Motherhood is a transition period. Motherhood is one of the most important phases of a woman’s life. Until now, she was an independent identity but as a mother, her life is entwined with that of her baby’s. There is this mother-child bond that starts with conception. For some, the transition from woman to mother and bonding with the baby may go smooth.
But others may find it difficult to even connect with the child. The emotional upheavals and confusion they undergo a tricky subject which they are unable to share with the spouse, family, or friends.
1. Pregnancy and delivery complications:
The pregnancy period is supposed to be a relaxing time when the expecting mom is pampered and attention is given to her likes and whims. But some pregnant ladies are not so fortunate. There are pregnancy-related complications for both mother and the fetus. High blood pressure, gestational diabetes, severe nausea, and vomiting, anaemia can be some of the health issues for the pregnant lady. Preterm delivery, infections, low birth weight, etc, can affect the health of the newborn. In such situations, the mother-child bonding takes a backseat as health issues bog the new mom.
2. Postpartum depression:
After the delivery, the new mother undergoes mild depression and mood swings. If it’s a cesarean section, recovery takes time and adds to the new mom’s woes. Stress, isolation, sleep deprivation, and fatigue too take their toll. In such situations, mother-child bonding takes time. For some, it may be a few weeks for others it may take time, maybe a few months. If it’s more than six months, professional help should be taken.
3. Motherhood being idolized:
There are age-old beliefs and conceptions that are attached to mother-child bonding. Our heritage and culture too play a role in shaping this bond. Motherhood is idolized and the mother-child bond is taken for granted that it is one of the most fulfilling phases of a woman. None of these cultures acknowledges that mother-child bonding can be stressful also. As a result, a new mom experiencing baby blues or postpartum depression may be confused and might question herself as to what is wrong with them.
4. The feeling of guilt:
Sometimes a mom feels guilty that she is unable to take care or give time to her child due to other commitments such as job, taking care of household duties, taking care of elderly parents, or in-laws. There may be a mom who feels that she was forced into motherhood or she was not prepared emotionally to tackle this motherhood phase. In such cases, the mother-child bonding takes a beating as the mother is unable to give the much-needed love and affection to her child. Such mothers need empathy and support from spouses and family. If need be, she should go for counselling.
5. Some time exclusively for mother-child bonding:
However busy the mother is with her office work or domestic work; it is essential that she keeps aside sometimes exclusively for her child. She should keep aside her worries, assignments, and engagements and devout some time to her child. At this time the mother should enjoy doing things with her child. It could be singing a song, taking a walk with the child, playing, or reading a storybook. These happy times would help strengthen the mother-child bond.
6. Support system:
Whether you are a new mom or mom with growing kids, it is always better to seek the support of your spouse and family members instead of dealing single-handed. Share your anxieties and seek solutions from them. If possible, join a mother’s support group and observe how other mothers are bonding with their children.
7. Me time for the mother:
Many times, a mother is bogged down with child-rearing and domestic responsibilities that she feels she is losing her identity. She becomes frustrated and may vent out on the family. The mother should have some ‘me’ time so that she regains her identity and sanity. This is essential for mother-child bonding. In the me-time, she should do what she likes or what gives her happiness. It may be her hobbies, interests, or just watching her favourite program.
A happy mother goes a long way in bonding with her child.
by Radhika C.