I am so excited to share our newest guest post with all of you! This one is brought to you by Sunit Suchdev with Modern Mommy Prep School. I have been admiring her work for quite some time now. She does such amazing things and is a mom to twins. So, I reached out to her and asked her to share this with us. She’s very strong and realistic and it shows through her work. She has been gracious enough to share with us five fantastic tips that will help you prepare for motherhood and make sure you don’t lose yourself in the process.
Sunit Suchdev is a speaker, author, and founder of Modern Mommy Prepschool. Modern Mommy Prepschool inspires first time moms to prepare better for motherhood so they aren’t losing themselves in it. Sunit wants to create a movement of moms who are talking about all the amazing things they are doing instead of talking about all that they are not getting done. You can join the movement and listen to the podcast over at www.modernmommyprepschool.com
How to Prepare for Motherhood So You Don’t Lose Yourself
When I started IVF, I knew I was in for a rollercoaster, but the amount of money, energy, and heartache that went into trying to have a baby was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. To say it was difficult would be an understatement. When I started seeing other women falling apart as they became moms, I knew one thing: I did not want to go through all this only to wish I hadn’t. I am not one of those people that looks around and thinks “that’s not going to be me”. I’m the person that goes “HOW can I make sure that is not me?”. So I got to work. I started talking to women who looked like they were rocking motherhood, the moms who had everything I wanted. A happy life, a great career or business, and a lifestyle that satisfied everything they had ever dreamed their life would be. These women never complained that they had lost themselves, in fact, they were MORE happy than they had ever been.
Here are the top things I did BEFORE my babies were born (by the way, we ended up having twins!) to ensure I was truly prepared and could parent my kids without losing myself:
1. Change, Set and Have Realistic Expectations I took stock of my current lifestyle and really thought about how feasible it would be to maintain it post baby.
Remember the “sugar bag baby” project in middle school? Where you have to have this “baby” for 24 hours and take it with you everywhere you go so you will realize how HARD it is to actually have a baby? It was very enlightening as an 8th grader to realize that no, I couldn’t go hang out with my friends at the park and leave my “baby” at home and no I couldn’t have a shower and leave it in my room. Understand your current lifestyle, social situation, career, finances, hobbies, etc, and know they will change. That is the reality, and the difference between those who look at the glass half empty and glass half full, lies in what their expectations are. Manage your expectations.
2. Know your SELF-and then plan to not lose her.
I think women lose themselves easily after becoming moms because they haven’t strongly anchored themselves in their pre-baby life. You should know what makes you happy in life. You should know what you love to do and what feeds your mind body and soul. You should know what your passions are and how you handle change, difficult times and sleep deprivation. If you know what you’re made of, what your great qualities are, and what qualities show up when you’re tired, you will be much more likely to be prepared. Do you know where your happy place is? Do you meditate? Like to cook? Do yoga? Love shopping? Know what your absolute non- negotiables for nurturing yourself are. If you know that you need uninterrupted time every day, chat with your hubby or family members about a set time you can have that. These are all things I thought about ahead of time. I PURPOSELY prepared to not lose myself. It sneaks up on you so you have to plan for it!
3. Drop the pride and build your village.
So many women think that giving up their identity and becoming a mom is just the way it’s supposed to be. They think they are supposed to do it all on their own and not ask for help. If you have done steps 1 and 2, you should have a pretty good idea of where you might need some time and some help so set your village up now. In addition to your partner, you must line up a support system ahead of time. It is not enough to say “I’ll call you if I need you” or for others to say “call me if you need me”. No. Put pen to paper and assign tasks NOW. If you know you don’t do well with sleep deprivation, hire a night nurse, or at least have one on back up. If you want to be able to go back to work or your business because that is YOUR thing-great! Prepare yourself for it. ASK for help. Asking for help IS self-care.
4. Let go
If you can’t operate as an independent person and enjoy your own company and doing things for yourself because you are too busy wondering if your partner or your village is taking care of your baby as well as you do, you are going to miss your chance at truly taking care of yourself. Not only does letting go of control feel so good because suddenly you are free to just focus on yourself, but it is incredibly empowering for those that are helping. People always ask me how it is that I get my husband to help out with the kids so much. It seems like such a funny question to me. First of all, he is their dad. I don’t have to GET him to do anything. He wants to. The problem lies in when women say they want help but then don’t like the way it’s given. The ability to let go is like a muscle. The more you do it, the easier it becomes, and the more others WANT to help…but it is also incredibly healthy for your brain to not be stressing about other things and just be present in the moment, enjoying whatever it is you are doing.
5. Say goodbye to the guilt
Finally-I will say it but me saying it probably won’t convince you. This one is just going to have to be something you really work at. Whatever stories you’ve told yourself, whatever limiting beliefs you have and whatever you learned from your own childhood, that is causing you to feel guilty for wanting to preserve yourself and prioritize your self-care, say goodbye to it. You can NOT be as good of a mom to your kids when you are not whole. Give your family the GIFT of a happy, healthy you. There are unique things about you and only you, that the people in your life love. If you let those slip away after you have kids, you will be depriving your children of the amazing person you once were and you will be depriving people of the woman they once knew. If you can hold on to yourself, you will see how incredibly powerful you can be once you become a mom.
These are all such wonderful tips from a fantastic mother. I find that I, myself, have trouble with a couple of these from time to time. I have a hard time dealing with guilt and letting others help care for our daughter. I have to learn to swallow the pride of thinking that I have to do everything for her and let others help me care for her. It’s definitely not an easy thing for me to deal with and cope with. I’m openly admitting that. I feel that it may be extra hard for me mentally because we had to go through so much to get pregnant and then had such a complicated pregnancy with her and I was determined to do everything I could to keep her safe once I had her. ( To read more about our crazy pregnancy, check out that post) I’m not using that as an excuse. I’m just trying to find out how and why things are complicated for me. So, if you’re struggling with any of these or have other tips to help keep up with yourself, please share them in the comments below! We hope you enjoyed these tips in helping yourself prepare for motherhood. If you’re the mama in waiting that is reading this post, just waiting for your time, make sure you get the printable to help you and your spouse stay connected while you go through the infertility journey together. Dealing with infertility can be a stressful time, physically, mentally and emotionally, to say the least. You want to make sure that you and your significant other can stay close and keep the spark alive through this trying time.
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