When you find out you are pregnant, especially for the first time, there is a lot to think about.
Whether you have waited a long time for this pregnancy and spent years wondering what it will be like, or pregnancy came easy and you are just beginning to plan, when you finally see that positive test result it all suddenly becomes real!
Many newly pregnant mums start thinking, planning and asking themselves:
- How will I stay healthy and fit in pregnancy?
- What kind of birth do I want to have?
- How will I cope with labour?
- What stuff do I need to buy to get ready?
While these are all important questions, I hear Mums telling me they wish they had spent more time considering these important questions:
- Who will I be as a mother?
- How will I avoid messing up my kid for life?
- Will my partner and I be on the same page about parenting?
- Who can I trust when it comes to important things like sleep and breastfeeding?
- What can I do to make sure I become the parent I truly want to be?
Many mums I work with in my counselling practice tell me they wish they had known that
planning for parenting is just as important as planning for birth.
The good news is – there are things that you and your partner can do to prepare for parenting during pregnancy or even before you see the 2 lines appear on the test!
When I talk about preparing for parenting, I don’t mean researching parenting styles you might like to choose from. I’m talking about exploring who you truly want to become as a mother and what will lead you there.
So how can you plan for something as unique and unpredictable as bringing a new human into the world?
The most important factor in the way your child feels about themselves and how they relate to others throughout life, is their relationship with you, their parents, in the 1st year or two of life.
This leads us to the understanding that the way you relate to others and feel about yourself in your adult life is closely linked to your first and most important relationships, with your own parents.
While most people don’t remember being a baby, what we do know is that a baby’s relationship with their earliest attachment figure, usually the birthing mother, is where their core beliefs about themselves and how they relate to others are formed.
By exploring your own childhood, your past relationships, your values and core beliefs you can begin to create a framework for your future parenting or what I call your ‘unique roots of motherhood story’. By creating a story that supports you to understand how your past will impact on your future parenting experience, you can begin to grow your confidence in following your instincts with your baby, understand what you will find most challenging about the transition to motherhood and how to remove any obstacles that could get in the way of you becoming the parent you dream of being.
I’m really excited to support you to become the parent you truly want to be.
If you are pregnant or trying to conceive and would like to explore these ideas in a supportive environment, come and join me in my free Facebook community ‘The Roots of Motherhood.’ In the group you can expect to further explore the concepts I have discussed here, connect with other like-minded mums and be supported towards becoming the mother you truly want to be.
I would love you to join us.
Emma Holdsworth is a mother of 2, Family Counsellor, Parenting Educator and pregnncy and postpartum Doula. Emma is passionate about supporting pregnant and new mums to feel empowered to become the parents they truly want to be. Emma supports parents to explore the deeper aspects of themselves, and understand how their childhood experiences, past relationships, values and beliefs will shape their future parenting experience.