Challenges first Time Mothers Face

One challenge first time mothers face is reality. Here is a baby totally dependent on you for survival. Reality forces the mother to accept that her baby is not something that will go away, something that can be put in the cupboard, or something that can be ignored. A baby demands all her time.

Is it any wonder then that a lot of mothers face post natal depression. How does a first time mother cope with unrelenting demands placed on her by a baby? Fortunately most first time mothers have loving partners who can provide support. Just having support of a partner, family and friends can ward off depression. The mother of a first time mother is often the solid rock of support needed. Good old mum has been through the mill herself and can be relied upon for advice on how to cope. Good old mum can usually come to the rescue when a baby sitter is needed to give a first time mother a break.

For some reason everybody has their own idea on how to care for a baby and leaps at the chance to expound their ideas. The first time mother is treated as some simpleton completely bereft of raising a child. Book stores, magazines and libraries abound with books on how to raise a child. It would be fair to say that most new parents would have bought countless books themselves on how to deal with a newborn. The challenge facing a first  time mother is to sift through this plethora of information and plot a course based on common sense on how to care for her newborn.

Assuming that the first time mother has been fortunate not to experience post natal depression or has over come that problem, has accepted the demands placed upon her and has learned to deal with well meaning advice without upsetting the “experts,” the challenge of comparison with other babies will no doubt raise many concerns. 

Babies cry for a reason. They maybe in pain, need changing or simply need feeding. It is indeed a challenge to cope with interrupted sleep and to try a work out if the baby is in pain or simply hungry. If the baby needs changing the challenge maybe to get the partner to change the nappy or simply practice until the nappy can be changed in thirty seconds flat before the smell hits the nostrils. It is really a milestone when the baby finally sleeps right through from last feed for the day until a respectable hour the following morning.

One of the joys of raising a baby is these little milestones. In a baby’s development there is the first sit up unsupported, the first crawl, the first steps and the first words. Many first time mothers fret if their baby does not meet the time frame for these events. It is almost like a contest between first time mothers to compete for “brownie” points if their child walks at thirteen months when their friend’s child still isn’t walking at fourteen months. If the book says that a baby should be completely potty trained at eighteen months and their child does not meet that time frame there is really no great concern. On the other hand if the child is still not potty trained at three years old then there may be a problem.  The challenge for a first time mother then is to not get caught up with comparisons and expectations.  All babies develop at their own pace. 

Given the joy. the drama, the mind boggling experience of being a first time mother and having raised that baby to where mother and child can communicate, perhaps the biggest challenge facing a first time mother is whether or not to have another child and repeat the exercise.  “Would you like a brother or sister?” first time mother asks. 

Thank God males don’t get pregnant.