Motherhood is overwhelmingly exciting and completely terrifying at the same time. Your family will witness your worst self and your best self in the very same day. You will feel a sudden sense of purpose followed by a moment of utter confusion in the span of a few minutes. In the midst of experiencing one of life’s most remarkable gifts, there are guaranteed moments of insecurity, hesitation and tears. To put it simply, becoming a mother for the first time has a funny way of turning life into a living oxymoron. But here are three reminders to help every new mom navigate the murky waters of motherhood.
Motherhood is a process of learning
Forget perfection. Forget expectations. No one knows exactly how to navigate motherhood––especially if it’s the first time. Motherhood is about making mistakes, learning from them and constantly learning more about your newborn and how to become a better mother to your baby every day.
Society is littered with so many myths, expectations, guidelines and do’s and don’ts of motherhood, but motherhood is different for everyone. Don’t believe everything you hear about how to best take care of your baby because no one knows your baby better than you do. There are no cookie-cutter, hard-and-fast rules for motherhood. Learn as you go, and find out what makes motherhood feel right for you.
Motherhood is scientifically messy
Fundamentally, motherhood is messy. Childbirth, breastfeeding, diaper changing and bath time are by no means an easy-to-clean experience. So embrace the mess, the noise and the chaos because scientifically motherhood is supposed to be messy.
You’ll quickly learn that changing your baby’s diaper is a radical act of selfless love, breastfeeding might not come naturally to you or your baby and the house doesn’t need to be kept pin-droppingly silent during nap time. In fact, the womb can be loud at times, so newborns are actually accustomed to noise even when they are sleeping. Remember that your motherhood journey won’t be a picture-perfect experience, but it isn’t supposed to be.
Motherhood is an emotional experience
At a biological level, motherhood is one of the most overwhelmingly emotional human experiences. From pregnancy to childbirth and through the postpartum period, a mother experiences a multitude of emotions that are caused by biochemical changes in the body.
Motherhood begins with a flood of hormones, like oxytocin, that increase feelings of empathy, love and protection that help form the mother-child bond. Mapping maternal brains have even shown that the emotions and the way the brain looks at the onset of motherhood are similar to what the human body experiences when it falls in love.
While newborn preparation classes can be helpful and encouraging, motherhood doesn’t come with textbook rules that work for everyone. Your motherhood experience is a journey completely unique to you. So embrace the mistakes, the mess and the emotions because that’s what makes motherhood so beautiful.
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