When you become a parent, there’s just so much to learn. The pros and cons of prenatal testing, positions for birth, how to change diapers, how to swaddle, whether to swaddle. You’ll learn of the myriad stroller options. Sling? Bjorn? Ergo? And then there’s the actual child-rearing. Oh, and career choices. And the change from being a member of a couple to the head of a family. Identity shifting is a full-time gig.
Even with a deep knowledge that this has been happening “since the beginning of time,” the sheer volume of new information and changes can make even the hardiest among us feel intimidated. And yet everyone tells you to trust yourself! Trust your instincts! Trust my best-selling book! But figuring out how to hone instincts and filter a constant and conflicting stream of advice takes confidence.
Los Angeles-based psychologist Dr. Jessica Zucker and I have come up with some ideas for how to feel good about yourself as you move through this life-transition. We are not promising euphoric, ego-maniacal heights here, but rather providing some tools for making seemingly impossible tasks or challenges feel possible. We are both huge proponents of realistic expectations and see great benefits from acknowledging the very real challenges. In her clinical practice, Dr. Zucker works primarily with pregnant women and new mothers. Her articles and insights have been featured on PBS’ The Emotional Life, Huffington Post, GOOP, Every Mother Counts and The Conversation. I was thrilled to collaborate with her on this post.
Dr. Jessica Zucker is a psychologist in Los Angeles specializing in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health. She writes, speaks and consults globally on projects related to women’s health and maternal wellbeing. Follow her on Twitter.
Ceridwen Morris is a childbirth educator and the co-author of the pregnancy and birth guide From The Hips. Follow her blogging on Facebook or Twitter.
Photo: Pedro Cancion