• Sarah Dionne

Adjusting To Life With A Newborn: 12 Truths All New Moms Should Know.

The other day I was outside with my four-year-old...

I was knee deep in the gardening I had been wanting to do all week. The sun was so bright, the temperature perfect. What a fabulous day.


My daughter wandered around the edge of the garden and in her small voice said, “mama, I’m tired. I want to go inside”. I smiled and said, “you’re tired, huh? Okay, we can go in for a bit”. She’d been outside for over an hour already, occupying herself with watching ants, playing with the cat, and pretending to be a fairy lost in the weeds.

When she was first born, I remember being home with her alone.

I finished up what I was doing, and we went inside. My husband was still busy working on a

project out near the woods, so I would have to stay inside with her. We had a snack, played

with the dollhouse, and watched an episode of her favorite kids’ show. I felt at ease with changing my plans and doing what my little girl wanted to do, putting my stuff off for a little while.

You see, dreaming about being a mother was VERY different from actually being a mother.

When she was first born, I remember being home with her alone. A tiny newborn who needed my constant attention. But the thing was, only a month before, I had pretty much still been just… me. Sure, I was married and super pregnant and my mind was always on her arrival. But, nonetheless, the fact was I could still do what I wanted to do; go paint or watch a movie or go for a walk.


You see, dreaming about being a mother was VERY different from actually being a mother.

Once that little baby arrives, life changes. Suddenly you’re not just… YOU. Now it’s you and

your baby. YOU becomes WE.

The transition from “single” (in a partnership or not) life to motherhood is a profound change.

Suddenly I felt like my life and my body weren’t mine anymore. But this is what I wanted…

right? Didn’t I want to be a mother? Didn’t I want to have a little baby to take care of, to hold, to share our lives with? But I found myself frustrated when she wouldn’t nap because there were things I wanted to do. I found myself desperate for support, for someone else to be with her so I could be myself again for just an hour.


So many mothers judge themselves for these thoughts and feelings. They might feel selfish, like a failure as a mother or maybe as if they were not cut out for motherhood after all.


Nothing could be further from the truth. The transition from “single” (in a partnership or not) life to motherhood is a profound change. The fact is there has to be a shift in identity. But what if you weren’t ready to let go of the identity you had? What if this whole mother thing was more than you bargained for?


I will assure you that it is more than what most first-time moms bargained for. There is no way

to know the reality of motherhood until you are one. The fact is that it’s mentally, emotionally,

spiritually, and physically draining. In reality, you are now the guardian and life giver to another human being… and that is massive.


Here is what I would have loved to understand while I was adjusting to having a newborn and being a new mother...


No matter what I feel about my new life now… it’s okay.


Don’t panic, I get to feel totally overwhelmed and I get to question all of this.


It’s okay that I don’t know who I am now, life is different and it’s going to take me time to

adjust


It’s okay if I don’t feel good mentally because I also know it’s okay to get help.


Good mothers doubt themselves, too.


I get to be frustrated with my baby, having a newborn is hard and I’m not always going to

enjoy it.


Even if I long to have my old “single” life back again, I am still a good mother.


Even if I question having a baby, I am still a good mother.


Even if I feel totally overwhelmed with my body’s changes, I can still be okay with my

body and I can still be attractive.


My relationship with my partner has changed because we have a baby, it’s okay if this is frustrating or scary to me... we can figure it out.


It’s okay if I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I get to have time to adjust.


It’s okay to not feel okay. Good mothers don’t always feel okay.


Circling back to my afternoon with my daughter. Now I have come to peace with motherhood.

Now I see it as just part of my life and I can take care of her AND feel like me. When she needs my time, even if there’s something else I want to do, sometimes it just is what it is and I can find another time to do my own thing.


I am not a saint. It took me time to let go of life before motherhood. Even though I loved her to the moon and back again, her need for total care and attention was more than I could have prepared for.


My daughter and I have a special relationship. And she is VERY attached to me when I am home… meaning there are rarely breaks, she wants my attention because she misses me on days I’m working. This doesn’t mean I don’t take “me-time” on my days off, but it does mean that she’s not usually happy about it and I feel guilty; like a selfish mother...even though logically I know this couldn’t be further from the truth. But I can still be subject to mama’s guilt, too.

Truth be told… motherhood needs to be interwoven with our “single” identity.

I can feel guilt and not actually BE guilty. Sometimes guilt is just there as an emotion because I love her so much and seeing her disappointed makes me sad. And that’s okay. She’s

okay...we’re okay.


Truth be told… motherhood needs to be interwoven with our “single” identity. Once I threaded them together, then I could strike a new rhythm and began to feel like a new “me”. It will never be the old me, or the old you.


Motherhood changes us. It changed me completely. For the better.






Sarah Dionne is a Yoga Psychotherapist and Life Coach. She helps prenatal and postpartum moms around the country overcome anxiety, eating disorders or shame around their changing bodies.


Sarah offers women many free resources, including this free video on the use of gratitude to help heal anxiety and body shame after baby.


Sarah is also available for free consultations. Click Here to book your free session.


"There is no greater purpose for me than helping other moms. I know what my experience was in pregnancy and after Anna was born; it was hard. Really hard. But I'm grateful for all of it now because I can use it to help others. For me that's what life's about."

-Sarah Dionne,

MSW, LICSW

Yoga Instructor

Founder Of WHC


 

260 Center Street, Suites 5 & 6

Middleboro, MA 02346

Tel: 207.333.8521 

Email: mindbodyspirit@wholehealthcollab.com

Follow us

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

​© 2020 by Whole Health Collaborative. Proudly created with Letsdesignyoursite.com