Mothers Have Needs Too!

Allison Gilbert, LMFT, Santa Cruz Counselor Lic: MFC 24087

It's a Job

Pregnant moms often hear, "Your life is going to change!"  But most of us don't really understand.  I was shocked when I came home with my first baby.  I remember wanting to run away.  I wanted my old life back.  I wanted my independence.

On the other hand, I couldn't imagine being away from this baby for one minute.  Nor could I imagine anyone else being able to take care of him with as much love and devotion as I had.  So there remains the dilemma.  For the first time in my life, I couldn't run away.  This was this first job in my life I couldn't quit.

I found a book called, "What's a Smart Woman Like You Doing at Home?"  It helped to validate what I was feeling and gave me the encouragement to stay home and not run away.  This book led me to the monthly newsletter, "Welcome Home" which was another way I supported myself with some new ideas about the job of motherhood.*

Slowly, my perspective on my situation started to change.  I began to think of this time with my baby as if I were growing a business!  (Like the true daughter of feminism that I am!)  I asked myself, how many years would you give toward creating a new business?  How many years would you expect to put in before realizing some profit?  You would give yourself over to a new business venture, right?  Then why not give the same to your child? 

I could see that my child needed me and my child's growth and development was the most important thing in the world to me.  A breakthrough came when I realized that caring for my child was a job.  It was a job that could give great meaning to my life.

If you think about motherhood as a new job, then you might be better able to rise to the occasion.  Give yourself a year or two.  Put your time in.  Remember how you felt the last time you started a new job?  Remember how long it took to figure out how to work it?  This is the same.  Eventually you get the hang of it and you begin to enjoy yourself and feel comfortable and secure.

No one ever said on their death bed, "Gee, I wish I'd have spent more time at the office."  Remind yourself how quickly time passes.  Soon your child(ren) will be in school and you'll have 6 hours a day to yourself - so much free time, you won't know what to do!  It does get easier as they get older.  But understand this:  if you are going to have more than one child, you might be on the motherhood job for 5 - 10 years before they are all in school for 6 hours a day.

People say that your life will change when you have kids, but one thing we just don't get until we are in it: life will change forever.  It's a huge commitment, but I challenge you to find another endeavor that is more important than this one.

*The monthly newsletter "Welcome Home" is no longer published but 40 of the articles from that newsletter are included in the workbook that comes with my workshop.  Click on this page to learn more: Workshop & SupportGroup

©2006 Allison Gilbert, M.A., L.M.F.T.; Free Tips

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