I'm having a baby!
"I'm having a baby!" are such exciting words. Then terrifying, then scary, then exciting again... quite a mix of emotions, wouldn't you say?
Maybe you are getting quite big now, going to all the appointments, reading every book you can find, preparing as best you can but feel a massive overwhelm from all the advice that is out there.
You are a smart person, you've coped with other things but this, this is HUGE.
There is so much practical help out there but you are struggling to figure out your feelings, emotions. Where do you start to prepare your mental and emotional self for having a baby?
You start looking at your relationships with your parents, beliefs that were passed down to you that you don't want to pass on. You start to question your ability to be a good parent, and it terrifies you that you might mess up, pass down your worst traits, that you won't be a good mother, that you will fail. Maybe you have a mental illness and are worried you will not be able to cope with a baby. Maybe you have a difficult relationship with the baby's father and are trying to figure things out. You are consumed by anxiety, joy, excitement and dread.
This is all so very normal and there is a way around it.
Just as you are preparing practically for a baby, you can also prepare mentally and emotionally for a new identity as a mother.
Here are some questions to prompt you to think deeper about what YOU want. Remember, you can't get this wrong because it is about looking in yourself for answers, trusting your inner wisdom and instincts.
We often look to others to decide on a new identity, taking what we like. What does becoming a mother mean to YOU? What limiting beliefs can you let go of? What do you fear? What are you worried about?
There will be a new person in your life, how do you want to be as a parent? In their eyes?
What do you want to teach your child? What do you want your future with your baby to look like? Who is in your support network to help you when baby comes and in what way? Do you need to create some boundaries in your relationships? Time boundaries for visitors, for example?
There is a lot to think about and if you are in need of support, then please get in touch with a counsellor. You don't need to struggle on your own anymore and you're not alone!
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About Jasvinder Jessy Paston
I’m Jessy, a qualified BACP person-centred counsellor and coach, supporting clients through talking and phototherapy. I specialise in postnatal mental health issues, depression, anxiety and bereavement, working in partnership with my clients.