I was recently asked how I responded when I was in the doctor’s office, and I was informed that I was carrying twins. To be completely honest. I cried. Uncontrollably. Tears of joy, overwhelm, gratitude, and uncertainty. And if you are reading this blog post, you might be able to relate.
Today, I’m going to talk about what I wish someone, anyone, would have taught me while I was pregnant with my multiples. Everyone talks about how to prepare physically for twins. What foods to eat, how to exercise, and to get as much sleep as possible now because you won’t get much once your babies are here. They talk about the baby gear and supplies to buy, what to buy two of, what are the must-haves versus the nice-to-haves, and what to take with you to the hospital. We talk a lot about how to physically care for the babies through breastfeeding and infant sleep classes.
But a HUGE piece of what we are missing when we are preparing for our babies to arrive is how to prepare for them mentally.
Let me begin by telling you why this is so important. The mental health that you exhibit will determine the emotions that you feel during your pregnancy, birth, hospital stay, and when you bring those babies home. And those emotions are what you are going to remember for years to come. Everyone thinks that if they buy the right baby gear, take all of the classes, and have the support system doing what they think is best, that is why you feel positive in your motherhood, but it’s not true. You don’t have to, and very often can’t control every situation in your motherhood to feel like you are a good mom. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t go into motherhood hoping to feel worried, stressed, overwhelmed, and guilty.
A robust mental health will allow you to be in complete control of the emotions that you feel, so let’s dive into how we prepare for our babies mentally.
I’m going to go to the most challenging thing to do first. Face your fears ahead of time. That’s right, a fear is only something that may or may not happen in the future. So if you are fearful of something in particular happening, I highly recommend that you face that fear ahead of time. Why? Several reasons. 1- It will allow you to be present with your pregnancy and your babies once they arrive. You will miss out on so much if you are always fearful, worried, or stress that something might happen. Know that you are stronger than you know, and you can handle anything that comes your way. We experience emotions way more intensely when we resist them and try to push them away so that we don’t have to experience them. 2- You will build confidence in yourself. Trust me, going through your pregnancy and the infant stage with a bit more confidence under your belt will be extremely helpful.
The next thing that you can do to prepare yourself mentally for your babies is to envision the challenging times that are going to happen. You get to decide how you want to think, feel, and act during these challenging times. On default, you will feel overwhelmed, stressed, or worried. But confident, compassionate, loving, and calm are also available to you by how you choose to think about the situation. Practicing these scenarios ahead of time will help you be able to be intentional in the heat of the moment.
The last thing that you can do to prepare for those babies mentally is to start practicing some useful beliefs about motherhood. All too often, we hear terms like “chaos coordinator” or “tantrum tamer.” To me, those terms don’t sound like the type of motherhood I want to experience. We hear that motherhood is hard, challenging, and exhausting, and I agree with those statements, but we need to be focusing on is motherhood is hard, but I can do hard. Motherhood is challenging, but I was made for this. Motherhood is exhausting, but I am not going to add to the mental and emotional exhaustion when I think less of myself. What if motherhood is just a class that you get to experience to learn, grow, and evolve as a human being. What if you are the perfect mother for your children and know what to do for them. What if you aren’t supposed to be happy all of the time while being a mom and that’s ok. What if you aren’t doing motherhood wrong if you experience negative emotions. What if you aren’t supposed to protect your children from experiencing negative emotions but instead teach them how to experience them in a useful way. I implore you, don’t look to society to tell you what to think and believe about motherhood. Be intentional now and practice those beliefs before your beautiful babies arrive.
If you want help with any of this, I have created an online course, The MoM Method, that will guide you through all of this, and so much more, to help you get ready for those babies to arrive. This is the course that I wish so desperately that I would have had the opportunity to take before having my twins. It would have saved me from a lot of regret with how I managed my time, some of the parenting decisions that I made, and the unnecessary suffering that I experienced because I didn’t know that I could change how I experience my motherhood. Click this link and check out The MoM Method. You deserve to thrive in your motherhood, not just survive.