A Path Well Travelled
A Path Well Travelled
Growing up I use to think that I was going to take the path LESS travelled, and I have to admit that I did find myself in some pretty special places, from remote trails to exotic lands, and some amazing adventures in between. But now I am on one of the most WELL travelled paths....motherhood!
I am now 3 1/2 months in to this amazing adventure and I have to say its been incredible. We have been blessed with this little human being who has turned my life upside down in the most wonderful way. Yes, of course, there have been tears and frustration, but that is where this WELL travelled path comes in. I am surrounded by amazing mothers who have paved the way for me. Whether it be in the form of a patient ear, knowledge, or hand-me-downs, they have been here for us.
The saying, “it takes a village to raise a child” couldn’t be more true. I am so fortunate to have both sets of grandparents and an incredible Auntie close by who all have open arms to help look after our little guy. It’s because of them, that I can take a short nap, or get out for a well needed bike ride with my husband and even get back to work part-time.....On that note, I am back to work two half days and have my schedule online. I will continue to add more hours as Barrett (and I) adapt to time apart.
We often think of these early days with a little one as being physically stressful with the lack of sleep, the constant feeding and rocking etc, but the physical stress is just part of it. The emotional stress can be as intense, with the endless questions, uncertainties and worries that bombard new moms.....
“Is his poop suppose to look like that?”
“Is he gaining enough weight?”
“How much should I feed him?”
"Am I doing a good job?"
“I can’t tell if he’s breathing” (visualize ear right up to his nose)
I could go on and on.
And lets be honest, in the age of technology and accessible information, it can be pretty overwhelming with how much conflicting information is out there, and not just in the baby world, but life in general. We search the internet for answers and are often left just as overwhelmed, which adds to the emotional and physical stress. It is so important to keep a keen eye and look for reliable sources as we sift through this information.
So I know I am quite new to this path of motherhood, but there are a few insights that I feel I need to pass on. Although this is directed to new moms I think these are good points for all of us to carry through our days......
Stay present and connected- your baby (and the people around you) are giving you signs or indications all the time for how they are feeling or what they are needing. You just have to be present to see it. It is so easy to get distracted by our phones, media, chores, etc that we can miss those little cues. Some of those daily worries can be dissolved by tuning in and recognizing some of these messages. Disconnect and reconnect!
Make time for your self- I know it feels that the minutes just drift away in the day and that all of your time and energy are being given to your little one (or your family or your job etc), but I cannot stress the importance of finding some time for yourself. Whether its journaling, reading, working out, napping, or anything that "fills your cup," you have to do it. You WILL feel better and in doing so be better able to cope with all those other demands. Time is always the limiting factor when we try this, but I have found this mantra to be helpful...."something is better than nothing!"
Surrender- In an age where we are pushed to do more, cram more in a day, keep up with the Jones's, and keep a smile through it all, sometimes we just have to surrender to the fact that its not all going to get done or go exactly as planned. This message is especially directed to all you "Type A'ers" out there....you know who you are ;-) Give in to the fact that your house is going to be messy for a few more days, or that the laundry just isn't going to get folded, or you're only going to get a 15min workout in because your baby just won't nap. Its all ok!!!! Fighting it or feeling bad just makes the situation worse. Know that you are doing the best that you can and tomorrow is a new day.
I just want to finish off and say thank you! Thank you to all of you for your support, patience and kind words over these past few months while I navigate this new journey. Motherhood is truly the most challenging, rewarding and exhausting job out there, but knowing that I have an incredible tribe of women supporting me makes it just that little bit easier. Thank you for being a part of my "well travelled path."
Physiotherapist, Owner, and New Mother