3 Things New Moms Should Ignore
Becoming a new mom is thrilling and incredibly rewarding, but it can be a weird transition too, especially if you go from working full-time outside the home to suddenly staying home with a baby all day long. My abrupt transition was from full-time mortgage loan officer to confused, bleary-eyed, nightgown-stained, sleep deprived stay-at-home mother of a newborn. It’s hard enough to make a huge life change without being assaulted by impossible standards for new moms, but if you’re anything like me then you will undoubtedly run into plenty of instances that make you feel inadequate as a new parent. Let me reveal to you which ones I think should be ignored.
Even the TV moms portrayed as overwhelmed and exhausted still manage to make their portrayal in skinny jeans and with makeup on. Their houses still look great, and for some bizarre reason the babies actually sleep long enough to not interrupt the TV mom getting into a comical fight with the TV dad. You might be looking for another new mom to emulate, but just remember that TV moms are just like other women on TV: Unrealistic.
Your Perfect Friend
I have a friend who went right from having her first baby to teaching university classes online while also juggling some freelance work. She never appears overwhelmed, always seems calm around the baby, and I have yet to see her with any form of spit-up on her clothes whatsoever. She is like the yin to my yang, because when I had a newborn baby I was a sleep-deprived, spit-upon, anxious mess. Chances are you have a friend like this too, who makes being a new parent seem effortless and makes you feel slightly (or fully) inadequate, or you have at least spied one of these women jogging along with a running stroller while brokering huge deals on her cell phone or painting the outside of her home with a newborn nestled in a front sling or whatever else Supermoms do.
Just keep in mind that what you see may not be what happens consistently. You never really know which moms are calm because they’re in a medicated haze or which moms go home and collapse into a heap of tears as a result of exhaustion from trying to portray a perfect image to everyone. You should also keep in mind that people react to stress differently, so while I become an anxious mess when overwhelmed, my friend probably reacts in a calmer way because we’re just wired differently.
Either that, or she’s going home every day and taking her anxiety out on a punching bag or something.
As moms get a little more, shall we say, seasoned in their parenting, we start to forget about how difficult the newborn phase can be. I remember being tired and hormonal, but the acute feelings of exhaustion and confusion have pretty much left me. For this reason, I might make comments that aren’t altogether true, albeit unintentionally. So when a seasoned mom says anything like “I don’t remember little Bobby having any problems sleeping as a newborn,” or “Your baby must have colic because no baby cries that much,” or “Breastfeeding was a breeze!” then just file these comments in your mind under “Ridiculous Delusions” and ignore them.
Then look forward to the day when you too shall forget about how tough things can be for new moms.