Preparing for parenthood is not always at the top of the list when preparing for birth. When it comes to fears that can crop up around childbirth, there’s one aspect that isn’t always obvious and is often overlooked. I say “overlooked” because I’m referring to a lot of birth preparation approaches or classes. This aspect is the bit that comes straight AFTER birth: the parenting and parenthood bit!
Now I know there are plenty of books, blogs, and podcasts on preparing for parenting, but what I’m referring to is the impact that a FEAR of becoming a parent might have on you when it comes to preparing for birth, and more importantly, what you can do about it.
I receive a fair amount of emails from you my listeners, and one thing I ask is this: what are your fears when it comes to birth? A surprisingly large number come and tell me that it’s not the birth that’s freaking them out, but the bit straight afterwards… the becoming a mother bit! So, if this is you, then this episode is for you.
Preparing for parenthood
Now, I don’t wish to get hugely distracted with the parenting – motherhood thing, but I think it’s important that I just dwell a wee bit on WHY it’s important to prepare for parenthood BEFORE birth. If you want to maximise your chances of having a positive birth, one the best things you can do is to clear your fears… if you’ve been following my podcast, you know that already, right? But, it’s not just birthing fears you need to address. You need to address broader life fears, especially those that are linked to you having a baby. So your fear of spiders probably doesn’t need a closer look at this stage. But if you have fears around whether or not your partner will support you in the way that you want or need, then that definitely needs addressing. And therefore, so do any fears you might have around being a mother or parent. If the idea of parenting freaks you out a bit, then imagine how your subconscious will deal with that and express that while you’re in labour. On a very deep level, you might resist your baby coming out and this could extend labour unnecessarily. This only begins to scratch the surface around the whole preparing for parenthood thing.
So, now I’ve explained WHY this stuff is important for you to think about BEFORE baby arrives, now let me help you to move past it. To help me, on today’s podcast I’m chatting to Elly Taylor. Elly is the author or the book Becoming Us, which is all about the journey to becoming parents and the various stages of the creation, development, and challenges of the family unit.
Elly Taylor is becoming known worldwide as the Parenthood Pioneer. As a Relationship Counsellor and a new mama at the same time, Elly began researching the transition into parenthood after she unexpectedly began experiencing stretch marks in her relationship with her husband. Over 15 years Elly discovered eight stages of early parenthood and formulated steps to prepare, guide and support partners through each of them. The result is her book Becoming Us, which has been welcomed by both parents and professionals. Elly is a columnist for Australia’s favourite parenting magazine, Practical Parenting, Resident Counsellor for Daily Life website and an advocate for Perinatal Mental Health. Elly lives in Sydney with her gorgeous firefighter husband (yes, they made it!), their three children and a bunch of pets.
During our chat, Elly shares;
- the difference between parenting and parenthood
- the transition from woman to motherhood
- letting go of your old life, making room for the new
- the 8 stages in Becoming Us
- how knowing about these 8 stages can help you to cope with the challenges of parenting
- how you can prepare while pregnant to help avoid many parenting challenges
(I’m sorry but this free guide is no longer available. If you are looking for super useful resources such as this then join the Fearless Mama Ship. Find out more here.)
You can also grab yourself a free Nest Building Plan, which is like a birth plan, but for your post-birth nest – from Elly’s website at www.EllyTaylor.com
Have you got fears around parenting? Did listening to Elly help you think through the parenting minefield in some way? Let me know in the comments!