EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD has “that Mom” who has it all together. She runs with her baby in the stroller, or maybe she’s meandering with a latte in hand.
She’s got a great figure, smiles and says hi to everyone. She’s got so much energy and even her baby is just perfect.
It’s so deceiving to judge a mum on her external appearance.
You have no idea what’s going on in her life or mind.
As humans we tend to over-simplify.
If I polled 100 people to look at the photo below, what color would they say the apple was?
I mean, without even looking at the picture you would have probably said red.
But if I were to show an Art major or ask a graphic designer to replicate this picture, they would see much more than red. They would see a whole array of color: shades of red, pink, yellow, green, brown, black, white and probably more than my eye can pick out.
As humans, we tend to generalize, over-simplify, and assume that what we think we see is what is.
What you think you see is not really what you are seeing.
The perfect mom is not what you think.
I got together with a girlfriend the other day who just had her second child.
She told me that before she became a mum she was looking forward to pushing her baby stroller in the park with her latte while cooing at her child and being ever so present with her.
She had this idea of what motherhood would be like, which was far from reality.
The reality was, once my friend became a mum (especially with her first) she was in constant anxiety and concern…
- why is she chewing her hand?
- is she hungry?
- should I feed her?
- is she growing enough?
- is she getting enough nutrition?
- is that a rash?
- is she getting fussy?
- does she need her diaper changed?
- should I try cloth diapers?
- why isn’t she napping?
- etc, etc, etc…
With a new born baby, the concerns are endless. In between the love, snuggles, giggles and skin-to-skin, there are question… lots of questions.
Not only questions, but doubt. When you are a sleep-deprived mother of a new born it’s hard to not doubt yourself, to worry, or even feel resentment to your beautiful little one.
They require so much of your attention that your needs are often pushed aside. Forget about romance and date nights… a baby changes the dynamic of your home and the focus is on this little human who actually NEEDS you.
This isn’t an “I need a coffee” moment. This is an “I NEED you for survival” period where you are your child’s life support. So the responsibility is huge. And tiresome. And sometimes burdensome.
And that’s okay.
It’s pretty normal to feel post-partum depression… your life has been rocked and you are not practicing optimal self-care. But it also will pass.
We will see how I handle having a new born baby, but I hope that I have compassion for myself, patience for my baby and support from my community to help get through those challenging times. And let’s not forget to be able to really celebrate and cherish all those “oh so smushie and yummy” moments with my child and family.