Most of us can recall, down to the exact minute, we became parents—11:32 a.m. in my case. But though that moment in time marks when I officially became a mother, it took longer for me to adjust to the life-altering role. Probably much closer to the average of four months and 23 days reported by moms in a survey for Munchkin, in fact.
“It's a massive change and the floor of self-doubt and worry is perfectly natural," Claire Rayner, spokeswoman for the Munchkin brand, told The Daily Mail of the transition to motherhood. “But the fact they care so much only proves what good moms they'll eventually develop into.”
For the 2012 survey, researchers commissioned by Munchkin examined markers that demonstrated the mamas were becoming masters at the whole parenting game—such as the ability to decipher baby’s different cries, the ability to brush off public meltdowns and fewer exhausted breakdowns of our own.
By the time babies were about five months, the majority of mamas had it down. 👏
The problem is, many of us are made to feel like the transition *should be* totally seamless—with 47% of mamas reporting they were surprised by how long it actually took to adjust to parenthood. And one-fifth of new moms didn’t feel comfortable opening up about these struggles.
“What is important is not being afraid to voice those worries and let your friends, family and support network help you as much as they can,” Rayner said. “It's always going to take time to adjust, but the more ways they can find to help them cope, the quicker that feeling of confidence in being a mom will develop.”
Because you will become a pro: Setting up strollers? Easy. Changing diapers in the middle of the night? No biggie. Feeling like it isn’t so weird when someone calls you a mom? Yep.
This all will happen, as hard as it may be to believe when you’re among the majority of mamas who report being “overwhelmed” by life with a newborn.
“Becoming a mom for the first time leads to a flurry of mixed emotions and it can naturally be completely overwhelming,” Rayner said. “It's one of the best things that can happen to someone but it can understandably be very scary too.”
I know all about this. During the hazy early days of my own transition into motherhood—which 57% of moms also said were a “bit of a blur”—it seemed impossible that this new life would ever feel normal to me.
Yet, day by day, it got easier. I built my confidence. My bond with my baby deepened. And eventually I felt like I wasn’t just masquerading as a mom.
So give it time, mama. Whether it takes four days, four months or four years, you will get the hang of this. Promise.