6 Biggest myths about early motherhood

Have you ever wondered what happens after the baby arrives? As an expecting mum, you probably study everything about labour and looking after a newborn. We all did. I remember I quizzed every mum I came across about her birth experience and how painful it was.

And then, there were these never-ending questions crossing my mind day and night.

The newborn baby sleeping in the hands of the mother and the nose collided.

Am I going to be a good mum? Much money does a newborn cost? Will I know what to do?

The list of questions was endless!

But have you ever wondered how does it feel to be a new mum?

How you will cope?

How you will change? 

You hear all these happy stories and see all those pictures of happy new mums on social media, but have you wondered if the happiness is genuine? If those pictures and stories always reflect reality? 

I know some of it might sound scary, but the more knowledge you have about the realities of postpartum life, the better you will cope with it when the time comes. 

Here are 6 motherhood myths that will help you set clearer expectations and be better prepared for this huge stage of your life. 

 

MYTH 1 – I will fall in love with my child at first sight

Shocked? I was too! Especially because no one had told me this before I became a mother so you can imagine the sharp slap I got when I first met my boys and didn’t feel anything. 

Trust me, feeling the amazing rush of love you probably heard of doesn’t happen for the majority of mothers. And it is normal and natural. 

You become a mother gradually and this goes for maternal bond too. Maternal love is a process that develops so if you don’t feel any fireworks (or anything at all) the first time you see your children, know that there is nothing wrong with you. 

 

MYTH 2 – Breastfeeding happens naturally and effortlessly

Again, some mothers can do, although mostly for those who already have children. If you are a first-time mum, don’t expect breastfeeding to just happen. It is a skill that has to be taught rather than a natural process that happens without any effort. It can also be an excruciating process and in most cases, nothing like you imagined.

Every mum should, therefore, do what feels right for her and her mental wellbeing. It is surely great if you can breastfeed but if it doesn’t work for you, it is fine too. What your child needs the most is a happy and relaxed mum. 

 

MYTH 3 – I will always know what to do

 

If you are anything like me once, you believe that the second you become a mother you automatically gain supernatural skills and will always know what to do. If only!

Truth is,  motherhood comes with a magic spell. It comes with time and experience.

Remember that learning can be an exciting and lovely process. Just be prepared for it and don’t expect to know everything from day one. My boys are 4 now and I am still learning! 

 

 MYTH 4 – I handled tiredness before, I can handle it now too

I lost count of how many times I heard people saying „sleep while you can because soon you won’t be able to“ when I was pregnant. ‚Come on, like I cannot deal with tiredness,‘ I used to think. 

Now, the thing most people don’t realise is that “new mum tiredness” is nothing like “regular tiredness”. Far from it, actually. As a new mum, you often don’t sleep for months. While sleep-deprived, you still have to look after a screaming newborn. You cannot call in sick. You cannot just leave them and put your head down. As a new mother, you regularly go beyond your physical and mental capacity on a daily basis.

Don’t worry, your mind and body will adapt to it, but underestimate this challenging early period in motherhood.

 

MYTH 3 – I can do it all by myself

You look after a newborn. You (maybe) struggle to breastfeed and spend a lot of time practicing. You are exhausted and tired. Imagine how you feel if, on top of all that, you try and do all the chores like you used to before the baby arrived?

The sooner you realise you cannot do it all by yourself, the better for you and your family.

Mothers in general often find it difficult to ask for help. Deep inside we even believe that asking for help makes us weak. 

This is a huge mistake and something that doesn’t serve anyone, least of all you and your family.

Also, keep in mind that deep down, people genuinely want to help. How do you feel when someone asks you for help? You feel valued, grateful, and fulfilled. So do other people so don’t’ take this privilege away from them and let them help.

Get your partner involved, ask your friends to cook for you, do the shopping for you, look after your baby while you take a nap, or anything else you need.

 

MYTH 5 – I will be different than other mums

I think this is something every woman thought before she became a mum and today only laughs at it. You are just as human as other mums. And I can promise you will make most of the same mistakes they do. And it is ok. We do our best, but we are not perfect and no one even expects us to be. 

 

Now you have a better idea of what to expect from (early) motherhood. I hope it will help you to have your mind open and to get through the first stage of motherhood with more ease.

Which of these myths was the biggest surprise for you? Leave a comment below and let me know!

ps. If you would like to dive even deeper into the life of a new mother, you might be interested in the online course Get prepared for motherhood like no one else.

About Ivana Poku

PhDr. Ivana Poku is a mum of twins, maternal mental health advocate, award-nominated blogger, author of 'Motherhood - The Unspoken', and NLP coach. She teaches powerful strategies to help mothers live happy and stress-free motherhood. Grab her free tips for happy motherhood at www.mumsjourney.com.

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