Mums – Ditch The GUILT

Mums – Ditch The GUILT

Being a new mum – no book can prepare! Overnight your life completely changes. Many women believe when they are pregnant that their life will be exactly the same as before, just with a baby. Oh my, what a rude awakening that can be! Before we know it new mum guilt kicks in.

Not only are you suddenly meant to become some sort of ‘baby whisperer’ but cope with your body post-natally too! The trauma of birth becomes a taboo subject and you should now be portraying a glowing earth mother – preferably surrounded by an aura of tranquillity!!

Sound familiar?

New Mum – The Reality

The truth is very different for most new mums. Even the most ‘textbook’ of births can be exhausting, painful and very, very long. For those babies that arrive unexpectedly and early there is often early onset guilt – ‘was it something I did’, ‘I should have known something was wrong’. Then we add a baby, hospital trip, breastfeeding and that’s all before we even get home.

Sleep deprivation kicks in quickly, combined with coping with a new baby and the pressure to breastfeed and those early days often lead to a massive overwhelm.

The Mum Guilt

So, you are now at home, pass the blur of those first few days and the accumulation of lack of sleep is being to take its toll. Gone are the days when generations lived in the same village and offered support. Now, partners take off 1-2 weeks, parents pop in to cuddle the baby, friends drop of lovely presents and then, we are on our own. Our role as a new mum has begun.

What happens, the guilt kicks in. We should be able to handle our baby, cook dinner, clean the house and of course, look amazing too! You look at Social Media, everyone else looks they are having the most amazing time with their new baby or juggling the family and a fabulous career. Surely it’s just you? Why then do you feel this mum guilt pretty much all the time?

The Truth

No, it affects all us mums! Honestly, it does. In my classes, where I’ve been teaching baby massage & yoga for 15 years it is something I see all the time. It only takes one Mum to speak up, then they all chip in. The truth is that as a new mum we are all faced with challenges, as individual as our personalities. However, the good news is:

  • You are not alone
  • There are things you can do to help yourself

What can I Do?

  1. Find some support, from friends and family but also further afield. Join some baby classes locally, there are plenty of different activities out there. Connect with people in person, do not just rely on ‘virtual support’, the posts on Facebook or WhatsApp. It is important that you find other mums who are going through the same stage as you, support of like-minded mums is a very powerful thing! If you are local, then please do check out my baby classes, where so much focus is put on you as a mum. With plenty of time to chat and connect with other like-minded parents. You can see the full timetable here.
  2. Self-Care, I know this is the new current ‘in thing’ but it is so important to take a view on where you are in your priority list. This is something that I know I am really trying to work on. It seems ‘selfish’ to put ourself’s anywhere near the top of the daily ‘to do’ list, but we MUST. If we are too tired, get ill, feel exhausted all the time or risk our own physical and mental health, how can we support our family? You can read about some great ways that I have found to literally sneak in some all essential time for me.
  3. Get out and about. Leave the house, even if it takes you an hour to do it. If you don’t drive, then go for a walk with the buggy. If you can get out to classes, or meet up with friends then do. Getting fresh air is not only good for the body but also for your emotional state. Also, to go out you have to make an effort to get dressed, and sometimes that can seem an unachievable mountain all on its own. You don’t need to be dressed for a night out with full makeup, just not in a onesie!
  4. Try some Mindfulness. I know it is the buzz word at the moment but it can really help create moments where you can feel connected to yourself again. It is also amazing to use with babies! You can grab lots of FREE Mindful Resources over in the Mindful Parenting platform, including a guided meditation that is perfect for listening to for a few minutes.
  5. The thing is to find a way that works for you. Not just the good old bubble bath, but somethings that really make you happy. You can also check out some useful tips to use with the older kids in the Top Tips Blog too.

Ditch The Mum Guilt

So being a new mum is not the picture of mother earth delight it is often cracked up to be.

If you have days in your pj’s, realise you have been out all day with baby vomit down your back, have cried over trying to get a car seat out of a car. Well, then welcome to Motherhood! You are part of a tribe that acknowledges your guilt – but can tell you to let that stuff go! You are doing an amazing job!

If you want to learn how to introduce Mindfulness into your family then my book Mindful Moments is available on Amazon. It has some great ways of how to add in meditation and mindfulness for parents and children.

mindful parenting guide

If you would like some monthly tips on Parenting then do sign up to the newsletter, I promise not to spam you!

For details on a great Mindfulness App

For more Mindfulness Resources then do check out my Mindful Parenting platform 

Mindful Parenting Website

For more details on Mother Guilt read some of the amazing blogs by The Guilty Mother.

Namaste

x

Rachel

 

Bonding With Your Baby – A Guide for Parents

Bonding With Your Baby – A Guide for Parents

There is culturally an assumption that all Mothers will naturally bond with their baby, but your baby also is naturally hardwired to seek strong attachment from you too. Babies naturally seek security and we want to provide it. Babies are born ready to love and to be loved. As a parent, it is our goal to love our children but also to instil in them an intrinsic knowledge that they are lovable, which is the foundation of self-esteem. Bonding with your baby is something that most parents aim for, but sometimes it needs some thought.

Parenting – The Hardest Job

But despite a strong intention to bond, often particularly as new parents, we can fret about it, especially if we are prone to anxious thoughts. Being a parent is no doubt the hardest job on the planet, but one that brings such joy and fulfilment. The job doesn’t come with a training manual, but attachment theory and a Positive Parenting approach encourage us to view our children as our instruction manual, as from the moment they are born, they are able to best tell us what they need. Above all, they need to be cherished. There is a lovely quote I found recently written by an American psychologist….” we think of cherished as the emotional equivalent of nourishment. Soul Food”.

Baby Bonding

So what are the foundations of baby bonding? They are simply created through the day to day, moment by moment response to our baby’s needs, which they communicate to us by crying. Traditional parenting advice has included the idea that babies should be left to cry it out, once their physical needs are met, but all the latest research, including brain imaging, concludes that leaving a baby to cry and prolonging its emotional distress contributes negatively to the brain, by the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Responding to your baby crying is not allowing them to manipulate you, you cannot spoil a child with hugs or connection. In fact the more hugs, the more the brain develops and the more they feel cherished.

Research has evidenced that disruption in attachment is created when there is no response to a baby’s cry.

We respond to our baby’s needs by responding across all the senses with our voice and touch, through our smell by holding them, through feeding and talking, by mimicking their sounds. But one of the most powerful and lovely ways with newborns is through touch. As well as having your baby in a sling on your chest, Baby Massage and Baby reflexology have huge benefits to the bonding process for both Mum and baby.

Positive Parenting

Attachment theory is the foundation of the Circle of Security Positive Parenting philosophy that I share through my Parenting Coaching Practice. Secure attachment is built through a relationship that creates confidence in the availability of a specific protective caregiver whilst at the same time, that caregiver is able to support their child’s exploration when it is safe to do so. It is this premise that helps children thrive and is the building block for the growth to independence. Our children are dependent on us so that we can guide them, through a relationship of trust to withstand the challenges they will face as they get older.

Guest Blog by Parenting expert Sarah Weller, based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, Sarah specialises in Positive Parenting. Read more about her in the bio bellow.

There are Amazon Affiliate links in this article.  A small income is made for every purchase, but only products used or endorsed by Rachel Hawkes are linked here.

About Sarah Weller

The Weller Way is a Family Relationship Coaching practice, run by Sarah Weller, a qualified and experienced Parenting Consultant, Coach and Certified NLP Practitioner based in Tunbridge Wells, working throughout Kent and Sussex. Sarah has been married for 30 years to Paul and is a Mother of 4 children, now in their twenties.

Sarah’s Coaching approach is completely holistic, to ensure that the needs of the whole family are met, parents and children. So during the process of helping parents unwrap what is going on underneath the surface of children’s behaviour, Sarah helps parents reflect on their own relationship needs.

Sarah has many years of experience and training for her roles in supporting young people and families in the Mental Health and Homelessness sectors. She is passionate about Mental Wellbeing for the whole family. She is an experienced Licenced Trainer for MIND Fitness and a Mental Health Youth First Aider. As a result, she is also able to offer Life Coaching and Mentoring to troubled teens to boost their confidence and self-esteem. You can contact Sarah or read more from her on any of the links below:

http://thewellerway.co.uk
http://facebook.com/thewellerway
http://instagram.com/the_wellerway
https://www.linkedin.com/SarahWeller

More Ways To Bond Tips

Baby Massage is well known as a great method of increasing the bond between a parent and their newborn. The Online Baby Massage At Home Course is now available – a complete one stop for all you need to confidently massage your baby at home

Massage Your Baby At Home

Rachel Hawkes is the Founder of Buddha Buddies and writes on all things baby and mindful parenting. You can check out her book, packed full of tips for introducing Mindful Moments to your family below.

Mindful Parenting by Rachel Hawkes