Parenting and the illusion of control
There is an illusion that exists in life. A good example is driving on icy or snowy roads. You assume that you’re in control of the vehicle, but the reality is, you have far less control over the vehicle than you think. Truthfully, the only way to stay safe in these weather conditions is to not drive.
For most people, when they become parents is the first time they’ve had to face this illusion. Who else realized they had anxiety when they became pregnant or had a baby? 🙋♀️
Up until the big parenting change, you made all the decisions for your life, from small to big, and it made you believe you were in control (sorry you never were, it just seemed that way).
Massive changes accompany this monumental transformation: Body changes, less than favorable birth outcomes, feeding challenges and breast changes, and just overall realizing that you love something so vulnerable. All of this compounds and can shine a light on the unchecked anxiety you have had for years.
When I was pregnant for the first time and then more strongly when I was postpartum for the first time, the biggest and most challenging change was feeling like my body didn’t belong to me anymore. I didn’t feel like me. I felt like I was a shell. What I didn’t know at the time and what I wish I could go back in time and tell myself, was that this feeling was directly tied to a massive change and I was becoming a different version of myself. (Matrescence-What is it?) This change was happening no matter what, but there could have been supports that would have helped, in particular better postpartum nutrition. I designed my Postpartum Nutrition Support program specifically to address this need.
Parenting changes your life
Parenting changes everything but like all things, there are good and bad parts.
Not getting enough alone time is a VERY common complaint among new mothers. Spend any amount of time on social media and you’re bound to see a funny meme about a mom not being able to go to the bathroom alone.
I have experienced some of my most joyful and laughter filled moments with my kids. But I have also had my heart shattered by being their mom, many times.
And the ultimate challenge of parenting, is how quickly your kids start bringing light to all of your quirks and less than ideal behavior. Often, they do this in a very public way. Like, say for example, asking quite loudly at a holiday gathering, if the reason you don’t like Uncle Bob is because he likes our President and you don’t.
Parenting: change is the only constant
Change with parenting doesn’t just stop after the initial postpartum period. Each new stage of parenting brings unique changes. Again, some good and some bad. A most recent change for us is dealing with bullying…boo to middle school years.
But this stage also comes with immense joy. I love to chat, with anyone. (That works out well in my work as a perinatal therapist.)
So one of the best changes in my life as a parent has been that now I get to chat with my kiddos. Since my kids are just getting to the age where they can have real and depth-filled conversations, this is my first time as a parent with kids who can chat. And it is such wonderful change.
In fact, at bedtime, I have to cut my daughter off from chatting. She always says, “Awe! But I love to chat with you!”. Makes it really hard to maintain those good bedtime boundaries.
Change is powerful and scary
It means challenges and opportunities. It can heal. Nothing is gained without change, welcome it.
Not everyone sees change the same way, some see promise, others see devastation.
Either way, now that you are a parent, change is coming.
And if you are really struggling with all the changes, it can be immensely helpful to talk to someone. I am here and I get it. Contact me today.