Becoming a mom is one of the biggest and hardest transitions many women will ever go through.
While there is tons of advice out there about raising a baby and choosing the perfect stroller, we rarely talk about the impact of becoming a mother and how this will change us, our relationships, and our lives. Motherhood is hard…and we need the truth to help us prepare and not feel so alone when times are tough.
Here are 5 things you wish your friends your mom friends had told you about becoming a mom:
- Becoming a mom can be lonely
People gush over your new baby and share all their (often unsolicited) advice. Everybody checks in on the baby, but friends and family may be less likely to check in on you. Your usual routine looks very different now that you’ve brought home a newborn and our social interactions may be more limited. Those late night feedings at 2am can feel so lonely, and when others aren’t checking in on you as often or just don’t get it, motherhood can begin to feel quite isolating.
Helpful tip: Loved ones may not want to ‘bother’ you as they know you have a lot on your plate. Asking a friend to reach out or setting up a recurring call, even if only for a few minutes, can help us regain a sense of normalcy and foster connection.
- You may not bond with your pregnancy or new baby right away
We are conditioned to expect this outpouring of love and joy when we see those 2 lines on a pregnancy test or the day our baby arrives, yet this isn’t always the case. Sometimes there’s a lot of grief, anxiety, and dread that comes with a positive pregnancy test. Even if we were excited to get pregnant, we may not always bond with our baby right away when they are born.
Moms can feel such shame in this moment and wonder “What is wrong with me?” It is normal for this bond to take some time to develop. While we love our baby, we may not feel in love just yet. This can take some time to grow as we get to know this new little person in our lives.
- Friendships will change
Whether your girlfriend doesn’t have kids, has a different parenting style, or hasn’t experienced the struggles you’re having – sometimes they just won’t get it. Sometimes they just won’t get you. Someone you used to be so close with can now feel like a stranger. If your support system has changed, find your tribe in like-minded mamas who get you.
- You may not feel like yourself
You know you physically look different these days, but you may not have expected to feel so disconnected from the person you are now that your days revolve around a baby, their schedule and their needs. Some days you don’t recognize the woman staring back at you in the mirror and you can miss the ‘old you.’
Becoming a new mom can come with a lot of losses as we undergo one of the most significant changes in our lives. It’s normal to experience grief as you lose yourself and the freedoms you once had.
- One in five moms struggles in silence
The silent struggles of motherhood can include mom guilt, an inability to sleep (even when the baby sleeps), feeling resentful of our partners, constant worrying, being overwhelmed, touched-out, and frequently feeling like you’re a bad mom. If you’ve googled “how to be a good mom” as you’ve tried to keep your head above water, know you’re not alone. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Therapy can help.