Usually, the birth of our first baby is an event awaited with great enthusiasm and nostalgia, for months or even years. However, the end of the “sweet wait” arrives and we find ourselves in front of a scenario that we did not imagine at all. A great chasm separates expectation and reality, causing many new fathers and mothers to suffer, they blame themselves thinking they are doing it wrong and come to wonder if they made a good decision. It’s a more common experience than you might think.
And it is that we live surrounded by a watered down vision of motherhood, which generates unrealistic expectations regarding postpartum and parenthood. If it is true that more and more people, and especially public figures, dare to make visible a more honest motherhood, we are still influenced by images and messages that sell us a softened reality.
The arrival of a first baby marks the beginning of a high intensity phase. It is one of the most important changes that occur throughout a person’s life, since it is Change your responsibilities, priorities, schedules and routines. For this reason, it is crucial to face this new stage with an adjusted and realistic perspective, dismantling certain myths and erroneous beliefs that prevent healthy parenting.
I should be able to love and understand my baby from the first moment
The bond between parent and baby is not always immediate it also doesn’t happen as a crush, as we often see in the movies. Often, m/paternal-filial love takes time to be felt and forged, as well as to adjust to the rhythms and needs of the baby. It takes time, and above all experiences, to get to know each other and create this magical synchrony.
A good father or a good mother does not make mistakes
The only sure thing in this adventure is that, like everyone else, you will make mistakes. You will make mistakes, you will forget important points, you will lose your nerves… And you are in a moment of learning, adaptation and change. Try to be kind to yourself, allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn from them, without getting addicted or blaming yourself for not achieving perfection. Your baby doesn’t need you to be perfect, but rather that you are available and eager to learn with him. Remember that there is no one way to reproduce and none is perfect.
It is normal to feel happy and full during this new stage.
The arrival of a baby is an exciting, expensive and demanding event. It disrupts all the patterns on which we have been based until now and therefore we need a period of adjustment to our new vital reality. During this adaptation process, it is necessary to validate our emotional states, that is, to allow ourselves to feel the full range of emotions. We must not pathologize problems that are normal at this stage: it is normal that you do not enjoy every moment, that you feel a certain fatigue, sadness, anger, fear… or that you lived moments of regret for having embarked on this adventure. Going through all of this doesn’t make you a worse mother or a worse father.
The only priority now is my son
With the arrival of a new member in the family, our order of priorities must be considerably modified, of course. But that doesn’t mean you disappear from the map. Remember that to take quality care, you must start by taking care of yourself. The self-care times will probably be very short, but a few minutes are enough to perform a “reset” which allows you to be in a better position.
Others should know what I need right now
Each maternity is a world, and each person too. However, we can’t expect those in front to guess our needs. Sharing what you feel and need openly and freely, especially with your partner if there is one, will help you get in sync and feel like you are working as a team for a common goal, easing feelings of loneliness.
I can alone
No, you can’t do it alone. As the famous African proverb says: “To raise a child, it takes a whole tribe”. In parenting, a support network is always necessary, which can be made up of the couple (if applicable), family, friends or professionals. It’s okay not to do everything, and the best way to help your baby is to give yourself permission to ask for help and to delegate, whether in matters related to their care or in household chores, professional or personal. Additionally, reaching out to other moms, dads and parenting groups will help you find the emotional support that is crucial at this vital time.
Finally, remember that if your discomfort is very intense, persistent and/or makes it difficult to perform your daily tasks, It is convenient for you to rely on mental health professionals who can accompany you and guide you in your approach.. Asking for help always prevents.