As a first-time mom, I worried so much about everything, the pregnancy, my unborn child, and even if I would be a good enough mom. I had no idea what to expect. My friends weren’t having babies at the time and like them, I wasn’t where I was spending a lot of time around newborns. I didn’t know about a lot of local resources and relied solely on members of my family that had had children.
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” -Rajneesh
My Motherhood Journey
I feel like I learned about motherhood from the experiences I remember as a child. There were things about my own childhood that I wanted to do differently as a mother. And some things I wanted to do the same to keep “tradition”.
I know that but what I didn’t know was the “how” of doing it. Those things I learned and I’m still learning through trial and error in my motherhood journey.
Throughout my pregnancy, I listened to everyone around me. My mother, aunts, cousins, church ladies, doctors, friends, and even strangers. Everyone seemed to have an opinion about what I should eat, what I should wear, how I should act, and how to raise my child. It was all too much! Their opinions left me feeling overwhelmed and unsure of motherhood.
As my first child made his entrance into the world, we lacked an instant bond. Now by day 3, I was all into him. But those first few days were tough. It was as if I was waiting on those same people with endless opinions to tell me what to do! Insane right?
Eventually, after getting settled at home I found myself so into my child that no one else’s opinion mattered. I found the confidence I needed to politely assert my knowledge as a new mother.
Finding A Community
A lot of the confidence came from finding an online community of women who were just like me. Unsure of what to do or how to do it, but at the same time knowing what we didn’t want to do. To have other women who were just as new to all of this as I was, made me feel less alone. Places like Babypalooza, where there’s a huge community of parents, provided a great starting place for finding mom friends.
Make Motherhood Your Own
I noticed that what worked for my friend’s child didn’t work for my own. That was a huge lesson for me. It made me step back, and observe parents and their children in a different way, knowing that everything wasn’t for me to incorporate. I would have to play the trial and error game to figure out what worked for us. Guess what? That’s OKAY to do!
I was so caught up in not wanting to fail as a parent to the outside world that I was doing my own child a disservice by not taking the time to see what worked for him.
After finding a few online communities and listening to other parents tell their stories, I found the will to do my own research about parenting. With many of my peers, there is no such thing as researching parenting. Like, what is that? You basically just parent how the people before you parented. They see no use in researching something that they think should come naturally. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Research made me a different kind of mother. A whole new self was born.
Tapping into your own sense of motherhood will come with time, patience, failure, tears, laughs, cries, and headaches. But it will also come with a tremendous about of love for your child. It is okay to figure it out as you go. Just know that you are who your child looks up to, and as long as you’re actively being a better parent with each passing day, you WIN.
“Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom.” -Harriette Hartigan
3 Things Helped Me Find My Sense of Motherhood
1. Online community. There are tons of sites that allow you to interact and join specific groups that are tailored to your likes/dislikes. Join Babypalooza’s here.
2. What works for them may not work for you. This is HUGE, and once this statement clicks, you will then begin to see your child in a new light.
3. Research. Research parenting styles. Read about them, and choose which one works best for you.