Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Advice and Crazy Moms

A friend posted this article on the book today and I found it so interesting. 
Among discussing the ridiculous rivalry that exists in within the realm of Motherhood today it also had her advice for new moms. Honestly, I wish I had read this before EJ was born it may not have made a difference but it really is some of the best advice. There is nothing as wonderful or crazy as motherhood, nothing. But, with all things there is a learning curve. The person you become when you are under extreme sleep depravation is unrecognizable. The emotions are all over the place and not taking time for yourself will result in one insane momma, trust me I know. I learned the hard way. Take a moment and read it. It's a good read for sure. 
What are the most important pieces of advice that you can offer to new moms?
JZ: Here are some healthful tid bits for women to savor as they embark on motherhood. Trust yourself. Rely on others.  Ask for help. Seek support. Connect with loved ones. Take time for yourself. Expect to feel amazing, awful, and everything in between. Throw perfection out the window!
Be present. Get professional guidance if you feel you want/need it.  Read books about parenting if you find them helpful but ultimately be sure to integrate their wisdom with your own mothering methods. Respect your body and the postpartum journey. Curb unrealistic expectations. Be the role model you always dreamed of having.  Be wholeheartedly honest with yourself. Experience whatever it is you are experiencing. Denying feelings does not make them go away.  Feelings are feelings not facts. Change is possible. Communication is key. Depression and anxiety do not go away on their own.
Rest when you can.  Honor your emotional temperature.  Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about being you.  It’s never too late to revisit your childhood experiences – doing so will benefit and enliven the family you’ve created. Don’t take little people’s behaviors personally.  Newborns/infants do not manipulate.  Treat yourself like a queen when you can (whatever that means to you).  As soon as you feel you finally “figured it out”, “it” will change.  Be flexible.  LAUGH. Address burning feelings. Whatever you are feeling, other mothers have felt.  You are not alone.  No feeling is off limits. (New) motherhood is ubiquitously overwhelming.  Sleep deprivation can make you meet a version of yourself you never wanted to know. There is not one way to give birth, feed, sleep, or raise your child. Do what feels resonant for you and your baby, not what is trendy.  Plan and then roll with what arises. Play and enjoy the ever-changing ride!
Jessica Zucker is a psychologist in Los Angeles specializing in women’s health with a focus on transitions in motherhood, perinatal and postpartum mood disorders, and early parent-child attachment.

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