The day of our child’s birth, not only is a child born, but so is a mother. When my son was born, immediately these raw maternal instincts kicked in as if I had had them my whole life. I felt a sense of peace and comfort, like I knew what I was doing. This moment lasted all of about maybe 24 hours. Then that comfort turned to panic and anxiety as a rush of all of the parenting advice and horror stories I’d heard while I was pregnant came stampeding in my mind like a herd of elephants knocking down trees that were so deeply rooted in the earth. I felt like maybe I shouldn’t trust myself because what if I am wrong.
When my son would cry uncontrollably, I began to try everything I heard and nothing worked. I was stressed and wanted to scream. It wasn’t until I just took a couple deep breaths and listened to my son and my son only that thing that began to make sense and become easy. I was at peace when it was just me and him. No one was around to tell me to do things a certain way or go by a certain schedule. It was that moment when I realized, I know what I am doing. I didn’t know how I knew but I did. Was it possible that all that advice was getting in the way of my natural process of just being a mother?
The answer for me was unequivocally YES, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! My point in all this is that many times, I feel like we get stuck in a place of trusting other people before our own instincts. We get caught up in the approval of others and wanting to be perfect that we forget we already are perfect in our own relative way. It’s our fear and anxiety that give us the illusion that we aren’t. This feeling of wanting to please others and be the perfect wife and mother stayed with me. I tried to fit in this mold or this box that society has created for mothers and I feared that if I ventured outside of this box, that I would be labeled, judged or even worse, actually be a bad mom.
If I could give any advice to a new mother struggling with finding themselves again in motherhood it would be this: In a world full of beaten paths, dare to carve a new one that your child can explore regardless of what society and your loved ones think. If it’s full of brush, trees and thorns, bring your machete, your chainsaw and your gloves and chop them down. The challenges you will face along the way will only make you a better person and feel more empowered . Being a mother doesn’t mean you have to give up yourself. Use the resources you have no matter if they are big or small. This world is full of abundance, we just have to shift our perspective a little to see it. I’m confident my son is watching and will hopefully carve his own path in life and be as happy as I am today.