Dear new mum,
Congratulations and welcome to the next chapter of your life! Motherhood will change you in ways you could never have predicted. It will challenge, reward and amaze you. It will exhaust, confront and enlighten you. It will stir up emotions within you that have a new origin. And it will most certainly be the greatest accomplishment of your life.
As you navigate the sometimes rocky path of motherhood, don’t be afraid to trust your instincts. Listen to your heart and learn to ignore the critics. Try not to concern yourself with what others may be doing. Instead, focus on what works for you. Follow your internal cues and be strong in your resolve.
When you experience troubles, as you often will, try to focus on what you are doing right rather than what is going wrong. In this way you will learn to ride out the parental storms and emerge a stronger, wiser mother.
Try not to worry too much about “losing” your identity. While you may shed layers of your former self, you are creating a new existence. Adapting to your new life can be lonely in the early months, but know that nothing is forever. Your old self might rest dormant for a while, but it will burst into new life, as you become a more evolved version of yourself.
You will receive advice from well-meaning friends and from complete strangers. Do not be burdened by their intrusions. Learnt to insulate yourself from the “noise” that pervades the parental landscape. Do not let the judgement of others have a place in your mothering story. You are the protagonist of this story and you will find your own path.
Try to find a new way of parenting. Adopt the best parts from your own childhood experience and create a new way forward. Allow your partner to help shape the future of your growing family. Parental love is not only a revision of family love; it is also an investigation of self-love.
Don’t let guilt overwhelm you. There is no benefit in self-blame. Make the best decisions you can based on your unique set of circumstances and be sensitive to other parents’ decisions. Just as no two children are the same, no two mothering journeys are the same. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t measure your happiness against what you think you see. Avoid comparisons; move to your own mothering rhythm.