As a mother and a family therapist, I truly understand that being a parent is hard. It is probably one of the hardest endeavors in life.
The day that I found I was pregnant was the day that I became a mom. I began to think about every single aspect of my life and how it would impact my baby. As such, I began to make several changes, and so did my husband, from our house, our activities, and eating habits. People were extraordinarily nicer to me. Women asked me: “Is this your first one?” and when I nodded, I saw a glimmer in their eyes. Meaning that I would experience love to the deepest level the moment my daughter, Liah, would be born. My husband and I couldn’t wait to hold her and care for her. And when that day came, I can attest that the love that I felt when I saw and held our beautiful Liah, was vast, inexplicable and amazing… and it continues to grow every day. I had been changed forever. But what no one did was sit me down and tell me: “Sofia, are you ready to be a mom? Being a mother will be the hardest thing you will ever do.”
As a family therapist that had worked with many families before becoming a mom, I understood that being a parent was not going to be easy. I had seen this first-hand from professional experience by helping parents to overcome the struggles of family changes and transitions for some years. I had learned through my education that the arrival of a child can cause significant stress and even a rocky time for the couple’s relationship. Most people understand the standard complexities of having a child. You won't sleep the same ever again, you will be tired all the time, and you will probably not go out as frequently as you used to. These are true statements, but they only touch the surface. Parenthood changes every single component of your life:
Your hygiene: You have less time to shower and dress.
Your eating habits: You have less time to think of and prepare what you are going to eat. Take out, please!
Your social life: What is that? Leaving the house appears to be an insurmountable activity when having to get the children ready as well as finding child-friendly activities.
Date nights: Between being exhausted, coordinating for a sitter and getting everything ready for the sitter… Forget it! I am ready to go to sleep before leaving the house.
Your career and job: Working overtime is limited by child care and the availability of people you trust to care for your child. Let's not forget how many days a year your children might get sick and you need to take time off to care for them. It is also confined by how much “mommy guilt” you might have.
Parenting requires sacrificing your independence and predictability in your life. It’s a radical shift in learning to continue to meet your needs and wants, with the difference that this will happen when possible. This means learning how to continue to get things done while being open to the idea that they might not get done exactly when you expect it. It is truly a lesson of patience and humility.
You might be thinking, OMG! Being a parent is depressing…. Not at all. The love that I feel for our baby girl, overweights the sacrifices that I make on a daily basis. When she smiles at me, gives me a kiss, asks for a hug, or learns something new, these are precious moments that I would never trade for any of the things that I sacrifice. Being a parent is tough, tiring, and confining; this is as reality. Moms and Dads need a space to openly talk about the struggles of parenting without feeling like they are bad parents. Once we can talk about it, it opens the space to find support and tools to make it better.
To the Success of Your Family!
Your Therapy Friend,
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Relationships & Parenting Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationships. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens, an evidenced based program. She is also a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP). She is a passionately committed therapist, who thoroughly takes pride and joy from her job. She enjoys working with a culturally diverse population and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an active volunteer of the Broward Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: www.infinitetherapeuticservices.com and follow her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/infinitetherapy/