After many years supporting mothers, I’ve heard a number of myths or unhelpful beliefs about what mums ‘should’ be feeling, doing, or experiencing. These myths can set you up to feel like you’re failing. Because you love your baby dearly, and try your best, but it seems like it’s not enough because you’re not achieving some lofty motherhood ideal. Like that you should be:
- Loving every minute
- A natural at mothering (that you should just know what to do in every moment…)
- Feeling rewarded and fulfilled by being at home with baby
- Feeling instantly bonded and connected with baby immediately after birth
- Finding breastfeeding easy (because it’s natural…)
- Doing all the things around the home (because you’re home, it’s your job now…)
- Coping with doing everything- caring for baby, doing the housework, being a spouse, getting dressed each day…. (because everyone else does, right?)
And many, many more.
In this free download, I’ve included two of the most common myths I’ve heard from women over the years, and reflected on why they not helpful or accurate. (It’s a sneak peek from the online course ‘Transitioning to Motherhood: 6 Steps for New Mums to Thrive’. One of the first things I address in this course are the common motherhood myths causing problems for women, and why these are so unhelpful).
See if you can relate…
And see if any of the discussion of these most common myths is helpful to reflect on. (I’m happy to hear your thoughts if you want to send a comment through the website, or comment on the facebook page.)
Best wishes, Mama.
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.
(This is just one of the many resources available from Dr Emma Black’s course, Transitioning to Motherhood: 6 Steps for New Mums to Thrive.)
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.