Being a mother is no easy task and in today’s world, it is easy to fall into the irrational thinking pattern of the unrealistic expectation of being a superwoman. I discovered the term superwoman syndrome in my perinatal mental health training, which is the expectation of perfection when it comes to motherhood.
The expectation is that the woman must do it all, they must be the perfect partner, and cook, all while keeping the house clean, taking care of the child(ren), and in some cases maintaining a job as well. These traditional expectations were upheld by generations before us, where the men would provide for their families while the woman was the homemaker. There is a lot of pressure on mothers to play all these roles, while also incorporating self-care and enjoying motherhood.
Whether you are employed or a stay-at-home mother, all these responsibilities can be overwhelming. Having a healthy balance is ideal but may not always be possible. Here are a few tips to get you started with having balance in your life:
- You can practice using affirmations to have more self-compassion and give yourself the boost you may need. Affirmations should be fair and realistic. Try this: My family does not need a perfect ______________ (insert name here), they need a healthy ___________ (insert name here).
- Ask for help when you need it and communicate your needs with your support system. Your support can be your spouse, friends, family, community groups, religious groups, etc.
- In my personal experiences I have found that having mom friends that understand the struggle can be extremely helpful. You can make connections with fellow moms in prenatal/postnatal classes, support groups, common friends, mommy programs, online discussion groups, and houses of worship.
I hope you find this article and these tips helpful in your journey into motherhood or as a support system for someone else.
By: Hillary Aponte-Chimelis, LPC, PMH-C, R-PLC
H. Aponte-Chimelis Counseling
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