The opposite of belonging is fitting in.
Internal work can be really hard to do. Issues often show up during pregnancy that can be quite surprising and even frustrating to us; these may be new issues, or they may be things that we’ve worked through in the past that are resurfacing now, or issues may be showing up in different ways in pregnancy than they typically do in our lives. Here are some common examples:
- Perfectionism- Are you trying to navigate your pregnancy perfectly?
- Being too hard on yourself
- Relationship issues- Maybe not feeling as connected to your partner
- Grief- Have you been grieving the loss of your life before getting pregnant?
- Depression- Feeling sad during this transition.
- Anxiety- Fear over what might happen in the future like messing up as a new mom.
- Lack of self-confidence- What’s keeping you from trusting yourself and knowing you’ll be a great mom to your unborn child?
- Emotional numbness- shutting down emotionally when you feel overwhelmed
- Not feeling worthy- What would need to change in order for you to feel good from the inside out?
- Not feeling good enough
Try practicing self-compassion and focusing internally on knowing and embracing your own truth. Compassion for one’s self can be one of the hardest struggles in life. It takes patience and lots of practice.
Many external factors may also impact your pregnancy, which may include:
- A lack of boundaries with extended family, friends, your workplace, etc.
- Looking for validation and your self-worth externally from others
- A narcissistic parent- even though you’re the one who’s pregnant and having a baby, it’s still all about them, and not about you
- Issues with extended family
- Judgment/criticism from others
- Expectations from others about how you should parent
- Future grandparents having their own expectations about what life will be like when your baby is here
- Social media – watch out for the comparison trap here
Try to take a step back from all the external pressures in your life (and quiet these down as best you can), so you can figure out what truly matters to you and your partner right here and now.
Finally, here are some ways to lower overwhelm during pregnancy:
- Spend time with loved ones
- Ask for help when you need it
- Process with a therapist
- Come up with a daily mantra
- Go outside and focus on your five senses/mindfulness
Think about the internal and external stressors you’re currently dealing with in your life. What are some self-care ideas that can help you lower some of the feelings of overwhelm in your pregnancy today?