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I’m not sure when it happened, the day I lost myself. I don’t know if it was in the midst of navigating pregnancy, in the emotional transformation of giving birth, or in the fog of new motherhood, but somehow, at some time, I lost sight of me.
For a long time I told myself that this was what being a mother was all about…sacrificing myself for my baby. I sacrificed self-care, exercise, relationships with my friends, my connection with my husband, and with the world, all to give my daughter the most committed, attentive mother she could ask for.
And then, along the way, I unknowingly started to deteriorate mentally, physically and emotionally.
During this time, I enrolled my daughter in a local daycare for a few days a week so I could get more work done. The first day I dropped her off, I was informed that there would be a “mom night” where all of the moms of the daycare got together to meet each other. The very thought of it made my stomach turn. “Other moms aren’t going to like me,” I thought. “I’m not organized, I still don’t know what I’m doing with a baby, and every day I question if I’m a good mom.” However, I really love the people that run the daycare and couldn’t fathom letting them down, so I bought some wine and went.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done walking into the party that night. I felt so vulnerable, exposed and anxious. I actually remember pausing outside, staring at the door and contemplating turning around. Little did I know that on the other side of that door was a lesson I wish I’d learned years ago.
There were around thirty women at the gathering and as the night progressed, I realized that every single one of them was just like me…trying their best to just make it through the days, trying to handle this deep love they had for their children, and at the same time keep their head above water. The women shared stories of missteps and challenges with the group, they offered advice from experience and every time anyone spoke, they nodded their head in approval, signaling that they have all “been there.”
It was that night that I noticed how much I had been neglecting my need to feel connected to myself and other women. I thought that by not taking care of myself, I would create more space for my baby to thrive, but the truth is, if I’m not thriving, neither is she. So I started making hanging out with other moms and moms-to-be a priority, I started doing more yoga and meditation and because of this I got happier, and in turn so did my baby.
Are you pregnant or new to motherhood? Expectful is a digital platform that makes meditation easy for expectant and new moms. Each one of our guided meditations has been created to support you throughout your pregnancy and motherhood journey. Our mission is to help you give your baby the best start in life. Go to wp.expectful.com and sign up for our free 14-day meditation trial.
We understand that growing your family while having a healthy and happy pregnancy and baby is probably a top priority for you right now.
We created Expectful to help you harness the power of your mind to have a healthy, happy pregnancy and baby.
All of our meditation content is based on interviews with many soon-to-be and new parents just like you, and is created with the help of licensed psychologists, hypnotherapists, and meditation experts. You can practice in just 5 minutes a day.