Am I ready for Motherhood?
When I was pregnant, I found each baby around me quite adorable and by seeing them my excitation and anxiety to be a mom were used to increase manifold. I was kind of impatient to wait for the day when I will hold my baby in my hands. However, all my friends and cousins used to say that I should treasure this baby free time and enjoy every moment as I will be not getting enough time for myself later. Frankly, I never considered their advice.
However, today when I have a baby, I think that I was under false impression. I do not mean that being a mother is a nightmare but yes, it brings lot of stress in your life. My life changed completely and at times, unknowingly words come out of my mouth that “I was not prepared for this”.
What I realized is that one cannot imagine and realize the responsibility and duties of parenthood until being a parent. Though, we have grown watching our parents taking care of us but experiencing it on our own is altogether a different thing.
Getting blessed with a child means happiness and fun, but only if one is prepared for that, especially the mom-to-be. After being a mom, you can be overwhelmed with the responsibilities and stress if you are not mentally and physically prepared for that.
What problems you could face after being a mom?
- Lack of “ME” time as your baby will need most of you. You will not find any time for yourself, your work and other household activities.
- You will forget that when you get a sound sleep last time.
- Every other work which once required a moment will turn very daunting.
- It may be hard on your relationship as responsibilities can make you tired and irritated.
- Lack of sleep and relaxation may lead to emotional disturbance.
- Your outings will be considerably reduced and if you try that with your baby, it will be more difficult. Once your baby goes out; he/she will want to explore the whole world in a day only.
How to prepare yourself for motherhood?
It can be overwhelming to fight with the conflicting emotions of anxiety and anticipation. To decide what your preparation should entail, you need to work on different aspects. Let us what all different areas you need to work when you prepare for motherhood.
Imagine yourself as a mother: It is said that as the baby develops, hormonal changes produce that motherhood feeling within you. You can use internet and browse the photos and videos online to visualize the new life in you. At times, it will be surreal to believe that you are soon going to have your own baby but realizing yourself as mom will help you. You will soon start imaging a cute little baby which you are holding and cuddling in your hands.
Learn baby care: By now, you may be a careless fellow who did not pay attention to your eating and sleeping habits. You must busy enjoying the freedom of life. However, soon you will have a big responsibility. Thus, learn baby care skills by reading, asking or observing. What all care, love, compassion, time and energy he/she will need. Apart from this, you need to take care of yourself as only then you will be handling something else.
Discuss: Get your mind in gear by talking with the expectant parents their comments, experience and suggestions. You may also discuss your fears and worries with your own parents as they may tell you their experiences. Joining freewheeling classroom discussion is also a good idea. All these discussions and sharing will adapt you towards motherhood.
Relationship with your partner: Birth of your child is a life changing event for a couple. The challenges, troubles and worries test even the strongest relationship between couples. So, you and your partner must discuss about the changes you will soon be confronting like challenging responsibilities, finances, your own job, management of time and all other factors on which you both need to compromise.
Make space for your baby: Once your baby enters in your life, you will feel occupied all the time. So, these nine months of pregnancy is the best time to clean up the clutter from your house. Whether it’s throwing out junk, or reorganizing your hordes, make it during this time. Make space for baby and his belongings. Try to clean your house to welcome a new life.
Change routine: Once you will have a baby, gone will be the days when you used to watch late night movies and stayed in bed till late, take leave when sick, go out for a dinner or lunch, spend hours on internet, or do long chit chats with your friends. You will have to maintain a daily routine to ensure enough time and energy to your baby. Whatever will be the conditions or problems; your baby will demand same time, energy, love and care from you. So, be ready for this routine.
Develop patience: If you are an impatient person, having a baby can take a toll on you. Each activity of your baby will require you to be patient be it feeding, playing, making him sleep or cleaning his poo. So make yourself ready for all these.
Handling job and home: Getting into motherhood is more challenging for a working woman as either she has to leave her job or live a tough life to maintain a balance between job and home. If you are still not pregnant, then make sure you have to compromise with either. And if pregnant, prepare yourself mentally to take the challenge. This is important to avoid any stress post baby.
Go for shopping: There is a superstition that one should not buy baby things until before he/she comes. However, ward off these superstitions as you will never find time to do shopping for your baby with your baby. Visiting malls or any other shop will turn out to be a cumbersome job while picking your baby and resisting him for touching things.
If you still believe in the people’s saying then at least plan what, where and how much to buy. During my time, I did the same. I consulted many new moms about the baby products and where they got them. I researched a lot and once I had my baby, I went with my husband and just picked them up.
Stick to healthy foods: Before and during pregnancy, you must work on your daily diet so as to have maximum nutrition because this nutrition will later help your baby to grow. Include more and more fruits and veggies in your diet. If you are a non-vegetarian, be cautious while eating fish as some may contain mercury. Also, avoid uncooked meat as it may affect your developing baby.
Give up unhealthy habits: By now, you were living an independent life which also included drinking, smoking and other recreational drugs. However, to be ready for motherhood, you have to be away from all these. Smoking and alcohol may curb your fertility. Moreover, if you are pregnant, it may prove fatal for your child.
Change your lifestyle and make it active: Changing lifestyle means making it physically and emotionally strong. Indulge yourself in yoga, walks, jogging or some other exercise. There are some exercises which can be continued till the end of term. Though, during pregnancy doing exercise and indulging in fitness activities may seems to be daunting but ultimately you are helping yourself by ensuring easy pregnancy and fast recovery post birth.
Mood swings and stress are common during pregnancy, however not advisable at all. Yoga and meditation can help you come out of it.
Be prepared for irregular figure: You may feel quite happy to see yourself putting on weight during pregnancy as it indicates that your child is developing well. However, when these extra pounds gained during pregnancy, stays with you for long, you feel irritated and depressed. Though, it takes time to shed the weight but you will rarely return to your post pregnancy figure, provided you do rigorous exercise. On the other hand, once you have a baby, you do not find time for any exercise, walk or yoga which makes you further distressed. So, if you are ready to live with those body changes, you can take a leap ahead.
Working mother or stay at home mother: It is not always easy to give up your job because of some financial issues or because you may not find such lucrative opportunity further. So if you have planned to be a working mom, you must plan that how you are going to manage with your child. May be you need a baby sitter or you may put your child into a crèche. Whatever you have planned, research for it before your baby so as to ensure best care to him/her in your absence. It will also give you an idea about your expenses here.
Financial conditions: This is a very big issue to consider before having a child. A child in itself is a huge responsibility. He/she will be a new member demanding every new thing with her changing phase of life. Moreover, before baby, you will have to spend on maternity clothes, hospital expenses, doctors’ appointment and all. Therefore, you and your partner must be financially enough strong to bear the expenses of bringing and having a child and fulfill his/her needs.
Do not spend extravagantly: While doing baby shopping, at times, you get fascinated with the colors and varieties of baby clothes and baby toys in the display. Filled with excitement and happiness, you end up picking things more than your baby would require. Looking into your finances is also important when your baby is on the way as there would be many unannounced expenses for which you should save money.
The fact that you are reading this article means the fear of entering into motherhood is still hovering around your mind. Hope, you will get some help to decide on the BIG question but make sure that you prepare yourself before your baby comes. He/she must not suffer due to your delay in decision making. If needed, you may consult some counselor or any of your close friends. The only thing that works the most is the willingness and desire to commit to motherhood.
In the end, I would say that whatever stress, responsibilities and duties comes with your child, the happiness, fun, joy and excitement given by your child to you outbalance them all.
Expand your circle: Before baby, you are a reserved person. You do not mix with people easily and are busy in your home-work-home life. However, after baby you need to be more social. It is for the sake of both of you. The more you go out, meet people, talk to them, make friends, you baby will get chances to learn and explore the world better. Moreover, it will also help you upgrade your knowledge regarding baby upbringing as more people means more sharing, more experiences and more suggestions.
Don’t feel awkward: At times, babies become so cranky and peckish, that they demand your feed while you are some public places like shopping mall, train, buses or any other. Feeling helpless, you have to offer them breast feed to calm them down. Though, it may feel you awkward in beginning, however, you need not feel embarrassed. Just think, you are lucky to have been bestowed with this wonderful feeling and responsibility which no men can ever do.
Learn accepting help: No matter how independent and self fulfilled you were; now you may have to ask for help everywhere and every time. Even nature does not intend for woman to raise her children alone. Seeing you with baby and her bags, people may offer you seats, open doors and other types of help. Do not feel down and accept help with open heart.