The first year as a "new mom" is probably something special for everyone. It literally makes you a mom, where you can't know beforehand what type of mom you will be. You may imagine wishful or fearful images, but in the end it will be completely different anyway. I'd like to give you a glimpse into my life as a mom, and hope it empowers and inspires you.
When I was pregnant, I often had sleepless nights. I had just opened my first store at the time of Corona. And my husband had had to close his business in the USA because of Corona. Not very good conditions for a fresh family happiness. I was afraid that I would not be able to do justice to both my business and my son. Or even worse, I would neglect one or both. Then there was the threat of losing the business (my existence) or a bad relationship with my son for life. As I lay awake at night, I ask myself, how do I not only do justice to both, but grow from the challenge so that in the end I can be proud of myself because both are thriving and blossoming at the same time?
In this blog article you will learn....
- that you will be a good mom even without preparation
- how to become the best "mommy version" of yourself
- how you can be a mom and be successful in your career at the same time.
Up until I gave birth, I worked like a machine (day & night). I felt endlessly bad because I had absolutely nothing prepared for the birth or nursery. No book, no nothing read, nothing bought, nothing decorated, but just focused full throttle on work to build up another little cushion of money for the upcoming "down time". My shop/business was still too young to function without me. In me often came up the question or fear, my child is not even in the world yet, and I am already a bad mother....
"Listen to yourself, your mothering instincts will guide you in the right direction."
The birth changed everything! After an endless 32 hours, I finally got to hold my angel in my tired arms. Although, or maybe because I hadn't read anything about being a mother, from the beginning I just listened to my gut feeling, my mother instinct. We were a super tight team right away and the nurses/midwives at the hospital could hardly believe I was a new mom. Anyway, it soothed my soul that I could be a mom without having read anything about it before.
Even back at home, everything went easily for me. My midwife often warned me that I needed to take more breaks from my "work" (I had already started working again in the hospital), otherwise I could get depressed or stop producing milk. I'm not saying she wasn't right, but life unfortunately is not a wishful thinking concert and I did what I had to do. Much like a multiple mom. Or do you leave the first kids to the left just because a new baby came along and you're exhausted? No. Inside I was always lovingly telling myself, you can do this, it's just a phase, you're doing it all for your son. The love for my son literally made me superhuman.
The sad truth is, there is no maternity leave for self-employed mom's!
Where there used to be fear & doubt that I could not or would not sacrifice myself for a child like this, there was now this endless love. It makes everything easy, natural and simply possible. For me it was self-evident that I would breastfeed him, forego my sleep and give him every free minute. As long as I saw my son happy and relaxed, this was the most beautiful form of a reward.
Was it love at first sight?
Many women talk about falling in love with the child almost abruptly, like love at first sight. I would have loved to have had this experience... I don't know why, but for me it was different. My birth was anything but what I wanted. I wanted to give birth without drugs and naturally to have that special moment. I had tried everything, 32 hours, until we were both in danger of dying and had to have an emergency C-section. I was physically at the end, almost unconscious, pumped full of medication, then there was the cut in my abdomen in this bright, cold room and my son was taken from me. I lay on the operating table for another 40min, alone in tears until I was finally reunited with my son and husband. I will never forget that moment when they put my son on my chest. It was like a relief, but completely different than I had wanted or imagined. It felt unrealistic...maybe because of exhaustion and medication. I realized I was struggling to access what I was experiencing and the present...to understand that I am now "mom". In the first 24 hours, I tried to consciously tune in to my son. I talked to him... I caressed him... I tried to open my somewhat closed heart. To give myself to this relationship, to this love. And lo and behold... the door to my heart not only opened, it had completely disappeared. There was nothing standing between me and my love for my son. I believe this was the key to being a mom. To completely surrender to this soul, this little being, and to open myself to it.
Since this door is gone, the energies flow freely and develop even more. Until the end of my days I will be grateful to my son for bringing me back into contact with this inconceivable unconditional love. Opening my heart again, not only to him, but to all other people.
Dedicating your life with love to another brings you into such powerful strength. Being able to be a mom is the most beautiful thing in the world to me.
It really takes a village
I would be lying if I said being successful professionally & being a mom at the same time would be easy. It's not, but it is possible. Don't think it's going to be business as usual, you're going to have to make some changes to stay successful professionally. Learn to become flexible, focused & expeditious.
Where before my working day consisted of 15 hours of work, now a large part of my time and energy is spent on my child. In the beginning, breastfeeding alone takes up 8 hours of your day. Even working at night is no longer so easy. I simply don't have the energy today. So it's very important that you find a way to focus your energy and time and make the most of it. This new strategy has actually improved me over the past year. Before, I often lost myself in small, unimportant things. Today I think and act extremely focused on the essentials.
So, in a way, working in these difficult circumstances has forced me to rethink and improve my work strategy.
HOW WAS YOUR FIRST YEAR AS A MOM FOR YOU? DID YOU HAVE A SIMILAR EXPERIENCE AS ME?
LEAVE ME YOUR STORY IN THE COMMENTS, I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT...