Since becoming a mama to my beautiful daughter Lara, I’ve had so many other mamas and mamas-to-be asking for advice on how to mentally transition into mamahood, and doing so with a positive mindset.
I’m sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have the perfect answer. I can however tell you about my own experiences and how I have managed to keep my slow living lifestyle with a baby.
2 years ago I started a journey of mindfulness. I wanted to experience life deeply and be as present as I could. This meant slowing life right down and intentionally doing things rather than just mindlessly rushing from one thing to the next.
I particularly delved into this lifestyle when I became pregnant because I learned that by keeping myself calm, relaxed and quiet during my pregnancy was good for my stress levels, good for baby’s stress levels and it would ultimately result in having a calm and content baby. Now who wouldn’t want that?!
Over the years of living this lifestyle, it has really helped me transition into mamahood with understanding and patience which are two important things to have when you are a new mama.
I’m not going to sugar coat anything here, and I’m being completely honest when I say that the first month was the hardest for me. It’s not that parenting is hard, it’s just that life is different to how it used to be. And it’s an instant change that you can’t really prepare for until you’re living it! You’re now responsible for someone, and that someone is completely dependent on you. That in itself can be pretty overwhelming.
I questioned everything I did in those first few weeks, and all I wanted was for someone to tell me the right way to do things. Patience and understanding really helped me from loosing my mind. If Lara was upset, I would make sure I stayed calm and relaxed, and I found that Lara would pick up on my energy and she would relax too.
I remember when the midwife came to our home during week one for a check up and she was going through some programs and she passed me a brochure about shaking your baby. Now we all know that shaking your baby can cause permanent injury and even death and that you should never do it. But I can honestly understand how it can happen. There are some frustrating times of being a mama, and sometimes it’s not just the baby that makes you feel this way. It can be too much pressure from your partner for you to do more around the house while they are at work, feeling lonesome and isolated when the new born bubble disappears and friends and family drop off the radar, or just the fact that your hormones are all over the place and you feel like an emotional wreck! There are so many reasons to not feel good mentally, but if we just slow down and take each moment as it comes with calmness and mindfulness it not only makes life with a baby a little less stressful but it makes life in general more clear.
I really try to be present as much as possible when Lara is awake. I take her for walks and show her things up close and talk to her about life. We explore nature and I get her to feel the different textures of plants, flowers and trees. We go on bush walks, sit at the beach or just lay in the forrest watching the tall trees sway in the breeze. Being out in nature calms us both, and it makes me feel so good to receive earth medicine.
When she tests my patience, I sit her up on my knees and look into her eyes and I tell her how I’m feeling. It somehow makes me feel better to vent out my frustration by talking to her, rather than just getting myself all worked up. In that moment you kinda stop and breathe, and get that sense of calmness back which helps get through the situation at hand.
Children are only children for a very short period, and they learn the most from birth to age 5! I really want to be as present and feel so deeply in these precious times so I can give Lara the best upbringing possible. I resigned from my job 2 weeks before I gave birth, and I’m in no rush to get back into the workforce anytime soon. I love spending my days quietly and slowly living life with Lara by my side, nurturing her and loving her with my full and complete attention.
To end this post il leave this quote. One that I read and will keep with me. An insight into a mama’s life who wishes she didn’t mindlessly rush through life. A reminder to treasure every moment.