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I grew up an only child who spent the majority of my childhood living with my grandparents. That means I didn’t grow up around other children, let alone babies. Being a millennial mom-to be is exciting and overwhelming all wrapped up into one. Sometimes it’s more overwhelming simply because I don’t really have any prior training or pre-existing skills to rely on. The best things I have in my kid tool belt are my early years of working in daycares, after school programs and elementary schools, but none of those things have prepared me to take on the task of motherhood.
For the majority of my life I’ve been alone. I’ve lived alone, traveled alone, shopped alone, etc. Because as an only child, that’s what I’ve always been used to doing. Now that I’m about to have another being relying solely on my care and me knowing what to do, I’m shooketh.
The mental transition
After finding out I was pregnant, it wasn’t hard for me to jump into the first stage of “mommy mode,” which meant I automatically knew what I could and couldn’t do. Now that the finish line is in sight and I am weeks away from meeting my daughter, I’m needing to prepare myself to transition into the next stage, which I call, “motherhood mentality.” Other moms tell you you’ll just “know” what to do when your baby arrives, and that may be true. There’s a part of me that’s convinced that there is this secret maternal switch somewhere inside of me that will automatically turn on when she arrives and everything will work itself out.
But I’m also not going to kid myself. I’ve always been able to adapt to change, just not overnight and not always so easily. I’ve always been open to learning new things, I just hate failing at them. This new journey that I’m about to embark on is going to involve a whole hell of a lot of that, but it’s time to put my game face on and get ready.
3 things that have helped me thus far
Two words: positive affirmations. I almost live by these at this point. I’ve always been a sucker for words, but positive affirmations are a great mental and emotionally stabilizing tool for me when doubt or fear seep into my mind. I try replacing the thought of, “I can’t do this,” or “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing,” to “I got this,” and “You can do anything you put your mind to.”
Nesting is another thing that’s really helped to put me in the right mindset. Decorating her room, and helping her dad put together her furniture, buying her books and clothes have all helped me feel that much closer to the little (and very active) girl growing inside me.
Lastly, deep breathing and prayer. Sometimes when the positive affirmations aren’t working and I’m just feeling too mentally overwhelmed, I’ll stop what I’m doing, close my eyes and take ten, long deep breaths. I follow that up with a quick prayer and then I mentally tell myself to reset.
Again, I know that this new journey is going to be far from easy, but as long as I surround myself with positive vibes, I know I’ll be okay. If you’re a mom to be like me, I hope these tips helped. Also, if you’re an O.G. in the game and have some helpful advice to share, feel free to reach out via email or comment below.