I was a teacher who had been teaching for over 10 years when I became pregnant with Zion, my first child. I never lacked confidence in dealing with the many students I’ve taught over the years. I was very good at my job too. But, I remember clearly the day I found out that I had to go to the hospital right away when a routine OB visit after work took a turn I wasn’t expecting. I was 36 weeks and apparently my amniotic fluid was very low. I was “leaking fluid” and didn’t even know! A wave of doubt fell over me then- all the confidence I exuded in my job fell to the wayside. I burst into tears at the clinic and remember thinking, “… no, I’m not ready yet!” I felt so unprepared.
After his birth, Zion wouldn’t latch on to my breasts and I wasn’t prepared for that. I felt so overwhelmed but thank goodness for the lactation consultant at the hospital who worked one and one with me and after a few nights he was breastfeeding like a champ. One of the things I learned about myself during this time was I needed to let go of the “being a perfect mom” goal. I always strived for perfection in other areas of my life and I entered motherhood with that same attitude which definitely added to my stress level when things went array. Like so many new Moms, I read parenting guides voraciously and tried to devour all the “enlightening information” on how to be the best mom.
However, those parenting advice manuals and “enlightening sources” tend to inspire expectations that new already struggling Mom may find difficult to live up to.
I had to turn off the outside noise and learn about MY baby. He was not a great sleeper and I went against everything I read and we did the cosleep thing. In fact, I would often have to place him on my chest so that he would sleep AND so that I could also get some rest.
I also learned to not compare myself to other Moms. Though so many portray an “I have it together,” image, they actually have struggles just like I do.
Sometimes, you have to relinquish control to get some alone time and recoup. I have to admit this was an area, I really struggled in. Even when family members offered to take care of Baby Zion so I could rest, I hesitated or said all was fine because I just didn’t want to relinquish control of being his care taker.
I am much more confident today being a Mom and I’ve found being happy and healthy is much better for my children than attempting to prove I can do everything perfectly.
Be sure to check out the other lovely Mamas’ thoughts on this topic: