My Name is Mom
The hardest job I ever signed up for was being someone’s “Mom.” While some mothers get nominated for the job spontaneously, I signed up willingly. I felt well prepared. I was educated or so I thought. When I had my first child, I had over 4 years’ experience as an attachment based mentor and parent coach. I was good, right? Wrong.
Things No One Told Me
- Sleepless Nights: You don’t sleep when you become a mother. Not because you don’t want to, but you end up taking care of this little human being. You re-arrange your schedule and at times your nights and days may blur into one long stretch—especially in the beginning.
- Your Body Will Need Time to Heal: Likely more than the standard 12 weeks that the Family Medical Leave Act entitles you to (if you qualify for this benefit). Your mind and body will need time to heal from the process of making a little human. Someone once put it into perspective for me—Took 9 or so months to make the baby there is no way my body will be back to “normal” in 3 months.
- Just When You Think You’ve Figured It Out: Your kids change. They go through a growth spurt, their peer group changes, likes or dislikes change and you start all over again.
- It Doesn’t End: Unlike many other jobs out there, this one doesn’t end. I have resigned to the fact that I will be a parent, in some capacity, for the rest of my life. My life will never be the way it was before children.
- Sometimes My Stuff Gets in the Way: Sometimes my past experiences, beliefs, or fears can get in the way of allowing my kids to do things. In those moments, I have to check myself, and realize I am not my parents and my kids are not living my childhood.
- I Will Have Mom Failures: I am human so therefore, I am not expected to be a perfect parent all the time. The important thing is that I learn and grow from my mistakes.
- Mommy Guilt: It started early with my first child and I still get waves of it today. Its normal and it’s a feeling. I have to remember “feelings are not facts.”
- It’s Hard: Being someone’s parent isn’t easy. When I was working as a parent coach I could leave the children and families. My children are my 24 hour/7-day week responsibility. It’s my job to shape them into productive citizens. That’s a daunting task.
Peak “Mom” Performance
- Take Care of Yourself: Ask for help if you need it especially in the early newborn days. Rest when you can and let go of what you can. Can you let the floor mopping go an extra week? Can you not vacuum every night? Do the kids have to have a bath every night? Try to find your balance.
- Check Yourself: If your past creeps in, check yourself. Can you talk this through with a close friend or do you need the support of a professional?
- Avoid Social Media Comparisons: Its really easy to start comparing yourself to all your mom friends on social media. Social media doesn’t always accurately depict the struggles of parenting.
- Do Something You Enjoy: As a mom you give a lot of you to your family. Having something you do for yourself, to keep you balanced, will help keep you going. It doesn’t have to be extravagant—it could be as simple as reading a book, watching a show you enjoy, or spending time with a friend.
- Professional Help: allows you to work through your anxiety, frustration, or past experiences that may be impacting your parenting. Additionally, you may learn parenting skills that can increase your confidence and improve your attachment with your children.