Both a rewarding and difficult experience, everyone would agree that motherhood comes with its own set of challenges that can often leave you stressed and worried.
While baby books and parenting resources can lend a hand to a certain extent, there are no tips or guidelines that can help ease your concerns about being a new mother and parent.
We spoke to some amazing moms and moms-to-be who have shared their thoughts and worries with us to help ease your mind, knowing that you are not alone.
Read through, pat yourself on the back and know that you are doing just fine mama!
“ When my husband and I found out we were pregnant, we were ecstatic. There was nothing more the two of us were longing to be: apart from being parents to a beautiful baby boy/girl.
The weeks flew, the bump was getting bigger, shopping lists were getting longer and it was all so exciting. However, as I was nearing my due date, along with the excitement I was also feeling somewhat anxious as I started to realize that it was not going tobe just my husband and me any longer. Thoughts such as:
"It’s not like this teeny tiny human being comes with a manual and it is a daunting task to know that he/she is going to be your responsibility for the next 18-21 years or even more.
But what I realized was, as cliché as it sounds ‘take one step at a time.’ There is no point in going into panic mode thinking about the many months and years to come. I will cross that bridge when I have to. As for my child, the most important thing is to bring them up in a godly environment. To live in the ‘NOW’ while enjoying and savoring every precious moment I have with her. Stick to what I believe in. Love her unconditionally. By doing so more than half the battle is won already. In the event, things get overwhelming or a bit too tough to handle reach out to someone. Whether it be a family member, friend or professional, you must get all the support you need to best care for your child, as you first need to look after and love yourself to be the best version of a mom to your baby.”
“ When I was expecting my son, three months into the pregnancy, I started experiencing panic attacks and anxiety. Additional to the day to day struggles, I would have intense dreams where I would be in stressful or helpless situations. After getting the medical help I needed I learnt that my main worries and fears were that my son could experience the same childhood traumas I once experienced. Luckily for me, I saw my therapist weekly and after a month or so I was back to being myself again.
Three months after my son was born, I started having difficulties breathing, loss of appetite, constant vomiting and heart palpitations. My constant train of thought was always the worst-case scenario. I was back to getting medical help, but this time I was given medication and my therapy helped me understand that worrying about things that I can’t control regarding my baby is not going to do any good for him or myself. It’s always easy for someone to tell you not to worry about things that are beyond your control but due to the chemical imbalance, this process took almost 5 month with step by step therapy sessions, medication and my research regarding my mental health. Being a new mom, it’s inevitable that you are going to worry and be anxious about your little human every single minute of the day but something I learnt about postpartum anxiety disorder is that the logical aspect of your brain is overpowered by the emotional aspect of your brain, understanding this has made me make more sense of all the additional worries and fears.”
“ As a mum of a 2-year-old, I worry about everything and I mean everything! Will he fall and hurt himself? Will he get sick? Can I get him nutritious foods and varieties without too many chemicals? And now, the most recent concern is: “How do I protect my child from Covid?”
I haven't got answers to any of the above as I continue to avoid any mishap happening. However, in the meantime, I work hard to find as many healthy chemical-free food options for him, teaching him good values, teaching him how to handle himself in public etc. He has adapted well to the Covid situation by himself insisting that he wears a mask in public and sanitizing every time we enter and leave places. I am truly surprised at how a 2-year-old has adapted to the new normal and hope we can have a better new normal soon so that these kids don't miss out on their childhood.”
“As a mom of three, each pregnancy has been different and with that comes a whole new experience with the challenges of Breastfeeding each time. Although this has developed over time, looking back as a first time new mom, the breastfeeding journey was one of the biggest challenges I had to face and almost felt like I was alone. The low supply, cracked nipples, engorgement, sleepless nights and stress that comes with the entire process is now openly spoken about which is amazing. Knowing that most women go through this is both comforting and worrying at the same time.”
“As a first-time mom, when I found out I was pregnant, I was preparing and worried about things that now when I look back, are things I should have been worried about.
I was worried about getting the baby room done, clothes for baby and stressing about birthing my baby that I lost focus and failed to educate myself on the “realities” of it, such as issues that could come up with breastfeeding, hormonal changes after birth, baby sleep regressions, cluster feeding etc. As a result, I was learning WHILE I was experiencing these difficulties, which made motherhood extremely overwhelming the first few months, more than it really should have been.
I strongly advocate for women and men to not wait till they are expecting a baby to learn about changes during pregnancy, postpartum and childcare. I believe that having that knowledge beforehand is beneficial for anyone and should be part of everyone’s general knowledge.
I don’t think a mother ever stops worrying about her child, no matter how prepared we are. There will always be obstacles and issues we will face as mothers at different stages, that will take us by surprise, but I want all mothers to know, that it’s ok to not have all the answers and it’s ok not to do everything you see someone else doing because let’s be real, there are so many resources and “ways” to do things that, that, in itself can be overwhelming. So do what works for you.
Don’t get consumed by the man-made perception of what a “perfect” mother is. There is no one form of it. I am now not trying to be a “perfect” mother but instead, I am trying to be the best mother I could be for MY son.”
- Natasha Burhan
“Before my babies were born, I worried about their health or if they would have all ten fingers and toes. Little did I know that the future that awaited us would benothing like the world I grew up in. Given the drastic changes that we have been through with the Coronavirus, I think something like taking the boys to a park ten times over, preschool didn't happen and socializing with other kids is done selectively and sporadically. I stress over how much screen time is encouraged to maintain education. I spend my nights wondering about not only my sons but their friends; they will be so good at operating technology but how will they be with pursuing and maintaining connections with people?”