Like most first-time parents, I lied to myself. I told myself I wouldn't become "that mom" and swore my kid wouldn't be that "loud baby." I had grandiose ideas and picture-perfect plans, and while I was well aware that life wouldn't care about either, I figured I was so prepared I could handle motherhood like a boss and, as a result, completely enjoy the experience. I was wrong. In fact, there was no end to the ways I set myself up for disappointment when I became a mom, and the entire ordeal was as humbling as it was educational.
Now, I'm not saying I was disappointed in my baby or in my decision to become a mother. If parenthood has taught me anything, it's the undeniable fact that something incredible can also be something difficult and painful and exhausting and unpleasant... all at the same time. The good and the bad are so closely connected, that you can't take one without the other. But motherhood isn't really marketed in that way, is it? As women, we're often told that motherhood is the "end all, be all" of our very existence, and if you don't love every minute of it you're selfish or broken or incapable of being "in the moment."
Well, I was in the moment, people. As a postpartum woman struggling with depression, breastfeeding difficulties, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from a difficult pregnancy and complicated labor and delivery, I was in many moments. And since I had a very narrow-minded idea of how motherhood was "supposed to look," I was incapable of handling those moments in a way that would've made motherhood more manageable. Instead, I set myself up to feel disappointed, alone, and unworthy as not only a new mom, but as a human being.
That's not how a new mother (or anyone, for that matter, regardless of their reproductive choices) should feel. So take a page from my book and learn what not to do, my friends. And, please, don't set yourself up to feel disappointed by doing any of the following: