Adjusting to Motherhood: Coping Statements
You have your baby.
You get home.
And in amongst the sleepless nights and new responsibility caring for your little person, a small voice in the back of your head questions your ability to look after baby. And when the going gets tough, the voice can get LOUD.
Those times when you can’t settle your baby.
Those times when breastfeeding is tough.
Those times you’re not feeling the love.
Those times you feel completely alone.
Those times when you feel overwhelmed or aren’t coping.
Those times when you have no idea what to do.
What does that voice tell you? I bet it’s things like:
‘You can’t do this’
‘You should be doing better’
‘You should be coping better’
‘You’re a bad mother’
And in these moments, new mums often need practical help and support. Someone to take the baby for a minute so you can breathe. Someone to tell you that you’re doing ok.
But sometimes, that’s not available: Like when it’s 3pm and everyone’s working. Or 3am and everyone’s sleeping. And that negative voice can seem so loud, on top of what’s happening with baby.
This resource has coping statements for those tough times. When that voice tells you that you’re not doing good enough as a mother. Download and print off this document. Stick it in your bathroom, the fridge, or baby’s room- wherever you need. Or leave it in saved in your phone.
I hope you can look at this document and find something helpful there to tell yourself. See if it can help you get by another minute.
Take another breath.
Cope a little longer.
You can do this, mama.
You are doing the best you can.
Self-Compassion for Mothers
Motherhood can involve all types of emotions. It can bring the greatest joy, pride, and laughs. And it can also bring up difficult feelings.
Anxiety, worry, and fear.
Anger and frustration.
Overwhelm and upset.
And sometimes, shame or hopelessness.
These feelings can be hard to cope with at times. This is a brief self-compassion exercise where you practise bringing kindness towards your difficult feelings- which can also help you cope with them.
Defusion for Mothers
Mothers can be troubled by painful thoughts at times, such as worrying about if you are a good enough mother, or even a bad mother. These unhelpful thoughts can cause distress and suffering, as well as interfere with enjoying your life or your parenting role.
This exercise presents a brief ‘Cognitive Defusion’ exercise. Cognitive defusion involves changing your relationship with unhelpful thoughts by seeing them differently. The aim is to separate from painful thoughts so that they bother you less- and cause less distress. This brief exercise steps you through one way that you can do this, using a visualisation.