It is all too common for new parents feel the pressure to do it all and not make any mistakes. Do you ever feel like you have to do it all? I’ve always been a perfectionist, with high expectations of myself; I am my own worst critic (which is a work in progress).
After having my daughter, the pressure I put on myself became more intense.
I had so many expectations; I was going to stay home from work for a year, exclusively breastfeed while doing Elimination Communication, and of course I was going to travel, all while maintaining my independence.
My parenting reality was very different. I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that it didn’t take long before I broke down. I learned the hard way just how true it is that new parents need help.
I thought that my knowledge and expertise would prepare me for motherhood. After all, I was a NICU nurse and I counseled parents daily on everything from cuddling to car seats.
The reality was challenging, and left me feeling depressed and frightened. My daughter did not put on weight as expected, which stressed me out more and the cycle of doubt and anxiety began to spin out of control.
Parents Feel Pressure To Do It All
While it is common for parents to feel the pressure to do it all, that doesn’t mean you actually have to. I want you to know that it is normal to have feelings of self-doubt and anxiety. However, it is not okay to delay asking for help.
Admitting you need help doesn’t mean that you are a horrible parent, or that children’s services will be called to your door.
Help could be learning what to expect in the first weeks, accepting meals from friends, or talking to your Health Care Provider about how you’re feeling. Ultimately you want to find a way to be healthy.
Media outlets of all kinds are doing a disservice to new parents, increasing that parents feeling the pressure to do it all. Everywhere you look there are pictures of new parents looking beautiful in spotless houses, with a sleeping baby.
Sure, there are days that you get it all together, but most days are not like that. You know it’s a good day when get a shower!
Build Your Village
The saying that it takes a village to raise a child could not be truer, and it’s important to surround yourself with a strong and loving support system.
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. In fact you shouldn’t do it all by yourself. That vulnerability is really your strength. It’s vital that our children see us be vulnerable and ask for help so that they learn to do the same.