Mothers are always preparing themselves and their lives for their little ones. Long before they are born, they read the necessary books and buy the boxes of diapers. They purchase the right clothing to suit the weather they will be born in and they plan their arrivals accordingly.
While a lot of us want the best for our babies, sometimes we forget some of the little things, like our personality flaws.
Many books and online how-to videos don’t address the effects being a shy mother has on babies starting from day one. Often our personalities trickle into our babies’ lives and the decisions we make can be more detrimental than beneficial.
There are a host of things that shy moms do that set their babies back beginning from the first day they arrive in this world. Here are 15 of the mistakes shy moms make and ways to correct them so that decisions made (or lack thereof) don’t cause negative long-term effects.
15 Fear Of Getting Breastfeeding Tips
The hospital is the first place to gather all the information you’ll need to set you up for success in motherhood. Or at the very least, to get a healthy first start. It’s important for new mothers to get all the information they may need before they leave the hospital. Often after mommy leaves the hospital, she’s on her own to figure things out day-by-day. This is made easier with the right information.
Let’s take breastfeeding as an example. Shy mothers will find it a bit awkward having a nursing expert or lactation consultant help them with learning the basics of breastfeeding. Because breastfeeding will entail a consultant examining your breasts to give tips on how to get baby to latch properly, shy mothers will, well, shy away from this. Most shy mothers don’t take advantage of this option and this contributes to them not being able to breastfeed their little ones for the time they are supposed to be breastfed leading to complications. This results in their little ones missing out on the rich nutrients needed to stay healthy from day one.
Experts suggest that when you are in the hospital, you should enlist the help of a breastfeeding expert who can be on hand as you breastfeed your little one for the first few days.
14 Not Signing Up For Pre-Natal & Post-Natal Classes
Most new moms, regardless of how many books they have read, will forget most of the things they’ve read once their babies have arrived. The best learning often occurs from firsthand experience. One of the best places to acquire this kind of experience in the short period of nine or so months is a pre-natal and post-natal class. The instructors of these classes are usually certified and have had a certain number of hours with babies. So, they know what they are talking about. Shy moms sabotage their babies by failing to sign up for pre-natal and post-natal classes.
Sometimes they are afraid of putting themselves out there. They have anxiety about meeting new people or they are nervous that they may ask questions that are deemed stupid by others. There is no such thing as a stupid question when you are trying to master something like parenthood. Pre-natal classes are there to help prepare moms and dads for parenthood and post-natal classes are great for gathering information to continue down the right parenting path for best suited for baby. At these classes, you can learn parenting techniques that will benefit your household in the long run and you’ll get advice on how to care for your little one. You’ll also get the opportunity to exchange experiences, which can help with knowing what mistakes you are making while avoiding making future ones.
13 Not Joining Mommy & Me Groups
The first few days after giving birth can be stressful. Besides your hormones trying to normalize itself, the stress of getting used to your new responsibilities can be overwhelming. When shy moms are going through all this alone, they believe they are the only ones experiencing those problems. Naturally, shy moms fear being in groups of any kind. The anxiety they associate with having to speak to others, often people they don’t know, may make them uncomfortable.
Refusing to step out of their comfort zone robs them of valuable information that is often shared at these Mommy&Me groups. This is the baby’s first opportunity to be around other babies and mom’s chance to be around other new moms. Being around these moms is great for sharing experiences that can help that shy mom feel more at ease with her current stage of motherhood. Hearing these mothers' experiences can also prepare that shy mom for what is to come. Sometimes, taking that little step is the difference between being stressed and simply knowing what to do to alleviate that stress.
12 Failing To Demand A Break
Experts urge moms to have alone time or me-time as much as possible. Research has proven that alone time is essential for our emotional, mental, spiritual, social and physical well-being. It’s the foundation and a key element in being truly happy. Shy mothers may be afraid to speak up for themselves or fear having to ask for help. So instead of demanding a break, they wait for someone to offer it and sometimes that never happens or happens too late.
This results in a drained mother with less patience for the baby. Reduced patience leads to more anxiety and sometimes neglect because when the baby needs the attention the most, the mom is so drained she can’t provide it. Being able to demand a break is a necessity. And if your partner is understanding, you’ll only have to ask once. Schedule a time where you can be alone and do what you want to do without having to run to the aid of your little one. Even if it is for an hour, demand it.
11 Not Making Eye Contact
One of the things many baby books and parenting experts suggest is having parents make eye contact with their little ones. It helps with their development and strengthens the bond mommy has with her baby. Eye contact is very important when you are communicating with others who can talk back. The same applies to communicating with your little one. They learn social cues from mom first and if mom isn’t confident in making eye contact with others, this is something she will subconsciously pass down to her baby unintendedly.
Making eye contact is a milestone that babies are expected to reach around 6-8 weeks although there are some babies who don’t initiate eye contact until 3 months. Shy mothers delay this progress by thinking it isn’t necessary. Because they often don’t make eye contact in their everyday life, they probably won’t do the same with their little one. It’s essential to understand the importance of making eye contact. Practice with strangers and then make sure to try it with your baby.
10 Not Talking To Their Baby
Studies have proven that talking to your baby even on the first day they are in this world can be very beneficial to their development. Babies learn how to communicate from their parents. Shy mothers may find it silly to talk to their little one. To them, their baby isn’t old enough to understand what they are saying. While this may be true to some extent, talking to your baby will help them pick up on social cues when it is time for them to have a reciprocal conversation. Now is the best time to try this.
Shy mothers fail to understand that communicating with your baby, even if they don’t understand what you are saying, helps with their cognitive development. As mentioned, they are picking up on social cues like the expression on your face and how you form your words. They also learn how to vocalize based on how often you talk to them.
9 Refusing To Ask For Advice
Many new mothers learn this a bit later in their child’s growth but understanding the importance of asking for advice long before day one is necessary. And shy mothers who don’t do this, unbeknown to them are sabotaging their little ones. Sharing your experience with moms who are going through the same things you are is one of the secrets to surviving the first few months of motherhood.
Shy mothers who don’t do this, sabotage their babies from the beginning because they are robbing themselves of the opportunity to avoid making unnecessary mistakes. Granted, there are many mistakes that will be made in motherhood. It’s a learning experience. But some of those mistakes can be avoided. Sometimes these shy mothers not asking for advice is unintentional. Often, it’s the fear of realizing that they aren’t doing everything right. If you partner up with a new mom like yourself, you two can go on this new journey together. Surely, they’ve made mistakes that they can share with you and that will save you the headache of correcting. Plus, building mommy relationships is helpful in your child’s development.
8 Failing To Join New Mommy Groups
Much like Mommy&Me groups, new mommy groups are a great way to socialize with people who are living this new lifestyle, just like yourself. Mommy groups serve as support networks. They’re made up of other moms like yourself who are experiencing motherhood for the first time, or who have been around the block you are currently going down, so to say. From day one, new moms should research mommy groups to join. A lot of these mommy groups meet up without their babies sometimes just to get out and socialize independently.
The work comes in finding the right group for you. One that meets your comfort and that has like-minded mothers who share the same views on parenting as you. You can find mommy groups online, in your local newspapers, and in parenting publications. As one mommy put it, new moms should, “talk to other moms, because the best way to hear about kids’ stuff is through the grapevine.”
7 Not Being Social
And this brings us to our next point. Not being social is a prime way shy mothers sabotage their little ones before they even bring their babies home. It’s hard making friends as an adult, that’s a given. For kids, they can walk into a playground and simply go up to another kid and say something to the effect of, “do you want to be friends?” For adults, it’s not that simple. But stepping out of your comfort zone is needed if you want to give your baby the best start and this is something shy mothers fail to do.
So, they remain indoors with their little ones, sheltered and away from all the resourceful information that being social can offer. Being social from day one is important and if you aren’t, you are sabotaging your little one. It starts in the hospital. Asking questions, speaking to the new mom in the bed beside you. Questioning the nurses who wheel your baby in and out of the room. All of these scenarios are perfect opportunities to socialize. They are important because you are gathering information. Sometimes information that you weren’t expecting but is important to acquire nonetheless.
6 Not Demanding Me-Time
Me-time is essential for everyone, but especially for a new mother. As a new mom, or any mom for that matter, me-time is important for your mental and physical health. According to a study that appeared in Psychology Today, moms spend the most time in child-related activities. They don’t get enough time for themselves and experience a greater decline in total sleep time. All of these are the makings of you finding yourself more stressed than you need to be.
You need outlets to distress and that comes through having me-time. Shy mothers are normally anxious. A lot of shy moms haven’t found their voice and don’t know how to speak up for themselves, even during times when it's extremely necessary. This results in them having less patience, especially when they are around a crying baby all day. Demanding me-time isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. It helps you recharge and reorganize your thoughts.
5 Following Baby Rules Too Closely
Baby rules set the groundwork for what is expected for your baby’s development. It’s also important because it keeps us from making mistakes that others had to learn from. But they shouldn’t be followed too closely. Shy mothers are afraid of stepping out of the box. They’d much rather follow the path that has already been paved with results that are predictable.
But sometimes more is needed. This is parenting and no one baby is like another. Some babies may have similarities, but their personalities and needs are really like snowflakes and vary even when they are related. It’s important to keep this in mind so that you don’t fall into the rut or habit of following rules too closely. Be bold and try something new. Doing so could yield great results that you can share with other new moms like you.
4 Taking Judgements Too Personally
No one likes to be judged or to hear judgments from others. So naturally, it’s a hard thing to deal with whenever anyone is at the center of hearing criticism. Things are a bit different for shy moms. They tend to look at advice as judgments. A mom with older children who has done the thing that a new mom is doing now may say that new mom should try doing something in a different way. It could be something simple like the way the new mom swaddles their little one to how the new mom puts her little ones to sleep.
From day one, new moms should accept feedback, whether it be critical or not. It’s up to you on how you perceive it and accept it. If you feel it doesn’t apply to you or that the criticism doesn’t benefit you in any way, thank the person suggesting or offering judgment and continue to do your own thing. Judgments are simply the opinions of others. It’s how we accept those opinions that makes them facts to us.
3 Fear Of Saying No Because Of Inexperience
Help will always be offered to you as a new mother. Parents who have had children of their own will suggest things for you to do for your baby. It is up to you as to whether or not you follow suit. If you are inexperienced in something, that doesn’t mean that you have to fear saying no to any help. Your inexperience doesn’t dictate your future actions because you can always learn.
The habit of most shy moms is to say yes to everything, especially when they don’t know what to do. Sometimes, their yes is a solid yes, but often after the time has passed they wish that they could have said no instead. If you are inexperienced in something, that doesn’t mean that you don’t know what is best. You don’t have to accept everything as the gospel if you don’t agree with it or because you are afraid of saying no. The fear of saying no when you are inexperienced could cause bigger problems for you in the future and sabotage your little one without you even knowing it.
2 Not Searching For Outside Support
Being a new mother takes hard work to master. The experience is new and as much as you prepared for it, there will be areas you’ll have to learn on the fly. Shy mothers would much rather stay behind closed doors in environments where they are comfortable. Often, that environment is around people who they know well. Other times comfort comes from being alone. The thing is, when you have your baby, it’s time to explore and get all the help you can, starting from day one.
Sometimes this may involve enlisting the help of a family member or a sitter to watch your baby as you get your mind together and foster some me-time. Outside support can be just receiving help or advice. Breastfeeding is one area where support is needed but most shy moms will avoid getting help for it. Support could be in the form of getting a lactation consultant to watch as you breastfeed and correct any mistakes that you are making. Getting outside support can assist with tackling the more difficult parts of being a mother.
1 Not Asking Around For Self-Care Tips
Self-care is just as important as doctor visits. In fact, a good amount of self-care can cut down on doctor visits, thereby keeping you healthy and void of more hospital bills. After the baby arrives, everything naturally becomes all about them. While doing the other things on this list is important, one thing shy moms forget to do is to get self-care tips. Doing so would require they speak to someone about a problem they need a solution for.
Not taking care of yourself can trickle into your everyday life, especially with your little one. Self-care is a form of self-love and if you are loving yourself, that love will overflow and extend to the love for your baby. It’s important for shy moms to get knowledgeable on self-care tips so they can care for themselves beginning from day one. Starting that soon will set the foundation for what they’ll need in their mommy arsenal to maintain good mental and physical health for both her and her baby.
References: Babycenter.com, PsychologyToday.com, Parents.com, Drchristinahibbert.com