2015 has definitely been a huge year for me personally. My little Leo was born in August 2014 and I wasn’t quite ready for everything that came with being a Mama. New Years eve 2014 was an emotional one. I was home alone with my little man who refused to be anywhere else but my chest.
All my friends were out partying and having a good time and I was a big mess of tears for most of the evening, crying about how terrible a Mom I was and how I had gotten everything so wrong over the last 4 months. I was neck deep in baby blues… or depression… or whatever you’d like to term it. I just call it ‘becoming a Mom’ as every single Mom I know seems to have experienced it at one time or another – so if you’re in this place right now, rest assured there is actually nothing wrong with you! You’re just joining our tribe ;) The tribe of crazy mamahood!
“Sadly, most of us have been trained by society to deal with fear and doubt in the worst way possible. We resist it, over-analyze it, and think we’re totally weak for experiencing it in the first place. In fact, the more unconventional you are, the more you can expect to have that “nobody gets me” feeling and all the fear and anxiety that comes along with it.”
~ Marie Forleo
My journey to Mom-ness
Becoming a Mom is a beautiful journey of self-discovery and growth and today I’d like to share a few tips with you on how I’ve slowly learnt to overcome this fear and self doubt I experienced so deeply when starting my own journey. Especially during the beginning stages, when my family and friends didn’t quite understand my parenting choices.
Step 1: Be kinder to yo’self honey!
My number 1 goal as a new Mom was to breastfeed my baby. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite work out the way I planned it to and formula became Leo’s staple diet from 4 weeks onward. Over and over again I kept trying to justify this decision to others. The guilt I experienced was so overwhelming I could hardly bring myself to leave the house for fear that I’d have to (switch to whisper voice now) BRING OUT THE BOTTLE!
Because I was judging myself I somehow managed to evoke a reaction in others whenever I brought out the bottle. People would be like “How come you’re not breastfeeding? Is that expressed milk? Didn’t you have enough milk for him? Did you have mastitis? Oh what a pity, breastmilk is so healthy for them.” And then I’d start my long, sad story… over and over and over again. It was draining.
Eventually I had enough. I was sick of it. I thought to myself “Screw this. He’s cute, he’s alive, he’s chubby. He’s fine.”
The moment that I stopped judging myself, the frequency of the questioning slowed down. It’s like I was putting out an aura that was inviting people to question me about my biggest “failure”.
So first step – be kinder to yo’self honey!
Step 2: It’s not always all about you
Unfortunately, some people will judge you. Because they judge everyone and mostly, they judge themselves. I find that when I catch myself judging another Mom for her parenting choices, if I take it a little deeper it’s usually because of an insecurity I have with myself that I feel the need to judge her. So when I feel somebody else judging me in a similar way, I try to feel compassion for them and their hidden insecurity, instead of feeling doubtful of my own choices.
Key phrase to remember when you feel like you’re being judged: It’s not always all about you. Let it go.
Step 3: Find your tribe OR: where my bitches at!
Like-minded Mama’s stick together. Hanging out with Mom’s who have the same views and values that you do can really help you to feel more confident in your parenting abilities. Make an effort to join a Mommy group on Facebook and attend some real life meet-ups. This is your safe space – you won’t need to explain yourself when you hang out with people who get you! It’s lovely to just be you and let your babies play together.
I hope you enjoyed my tips and that they were somewhat helpful :) If you have a story about how you deal with fear and self doubt, I’d love to hear it, please share with us in the comments below.
Cheers to 2015 and hello to the new year ahead! I have a really good feeling about 2016 and I believe that big things are going to happen for me and for YOU!