There are many myths about being a new mother. For every glowing, luminous picture of an expectant mother basking in mid-morning sunlight with flowers and chirping birds around her, there’s a few thousand more grounded – and less glamorous – images much closer related to the hard facts of reality.
We’d like to think that your pregnancy will be a blissful and happy nine months without incident; the birth will be stress-free and relatively painless, and your post-baby body will bounce back within virtual minutes. But it’s not always reality.
So let’s tackle the two biggest myths about being a new mum, shall we?
You can do it all!
REALITY: You can certainly try, but you’ll probably collapse from exhaustion very soon
Afterwards. The reality of needing everything to be done can be achieved only if you have help. Your partner is a good place to start – it’s not unreasonable for you to expect them to boost their share of the household duties seeing as you have endured 9 months of pregnancy and birthing, aswell as recovery after birth, and/or the challenges of breastfeeding. In the absence of a partner, you may need to turn to family, friends, parents, siblings, relatives or even community based services. You will be surprised how willing people are to help when there’s payment in the form of baby cuddles.
You pre-baby body will/can bounce back quickly.
REALITY: This is totally easy. That is, if you are, say, a celebrity with a personal chef, nutritionist, and personal trainer. Not to mention a nanny to look after the baby while you’re eating highly calibrated gourmet meals to go with your exercise regime.
You probably don’t have a personal trainer, you probably are lacking or are currently between personal chefs, and in all likelihood your nutritionist is having a series of days off.
So in between finding time to eat, on top of looking after the baby, not getting much sleep and keeping up household chores, you’re going to need to allow for a significant amount of time to recover from the baby making process. And that is perfectly okay. Most people struggle with gaining a perfect figure at the best of times, so just be kind to yourself at this time. Set your sights on smaller, more achievable things.
With the right help – from your partner, parents, friends and relatives, not to mention the broader community – you should be able to achieve these. Leave the big-ticket items like weight loss and career progression to when you’re ready to tackle them.
Until then, just enjoy (as best you can) everything that comes from being a new mum. The newborn baby season is over before you know it and there is plenty of time to get into achieving your goals when you and baby are in a routine and are used to doing life together.