New Moms: Remember to Baby Yourself
Becoming a new mother is full of surprises! While it can be a wonderful, joyous time, it can also be ... well, exhausting! New moms, take a tip (or six!) from one who's been there and learn to help yourself enjoy your precious little one.
Banish the Guilts
Our society has so many of us vying for supermom status, it’s no wonder new moms can start to feel there’s something wrong if they’re not immediately in love with motherhood. “I just assumed that I’d have a strong connection with my newborn daughter the second she was born,” says Trish Pierce, mother of a toddler. “I felt guilty when it actually took a couple of weeks to feel like Kelsey’s mom.” Trish may be surprised that despite the images portrayed in movies and TV, her experience is common, if not the norm. Adds Dr. Gustafson, “The majority of parents I see did not experience ‘love at first sight’ with their newborns. For most, the attachment process grows slowly.”
In the first weeks following the birth of her son, Henry, Sherri Anderson sometimes just wanted her pre-mom life back. “I remember being riddled with guilt for wishing I could go on a date with my husband, hide out at Starbucks or just watch reality TV.” The key to handling the guilt, says Dr. Gustafson, is facing and accepting any feelings of disappointment you may have. “It can be overwhelming to realize that you’ve committed to this little person without knowing all the areas of your life he or she will impact,” she says. “It’s important to acknowledge those feelings, then realize you can and will be a caring, competent mother anyway.”
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