We are independent, responsible, self-reliant income earning modern Moms. We are Moms that make informed decisions about all aspects of our lives after perusing the depths of the internet. We are increasingly choosing to have children when we want to and with or without a partner. Due to technological advances, pregnancy is increasingly occurring among women over 40 in the United States. We are the movers and shakers of our own life who makes things happen and we DO NOT settle for less. We are WOMEN and we are STRONG!
If we are so strong then why did 3.68 million of us (80% of 4.6 million women who gave births in 2009) experience some sort of postnatal mood disorder last year? That’s a lot of well informed modern moms who weren’t able to control what’s happening in their own bodies. I think with all of our control issues and in depth research we ume that we are well prepared Super Moms who are able to overcome any challenge motherhood throws at us! Hmmm, well statistics clearly show we may be not as prepared as we thought. And it didn’t sink in that we have an “internet education” and that we have not actually experienced reality yet.
The realty of bringing home our first or successive child normally sets in after a few days or weeks. Then we realize we may have overestimated our abilities to cope with the extra demands and life change. That’s OK. We are humans and we are known for adapting to situations. However there are a few things we can do to help ourselves before we find ourselves at our wits end exhausted and in tears while holding a crying baby!
Eroded Family Support
In this day and age the family support in the U.S. is not nearly what it used to be even 30 years ago. Family members live separate lives, sometimes in different states and countries and get together infrequently. That’s OK, it’s the world we live in now and we make our own choices. However with the celebration of a new baby this is a time when families go out of their way to make time to welcome a new addition to the family, so why not piggy back on that to ask for a little help with the new bundle of joy?
What expecting moms need to be aware of is that the transition is going to be more difficult than imagined and that it is OK to ask for help from those around us. However to develop this support network we need to make a Help Schedule before we give birth. People have busy lives and making a plea for help at the time when we need it may not be conducive to other people’s schedules.
Your Help Schedule should cover at least the first six weeks postpartum. You define your own needs that you need help with, be it cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, coming over to watch the baby while you refresh yourself by taking a nap, a long shower, taking an hour to apply postpartum recovery products, getting a postpartum m age, a walk to get fresh air and have some time to yourself. Whatever will help recharge your batteries.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You never know what people will do unless you ask. People are always surprised by the kindness shown from people around us, as well as those we don’t expect much of, when all we do is ask. People are inherently good.
Valerie Lynn-McDonough, author of The Mommy Plan, dreams that wonderful, all natural postpartum recovery products and traditions will become part of American culture so women will have a “balanced” recovery from childbirth.