The 5 Most Damaging Myths of Motherhood

By

The 5 Most Damaging Myths of Motherhood
Dropping the myths and knowing the truth about mommyhood will liberate you!

It’s hard to believe that in 2011, new moms still buy into the fantasies of motherhood.  It’s not their fault.  Often it’s women passing these on to other women, which is even more perplexing, and this unfortunately keeps the cycle going (often labeled “the conspiracy” by my clients).
 
Here are the top five myths that we’d be much healthier shedding:
 
1.     When the baby first comes, it should be the happiest time in my life.  The truth is, when the baby first comes into your life, it’s boot camp!  This can feel like the toughest time with all the adjustments – physical and emotional – as your life turns upside down.  Hopefully there’s lots of joy mixed in as well, but to expect yourself to be elated all the time is not realistic.  New moms often feel guilty when they’re not happy and then they begin to doubt themselves and whether they made the right decision to have a baby.  Be reassured that this is to be expected.  Most of the happy times usually come later, after the initial healing and settling in occurs.

2.     My needs shouldn’t matter anymore.  It’s all about the baby now.  Think again! If Mommy’s not okay, the family’s not okay.  It’s your number one duty to take care of yourself so you’ll have what it takes to be there for your family.  In order to be the mom you want to be, you must put yourself on the list daily.  Sacrificing yourself will eventually backfire when you burn out, become resentful of your husband and start snapping at your child(ren).  Concentrate on your night sleep, nutrition, and some time completely off duty during the week so you can recharge your batteries.  Your family will thank you – it’s a favor to them when you take care of yourself and a detriment to them when you don’t.

 

3.     Mothering is instinctual.  If this were true, there wouldn’t be so many parenting books!  Each mom is searching for answers.  On top of that, each child within the same family might need a different style.  Parenting is learned and feels to the best of mothers as one gigantic guessing game.  So, if you cannot tell what your newborn’s cries mean, that doesn't mean you’re incompetent.  You’ll learn in good time.

4.     I shouldn’t need help.  Emotional, physical and social support is always important no matter what’s going on in our lives.  And when a baby first enters the home, it’s essential.  Our society is one that loves self-reliance and teaches that asking for assistance is a weakness and implies inadequacy.  Drop this way of thinking as fast as you can.  Ask for help, receive it when it’s offered, and know it’s a sign of health on your part when you do.

Article contributed by

Dr. Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D.

Psychologist

Clinical Psychologist

Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D. (Dr. Shosh) specializes in moods during pregnancy and postpartum. She works through phone and other technologies with women and their partners worldwide.

The DrShosh.com Radio Show can be heard on her website and callers receive free advice!

Download the free app PPD Gone! A great resource for those in need of support, guidance, or simply a little encouragement.

Get Dr. Shosh's books here.

Follow Dr. Shosh on Facebook and Twitter @DrShosh and LinkedIn

 

Location: Bodega Bay, CA
Credentials: PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D.:

Should You Nix These 'Dirty Words' From Your Parenting Vocab?

By

Not too long ago, a parent who didn't set firm rules, tell her children to behave themselves or punish them when they acted out was thought to be an irresponsible parent. Now, in contrast, some of the most popular and commonly used words in parenting are considered to be off limits for the up-to-date and discerning parent. When did these words become, well, ... Read more

6 Important Ways To Help Your Partner Cope With Grief

By

When your partner suffers a major loss, it is an opportunity for the two of you to grow closer, whether the relationship is new or well-seasoned.  However, if handled insensitively (no matter how well-intentioned), the opposite can easily occur, and a wedge between you will grow instead. Here are six basic do's and don'ts to keep in mind when ... Read more

Telling Your Husband You Have Breast Cancer

By

Telling your loved ones of your recent diagnosis of cancer is difficult. Having been in this scenario quite recently, I can tell you from the inside out—it is a challenge. First, you're dealing with your own emotions about the diagnosis. Second, it's hard not to try and take care of and feel responsible for your spouse's reaction.  It ... Read more

See More

 
PARTNER POSTS
My Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular