Being a parent really is the most beautiful thing in the world. Our little Nailah is binging us so much joy, it is incredible. It however also is very challenging. There are four things which have extremely helped me since Nailah has been born, which I am sharing in this article.
Babies are Pure Beings & Mom, Dad and Baby Are a Team
There are two insights, which have been guiding my choices as a mommy and are extremely helpful when being confronted with challenges: understanding that babies are pure beings and that we, the parents, are in the same team with the baby (no one is trying to trick the other).
While giving birth it has extremely helped to understand that our baby and me are working in a team; we are doing this together. It is not just a thought, which I implanted into my mind, but it works like that in reality. Already the start of birth is teamwork. Contractions are being triggered as a result of the baby and the mom’s body working together and the entire birth process is teamwork. Working as a team does not stop with the birth but it continues throughout life. Understanding that supports me in staying calm when dealing with challenges as a mommy.
I have the point of view that a baby never does anything to trick his parent, but because he needs something. Babies are pure and helpless beings, which need the parents for nourishment. Nourishment is not just food, but also love and attention. At the same time the parents receive an incredible amount of love, joy, and satisfaction from the little baby. It is a give and take. The mom breastfeeds and with that provides her baby with nourishment (not just food, but also love and touch) and as the baby breastfeeds it causes the mom’s body to release the hormones prolactin and oxytocin. Both hormones are important for the milk production, but in addition to that they balance the mom’s well- being. Oxytocin is also known as the ‘love hormone’. By breastfeeding the baby triggers the release of that love hormone, allowing the mom to become happy and feel in love. Mommy and baby work as a team.
Nailah has been bringing us so much joy, but at times being a mom and dad is also very challenging. There are hours and days where she cries a lot (to our understanding, we do not have any comparison). Not being able to soothe her is heartbreaking and made me cry as well at the beginning. I also experienced moments where I got a bit angry with her, which made me feel extremely bad right after. Since however, I have internalized more and more that we are working as a team and that Nailah is not doing anything with a bad intention I have not had this thought anymore. Even though this has always been my approach it has taken me some time to truly understand and live by it since becoming a mom. I guess it required real life situations and not just theoretical thoughts.
The Power of the Mind. What You Tell Yourself Strongly Influences How You Feel.
The power of the mind is not something new for me, but I am applying that concept to a new situation in life, which like everything new requires practice. In regards to a life with a baby the result of applying and implementing this concept changes everything. While I could repeatedly tell myself how tired I am because I woke up quite a few times the past night, instead I can tell myself that I am actually not that tired and that I was lucky to have slept 3 hours straight in between breastfeeding. I have already had a situation where Nailah wouldn’t stop crying and I caught myself thinking ‘why can’t she finally stop. I have no patience anymore.’ I then switched these thoughts to thinking about how difficult it must be for a little baby to be in this big, wide, open world after spending 9.5 months in a cozy, warm, and protected womb. Switching from those first thoughts to those immediately made me calmer and allowed me to develop patience. There are so many situations with a baby where the power of the mind can change completely how we experience the situation and behave.
Find a Midwife You Trust and Spend Time With Family and Close Friends
Family, friends, and a midwife you trust are absolutely precious when you have a baby. We are very lucky to have family, close friends and a midwife we trust and can rely on. We are not ment to raise a child alone but in a group of people who build a support system. Unfortunately this has changed for many, leaving parents feeling alone and overwhelmed. I find that even just being with another person especially in situations where for example the baby cries already is a huge support. It somehow makes you feel less helpless and gives the situation ease. Getting advice and help from others who have already had a baby or raised children is so important as well when you have a baby. More than ever before do I find it helpful to exchange experiences and talk about life with a baby with other mommies.
Never before would I have imagined that getting help from a midwife or doula is that important. I can only recommend every new mom and dad to look for a midwife before giving birth. Spend some time on finding one who shares your approach so that you can truly trust and rely on her advice. A midwife helps with the baby but also gives emotional support to the mom.
Allowing Nailah to Guide my Day With a Healthy Dose of Self-Care and Decision Making
Having your own baby doesn’t change everything but it changes a lot. We were more than ready to have little Nailah and open to the changes she would bring to our life. While it is great to have this attitude you can’t really know how it is until the baby is born. I particularly remember one day where I made a plan for the morning. I wanted to write a blog post for Being Me and study for my Trauma Sensitive Yoga certification. That morning though Nailah did not really sleep like she did the previous days. There was no way I could do what I had planned. I noticed how I got a bit annoyed. I then understood that planning like I did before Nailah was born does not work with a newborn. Once I understood that I immediately stopped feeling annoyed and relaxed. On the other side though there is no need to completely neglect ones own interests and hobbies. The solution that is working for me is to allow Nailah to guide my day while still having intentions but with an openness for changes. What allows me to live by this is our baby carrier. The baby carrier is perfect both for Nailah and us. It works wonders when Nailah cries and does not stop and it allows me to do what I want to do keeping her close.