New Mom

5 Myths of Motherhood: You're Not Crazy!

All you new moms out there have heard several myths that make you feel crazy, so we are here to fix that.

May 5, 2016

New moms can feel crazy, but you're not alone. Here are the 5 myths of motherhood:

1) A good mother needs to be perfect. 

Most new moms try to live up to unrealistic expectations, according to Cassie Owens, a licensed professional counselor in Dunwoody who specializes in maternal mental health. “They think they should be able to clean the house, have the laundry done and a cook a four-course dinner while feeding and caring for their three-week old baby.” Owens said. She added that when expectations aren’t met, moms can feel resentful and angry at a time when they're trying to recover from delivery.  

2) A good mother should bond immediately with her baby. 

While many women have strong instincts to protect, nurture and love their babies, sometimes bonding isn’t instantaneous.  "Like other relationships, the relationship with your baby may take time to nurture and develop," said Owens. "And that is okay."  

3) This should be the happiest time in a mother’s life.  

"There are moments of joy, confusion, grief all at the same time," explained Elizabeth O'Brien, a license professional counselor practicing in Buckhead and Grant Park. Having a baby is one of the most empowering yet vulnerable chapters of your life, but the transition from single life to parenthood is very hard. Sleep deprivation, tiring demands, and recovery from delivery are a few reasons why many new moms might not be “happy” during those first few weeks postpartum. Many women grieve over the loss of identity, sense of self, freedom, and former self.  

4) Maternity leave is a like a vacation.

During pregnancy, many moms-to-be are showered with parties and attention, but motherhood can feel very solitary after the baby's born. "Many mothers struggle with loss of identity and autonomy and feel very alone in their new life," O'Brien said. One in seven women will experience postpartum depression and/or anxiety. It is important to explore steps to postpartum wellness and reach out for support, Owens added.  

5) If I don’t do _______ I am a failure. 

You can fill in the blank with several things: breastfeed, use cloth diapers, work outside the home, stay at home, make organic food, let my child watch TV. "Moms are very hard on themselves," said Jacqueline Cohen, a national certified counselor in Marietta. "Whether you go back to work or stay at home, every mom experiences 'mom guilt' about something." Owens said the important thing is that every mom has to make her own decisions that are best for her. 

5 Myths of Motherhood