpartum Therapy page.