Motherhood — it’s one of the most complex, confusing and demanding professions in the world. It can also be one of the most fulfilling. Unfortunately for many new moms, the sense of fulfillment takes a back seat to a feeling of being overwhelmed by expectations — our own and society’s.
Expectations vs. Reality: Before having kids, you probably believed you had what it takes to give your future children everything they needed. Soon after giving birth, however, many women run smack into the reality that our capacity to provide our “ideal mothering” is beyond our grasp. The lack of sleep, constant monitoring for your baby’s cry, the daily decisions about what is right and best (“Should I let her cry a bit?” “Does he feel warm?” “When is she going to stop coming into my bedroom every night?”) leave many moms confused, depleted and exhausted. Add in social media’s carefully photoshopped depiction of ideal mothering, and we have the perfect recipe for moms to feel guilty, inadequate and discouraged.
How Can Counseling Support Moms? Counseling offers a safe place to explore your thoughts and feelings about motherhood. In the “judgment free zone” of the counseling session, you can explore your expectations for yourself, learn about how you’ve been socialized to believe in “perfect” mothering, or identify needs long-buried under the load of responsibility you carry.
Counseling provides support and validation for this meaningful and challenging time in life. A counseling session allows you time and space to pause and reflect on your expectations for yourself as a mother, and to learn new skills and strategies for managing the long days –and sometimes long nights– that come with parenting. A counselor can also help you recognize more about what you are doing right and can help you create a life with kids that fits into your daily reality, rather than old expectations.