There are thoughts us mothers have we dare not speak aloud. The fear of judgement, shame, and guilt keep us silent. So we hold them inside, feeling like we are alone.
Throughout pregnancy, we have people checking in with us and encouraging us to take extra special care of ourselves. There is so much emphasis on us.
Until baby is born.
The focus turns toward baby (which understandable; babies need a lot of care and it’s important to make sure their needs are met!). But it’s also important for mamas needs to be met, too.
The first few weeks at home are a blur. Learning how to adjust to life with a brand new baby is a lot, not to mention the hormones and emotions that go along with it. If you’re a highly sensitive person and an empath like myself, it can be even more chaotic as we’re not only processing our own feelings, but those of others around us as well as our babies.
Once the ground starts to settle and we’re able to step back a bit, we can notice that we don’t feel right. My body doesn’t feel familiar. My thoughts conflict at times. What’s wrong with me?
Absolutely nothing. We’ve been conditioned by society that in order to be a “good mom”, we need to give all our time and energy completely to our children. Taking time to ourselves or giving our babies to the care of another means we’re selfish, ungrateful, etc.
When someone says “it must be SO hard to be away from your baby”, I smile and agree because I know it’s what they want to hear, while in my head I’m thinking “actually, it’s kind of nice to have a break from the baby...”
When we start to feel aches, pains, and other adverse symptoms in our bodies, it’s hard for us to seek out help. We’re told “welcome to motherhood”, “it’s normal” so we don’t talk about it and hope it just goes away.
Mamas, we need to take care of ourselves. It isn’t selfish. If we are hurting, mentally or physically, we need to speak up. It’s okay for YOU to be nurtured and supported.
Putting a focus on ourselves doesn’t mean you love your child less than another mama, or that you’re ungrateful. You’re setting a positive example. You’re showing strength.
Don’t be afraid to speak up, mama. You’re not alone.