Becoming a new parent is single handedly the most life-altering transformation that can happen to you. The transition from simply a person into a parent changes everything. Every single aspect of life changes, from your priorities and sense of self, to the way you look at life. Preparing for the arrival of your new bundle of joy is where it all starts to fall into place. Shopping for cots, car seats, diaper bags, and toys is only the beginning.
Bringing a child into the world is a magical, wondrous achievement, but it is also one of the most challenging things that can happen to you. Not only do you make the transition from having to take care of only you, to being entirely responsible for another tiny person, but you must centre most aspects of life around that little person. It can be overwhelming and difficult to know how or where to go to get advice, support, and a breath of fresh air.
Thankfully, there are many channels out there that can offer support and advice, including mummy blogs, support groups, family, friends, counselling, and therapy. Additionally, there are three things that are most important to remember when navigating life as a new mum.
Your entire life will change – and that is okay
New parents face a world of challenges. As your entire life goes through the most profound transition you will ever experience, it is important to note that knowing your life will irrevocably change is one thing, but understanding that it will change is another entirely.
Becoming a new mum means that your old schedule will go out the window, you will have less time for your hobbies, and you will almost certainly find yourself in a state of feeling like you are uncharacteristically distant from your usual self. This can be terrifying to many new mums, but the most important thing to remember that change is necessary and important on this latest journey, and that change is just adaptation in motion. It will make you stronger.
It is okay not to feel the immediate connection – it will happen
As a new mum it is easy to sometimes feel a little lost in yourself. While many mothers feel the instantaneous surge of love and connection when they hold their child in their arms for the first time, there are many mothers who simply feel nothing immediately. It is so important to stress that this is normal and it is okay for you to feel like this.
It is not uncommon for this to happen, but what is uncommon is that mothers openly reach out for support and advice during this time. There is no wrong way to connect with your child, and if it does not come immediately, then that is okay. This is the biggest change of your life, if the connection is not immediate then allow yourself the time to forge it – on your own terms.
Parents are made, not born – embrace the learning curve
A common misconception is that you are going to naturally know everything that comes with being a parent, the second your child is born. Being a parent is one giant learning curve, and like driving along a windy road, speeding through that passage is risky and can cause accidents. Instead, take the road at your own pace, enjoying the view and learning the ins and outs as you go.
No parent has it all figured out the first time straight away, and you should not feel like you have to, either. Bringing a child into the world is just the beginning – you have the rest of your life to figure the rest out. Just do the best you can, support and lean on your partner, and respect the process – your process.