I will be the first to admit that I go insane if I’m stuck in the house for more than 12 hours. So the early days with Jack were definitely some of the hardest days, simply because being home 24/7, with the exception of a walk outside here and there and maybe a quick drive thru through Starbucks, was just how it goes with a newborn. Also, the struggle was VERY real with breast feeding so on top of “failing” at that and not being around others made postpartum depression a reality for this new mama.
Although I do pride myself in getting out as much as I could to have coffee dates with my girlfriends who were also stay at home moms, or Geoff and I would take Jack out with us for a quick lunch, I realized what I needed was to see other moms in action with their little people!
The thought of mommy and me classes made me self conscious. By the time we were ready to go to them (around 2-3 months) I was already back and forth between breast milk and formula, feeding Jack with a bottle…so the thought of being judged or being asked why I give my son a bottle gave me anxiety. However, I finally took the plunge and signed up for bootcamp classes taught by my friend Bobbi. She assured me that other moms would be there with their kids and if Jack cried she’d be more than happy to help him, feed him, whatever I needed!
I also signed up for mommy and me yoga classes. This was the one I was most intimidated by because I knew more moms would be breast feeding their little ones. Plus, yoga is such a huge part of my life, I didn’t want to look like I couldn’t do some poses like I used to! The first class I was assured that it was ok to breast feed my baby if I needed. At first I took it personally that it was assumed I breastfeed…and feeling like a failure crept up…and once Jack got hungry and I had to whip out the bottle…no one cared!
These classes gave me so much more confidence in my ability as a mother. For the first 2 months of Jack’s life I felt like the biggest failure. But being around other moms, actually NOT feeling judged for the way I feed my kid, and supporting one another and even helping each other out when our babies are fussy and mama just needs a breather, helped my bond with Jack grow even stronger. Plus, I’ve made some really wonderful friendships through bootcamp and mommy and me yoga. If you’re a new mom, or even a seasoned one, and feel you’re lacking in your mothering, check and see if you are involved with other moms? Are you getting out of the house? Are you sharing your struggles and victories with your friends? Once I started getting out every day (bootcamp was MWF and yoga was T/Th) I noticed such a drastic change in how I treated myself and how much more I loved my son! Confidence as a mom can be hard to come by with all the rules and opinions that are thrown at us daily. But when you get the opportunity to be immersed with other moms, seeing that they too have their struggles and “failures” it makes motherhood that much more beautiful