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Combating Doubts About Motherhood

Although your body doesn't look that different, you're starting to think of yourself as a mother. Perhaps you're doubting your own ability to fulfill that particular role, especially if this is your first child. If you already have children, you may be wondering how you can possibly add even more responsibilities to your already overflowing plate.

Everyone has these doubts because current ideals of motherhood are so overblown. Not long ago if you kept your house reasonably clean, served dinner, and made it to school for teacher conferences, you were considered a good mother. More recently, moms are being measured against perfection: Despite the fact that more than 65 percent of mothers with young children work outside the home, media coverage promotes the ideal mother as someone who has enough time to be constantly responsive to her children while still keeping the romance in her marriage alive and regularly toning her body at the gym.

Guess what? That's a myth. No matter how many heavy, heartfelt texts are written on how to be a better, more loving, more efficient mother-lover-worker bee, motherhood is a tough job, and there's a steep learning curve for everyone. Rest assured that you too will make the transition. Motherhood is more like a makeover than a personality transplant; you will still be you, just wiser than before.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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