The Psychology Of Prepared Parenting – Keeping A Positive Attitude
This student blog contribution by Erica Russo.
i am a mother.
i am a fixer, a feeder, driver, a healer, a mind reader, a comfort, an advocate, a tear wiper, a member of the hygiene, sunscreen & homework Gestapo, a hair braider, a lunch packer, a bed maker, a time keeper, a promise keeper, a laundry slave, a calendar, a chef, a back tickler, a day saver, a dragon slayer, a puppy trainer, a delivery service, a hamster eulogist, a personal shopper, a crush confidante, a counselor, a manicurist, a cheerleader, a toilet flusher, a peacemaker, & the finder of all things lost.
Through our discussion of this poem, another classmate made the observation, “You won’t be able to prepare for a majority of these things”. Last week, I blogged about preparing for the things that you can – and clearly, there is a great number of things for which you simply cannot.
Today, Dr. Athan also showed a video blog, Life with a Newborn – Staying Positive in Spite of Being Sleep Deprived, filmed by the mother of a newborn, one-year-old, four-year-old, and five-year-old. The mother, Dawn, discusses how remaining positive has helped her cope during difficult times, especially regarding her infant’s sleeping and eating routines. When Daniel, her infant, is waking up in the middle of the night, has yet another poopy diaper, or needs another bottle, she tells herself, “It’s okay”. She admits that she still has meltdowns at times, but overall, remaining positive has made her job as a mother a little less stressful. Going into situations “without expectations” also has helped Dawn deal with getting through the night.
I recently interviewed Nahid, a mother at M.O.M., who shared her story of preparing to become a mother with me. She came to M.O.M. because she did not find the resources or supports she needed at the public library, and appreciated the museum’s focus on mothers. Nahid said that she believed it was important that mothers have maternal mental health support for the first few months after birth because not everyone understands what mothers are going through. She knew that it was especially important during the first three months of her pregnancy that she remain as stress-free as possible. Nahid felt so excited to be having a baby, but carried with her lots of worry.
It might seem like Dawn’s positive attitude might be difficult for a first-time mother to adopt. After all, Dawn has cared for an infant three times before. But,first-time mothers can benefit from listening to other mothers with more experience and many times, will learn that trying to stay positive and maintaining a network of social supports will help them through their struggles.