Mums often feel disempowered, especially when pregnant. I’m amazed how quickly it has hit me again, being only a couple of month’s pregnant.
The key to empowerment/disempowerment, is to understand that it is all in the mind! But how ever imaginary, it can have a drastic effect on your life. I’m going to concentrate on being pregnant in particular for this post, however the same holds true for any situation, and I’ll write again about it in more depth.
I was shocked first time round by how disempowered I suddenly felt when I became pregnant. Of course one of the problems can be that our hormones go a bit haywire, so any ‘normal’ worries are also accentuated. Let’s look at the 7 areas of life and why it happens …
Spiritual – this is all about knowing where you are going and what your greater purpose is in life. Now if you are worried at all about your options being limited, then you are bound to worry about this.
Mental – well, the brain just goes to jelly doesn’t it! I’ve just got back from attempting to pick up pills at my homeopath, to find they were shut – I thought I heard open from 10am-1pm, infact they aren’t open until 1pm!
Financial – it is true that it is very likely that our financial health will be affected by becoming pregnant. It is bound to affect our earning capability, at a minimum for 2 months, but for most of us it could be years. Plus there is the expense of having a baby/toddler/child/teenager!
Vocational – the ideal appears to be able to work part-time. But there are many Mums who find their type of job incompatible with becoming a Mum, so have to take a career break, or alternatively are not able to take time off, so they have to work full-time. It’s true that many workplaces view Mums as unreliable, because we have to look after our kids when they are sick, and we can’t do the long hours we might have done before.
Social – this was the biggest shocker to me when I first became pregnant! I found myself treated almost as if I didn’t exist, and often totally ignored. In particular, there was the male nurse telling me that I wasn’t experiencing contractions, but braxton hicks – I was 3 cms dilated!!!
Physical – it’s the whale comparison that is the problem! First we just feel fat, then there is the pregnant like on the TV shows stage, and then there is the ‘my god I didn’t know it was possible to get so huge’ stage! There’s the additional exhaustion and so called morning sickness, and the fact that there is a baby in our tummies sucking everything good out of our food for themselves! So it’s not difficult to see why we take it badly!
Family/Relationships – Our relationship may suffer a bit if we are worried about Sex. But apart from that, here is the one good piece of news, as family becomes much more important, so we do tend to gain in our perceived power here. Although, it is obviously more difficult for single Mums etc.
Put all that together, and we can feel quite rubbish about being pregnant! If you let it get you down too much, then other people will pick up on it as well. They feel it subconsciously, but it then affects the way that they treat us. For example, if your boss doesn’t feel that you value yourself, they may then think that they shouldn’t either. Plus if you feel unimportant, then people are more likely to ignore you. In the worst cases, this is one of the reasons for father’s having affairs whilst their wife is pregnant, because their power structure has changed so dramatically. I’m not blaming either the wife or husband for this, it kind of creeps up on the father without them expecting it, or understanding how come they are less attracted to their wives. Meanwhile the fact that it is so taboo to be unfaithful to a pregnant woman, makes them ignore the potential for it, and get caught unawares. So, don’t let yourself feel disempowered, because you don’t need to!
Here’s a beginning view of why you are a powerful, fantastic woman!
Spiritual – the great thing about kids, is that they give you certainty of what you will be doing. Maybe it’s unclear as to how soon you will be back on track for something else. But you can be sure that each morning, you will know what you have to do – mainly attempt to get dressed, feed the baby, sort out the rest of the family if there is more, change nappies, feed the baby, and then go back to bed. You will have an incredibly clear purpose for a period of time.
Mental – whilst forgetting the simple things that we always remembered before, like petrol, keys, coats etc, our bodies are building a new brain. That brain is learning to beat a heart, move fingers & toes and do all sorts of things. Plus our brains are focussed on new things – scans, weeks, folic acid.
Financial – instead of thinking of money as an exact amount, think of it as the amount of value in your life. If you can sit down and look sensibly at your budget & needs, then you can actually increase the amount of value in your life. You wont need the same amount of money, because things change. (Check out my free podcast on money and values on my website http://www.MummyWhisperer.com). You can feel rich without money, or without the same amount of money. Also, remember, even if you decide to be a stay at home mum, you are actually saving money. I saw an article recently that put the price of a SAHM at £35k, and to be honest I think that is low! Try listing what you are worth!
Vocational – think of the project management & multi-tasking skills that you have gained as a Mum! Plus a company could view Mums as their most loyal and steady employees, because they do tend to be more grateful for the opportunity to work, especially part-time. For many mums, it actually creates a new career, which is a scary, but exciting option. Realistically, all sorts of things can go wrong in a Man’s career as well, so they may have to take a step back at some point. Perhaps, it isn’t the drawback that we think it is.
Social – ok, so this might seem a bit cheeky, but you need to learn the power of the ‘pregnant card’. This requires not holding back & going for full on pregnant tantrums – they won’t ignore a CRYING pregnant woman! It got members of my family into action following the death of my Mum, and got me seen by a midwife when I knew I was in labour ;o) It’ll get you a seat, which you need on a train/bus – it’s not a weakness, it’s a sensible thing to do, to take care of yourself & the family. Remember, you are creating the new society, we have the power in the end!
Physical – there are women who love being pregnant, so it is totally possible! The pregnant form was the earliest goddess symbol, and is inherent as a picture of growth and potential. If you encounter people who find it unattractive, remember, it is not because of you, but something to do with their upbringing, because it is not ‘normal’ to dislike it (i.e. they have some ‘issues’!). Check out the books that show you what you are growing each week. Enjoying aqua-natal classes, or yoga for mums and learn about this new body (with great boobs!), that you have got. It will connect you to something primeval that you didn’t have before, and not everyone is able to do it, so that makes you special. Plus, your baby will think that you are beautiful. Max is 3.5yrs old and tells me every morning that I’m beautiful, despite the muffin top & cellulite ;o)
Family/Relationships – they do take time to adjust and grow, but be patient and your family will blossom over the coming year. This is a time for you to create your own family, and you are the heart of it. Don’t worry if you don’t have a partner, or grand-parents. People will arrive to fill those boots, and you will still create the family that works for you.
So now you have got some ideas, think about each area of life and look at what you have got, gained, and the value that you bring because you are pregnant. Keep listing things until you realise that you are truly powerful in all areas. Because you are. Rose Kennedy’s mission was to create a family of world leaders, and she did that with the kennedy boys. You are about to create the future. I may have learnt loads about personal development, but Max was my greatest teacher in my life, and if you go into it feeling empowered, rather than worrisome, you will be able to make the most of the opportunities your child is offering you.
Be you, the beautiful you xxxx