A survival kit for new Mums

By Sophie Slosarczyk

Mums haven’t changed since the first humans walked the earth from a biological sense.

We all worry we’re doing things wrong!

Not doing what’s best or at worse, damaging our kids, influenced by those who’ve walked the path before us (and I’m pretty sure cavemen mamas went through this too.) 

Let’s face it, every mum doubts herself and makes out they’re the worst mum on the planet if they shout or scream, tripping up over that loose piece of lego.

Or simply when it all gets too much (because it does) 

Meanwhile, our beautiful innocent children are watching us and creating their own doubts and fears based on what they see. 

What I mean by this is the doubt.

I don’t want to freak you out but seriously, if you want to improve things for future generations (because it’s not all about us), start thinking how are they seeing everything

But now the good news! What you’ve got to realise is that *most* of how you feel is learned behaviour, based on untrue stories you’re telling yourself or experiences from the past.

It comes through repeated thoughts and actions, which become habits. 

Negative thinking is a habit.

Overthinking is a habit.

Procrastinating is a habit.

Anxiety is a habit.

And whatever you practise grows stronger.

This is why habits are so darn hard to break.

It’s why people fail to do what’s good for them, simply because it’s harder to do that than it is to stay stuck (truth bomb)

Staying stuck is a term I use to describe someone who wants to improve or change something, but doesn’t. I come across it a lot in the wellness field, especially having worked with anxiety sufferers the past year or so.

Most things boil down to habits.

Low self esteem and self doubt are also learned behaviour. As mums we’re vulnerable to low self esteem because of the ‘expert opinions’ of others and the influence of our friends and family. 

It’s why we’re prone to comparing ourselves and thinking we’re doing things wrong all the time. The problem isn’t us though.

The problem is the constant stream of conflicting advice from Google, Facebook, IG, our parents, friends etc, so naturally we question ourselves and don’t know what to do or think.

I hear so often from mums (particularly new mums) how they’re lost, confused, unsure, worried, anxious, stressed out. You name it, mums are feeling it. 

So think of this post as a new mum survival kit in a bag. First off, open the bag and dig deep to find some trust for yourself.

Work on doing this. By work, I mean apply the actions needed to build up the trust for yourself. 

Building up trust happens gradually. There’s no right or wrong way to build up trust for yourself, but a good way to start is to take responsibility for your actions.

You can do this by doing your own research around something you’re struggling with, for example, baby sleep troubles or weaning advice, ask advice from others but then choose your own answer at the end of it. 

The choosing is the hard bit, but once you do it once or twice, you’ll feel amazing. Liberated! It opens up a world of potential for you.

What’s true without a shadow of doubt is that you’re the mother of your child/children and you instinctively know what’s right for them, so stop allowing yourself to be distracted by how others do things. The irony is we’re all winging it just as much as you are!

But what’s certain is your baby only knows you. She loves you so much, more than you can possibly imagine. You are her world.  She trusts you, believes in you and just wants to be close to you. All.The.Time.

What’s right for you is what’s right for your baby if you’re coming at it from a loving and supportive approach. You’ve probably heard this from the midwives and it’s true. Ask yourself (if ever you’re in doubt) “How can anything I read or hear be right in comparison to my innate knowing?” 

Secondly, give yourself some HUGE credit. Mothering hasn’t changed since the dawn of the first human like I said. What’s changed is society. 

And currently we’re mothering in a shit storm of comparison, distraction, busyness and overwhelm, not to mention WAY too high expectations of what a mother *should* be (which is everything, according to the eyes outside our walls let’s be honest). 

But I don’t buy into that. Sorry, sanity is way more important to me as is the sanity of children. 

It’s not your fault you feel the way you do let me be clear, but let’s also be strong and realise that if we continue to contribute to this (by numbing ourselves, scrolling, feeling lost, avoiding responsibility, getting overwhelmed, doubting ourselves, questioning our self worth) then we’re as bad as the society we’re trying to change. 

Start contributing to a better world is my message.

And to do that, simply tune into you.

Learn to trust yourself. Yes, you can learn this. You know what you’re doing. Your baby loves you more than anything. And you deserve to be happy as a mother.

Not constantly flagging, downtrodden and beaten by a fake world of comparison, judgement and criticism. 

You’re a walking miracle mama, seriously, so bask in your beauty and enjoy that delicious baby of yours. Now go grab a cuppa, sit down, and give her a hug and kiss. You both deserve it. 

Journal prompts to help build trust in yourself:

What do I think about this really if I was to stop worrying what others think?

How do I feel in this situation?

What would be the ideal outcome of this?

What does my baby need right now?

How I can I take full responsibility here?

Finally, if you’re an anxious mother I made this especially for you x

(Photo by Picsea on Unsplash)

Sophie Slosarczyk

Sophie Slosarczyk

Healthcare professional, writer & blogger. Full time Mum of two baby boys. Loves nothing more than a hot cup of tea (rarely happens these days) and a real heart to heart.

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