Whilst becoming a new parent is of course the most joyous and wonderful experience it can also be a very daunting time too – with each pregnancy, birth and baby being completely unique it’s easy to see why! Your new baby doesn’t arrive with an instruction booklet tucked neatly under their arm – although it would be fabulous if they did – which means that you are literally thrown in at the deep end from day one.
This is where what I have termed ‘The SuperMum Syndrome’ begins. As a new Mum there is a certain pressure and expectation to become some sort of SuperMum, capable of doing everything and smiling while you do it. My message to you is you don’t have to be a SuperMum no one is judging you.
Your new job: Parent
Try looking at parenthood like starting a new job. You wouldn’t expect to start a brand new role with no experience and master it by the end of the first day would you? Parenthood is the same, it’s a learning process for you and your new baby so take your time to learn the ropes together.
Ask for and accept help
One of the hardest things in any situation can be asking for help and as a new Mum I think it’s especially hard as you want people to think you are coping and have everything under control, however if you need help it’s important to ask for it. During those first few weeks there is often stream of visitors passing by to coo over your little bundle so why not take advantage by asking them to help you out with small jobs whilst they are there – washing up, putting a load of laundry in or even something as simple as making you a brew whilst you have a well deserved sit down- I’m sure they will be happy to help.
Likewise there will be those that offer practical help, don’t be afraid to accept. They wouldn’t be asking if they didn’t want to help.
One of the worst things you can do as new parent is to compare yourself to other Mum’s. As I said before your baby is unique, therefore attempting any comparison is nonsensical. Social media is the worst culprit for this. Just because ‘Susie’ down the road has hundreds of pictures on Facebook of her looking the ‘bees knees’ with her dutiful baby peacefully asleep does not mean that’s her reality. I don’t think I have ever seen someone post a selfie of them at 3AM looking dishevelled with a screaming baby who won’t sleep! People generally only upload the bits they want you to see, a very small percentage of what their day actually entails.
We are all human, making mistakes is part and parcel of learning and the same applies to having a baby. You don’t have to get things right first time, often it’s trial and error and that’s the only way you are going to discover what you need to do.
Take care of yourself
Yes you have a little person who is now dependant upon you, but it is important not to forget to look after yourself too. Remember the dusting will still be there tomorrow, don’t run yourself into the ground risking a burn out by trying to keep the house immaculate! Take time to rest when you can, try to make a little time to do something you enjoy each day and ensure you eat – I know in that newborn stage it can be quite overwhelming and these are things that are often neglected. This self care is essential and in turn will help you be the best Mum possible.
The most important thing of all as a new parent is to enjoy every second of it as it flashes past in the blink of an eye and before you know it they are off to school! Take the pressure off yourself, we are all in this together and we are all SuperMum’s regardless.