The Secret Pains of Motherhood & How to Cope
The Secret Pains of Motherhood
As a woman, the process of motherhood did not just start the moment one has a child. We have been trained to carry this great responsibility in the future. Whether or not you have a child, you likely visualized one day being a mother as a child. I wish many women knew how much pain was involved in the whole process. Society masks women's pain by portraying the ideal mother to be a woman who has everything figured out. She has the perfect relationship with her spouse, her kids are well-behaved and she even bounced back after having her kids in just one month. Comparison is the joy stealer. There should be no shame in acknowledging you don't have everything sorted, and that your home is not always clean because you are so stressed.
Not all moms have the same experiences with motherhood. There are women whose experience of motherhood is infertility. Wherever you are in your motherhood journey, you are not alone.
Motherhood is not just about trials and tribulation, it is also a beautiful journey. The first experience of your little one calling you "mama" for the first time is priceless, and yes, the pain is worth it. According to Dennis C. Turk and his colleague, "one has to be able to acknowledge the presence of pain to combat/manage pain".
Types of pain experienced by women and moms:
www.mamaphysio.com explained that the types of pain experienced by women and mothers differ because we are not all on the same journey. Some examples include the following:
- Post-partum depression
- Post-abortion syndrome
- One or multiple miscarriages
- Still born baby
- Single Motherhood
- Trauma during childbirth
- Post-baby body image
- Factors stemming from a history of sexual abuse
- Relational stressors
- Baby born with a disability
- Post-partum sexual pain & dysfunction
- The onset of chronic pain post-partum
- The sudden death of an infant
- Pre-mature birth of a baby
- Trials of women waiting to become mothers through adoption
- You can be harmed and have no pain
- You can have pain but no detectable evidence of harm
- Pain always has something to say, and for that reason, should always be taken seriously. Feelings of fear, sadness, and pain can get out of control. Ignoring or denying them does not help.
How to Cope with Pain
- Take your pain seriously
- Seek the solution, not the cause
- Treat exercise as a pain reliever, instead of taking medication. Exercise helps to secrete the endorphin hormones that help alleviate pain.
- Aim to attain balance through mindfulness and proper nutrition. Check out my mom's makeover course on my website.
- Hire a fitness coach that understands pain management. He/she can help you track your pain levels & fitness progress
- Focus on energy balance
- Develop other stress management skills
- Reward yourself for good behavior by doing something nice for yourself, p.s do not indulge in anything that will break your commitment to yourself
- Change negative thoughts by questioning them and replacing them with positive ones.
What is the ABCD Model for dealing with pain?
According to Dennis C. Turk and his colleague, "the ABCD model can be a useful tool in helping to deal with pain and other stresses in your life". This is how it works:
- A is the activating event or stressor. It can be physical, emotional, social, or environmental. For our purposes, let's make A a muscle spasm in your back that keeps you from fulfilling a commitment.
- B is your belief system. This consists of your thoughts and attitudes about the stressor. For example, you might think, "Now I can't do what I said I would. My friends will think I'm weak and always unreliable. I can't do anything right anymore".
- C stands for the consequences of the activating event and your belief system. Consequences are often feelings and emotions. For example, as a result of the kind of thinking described previously, you feel down or depressed. You might also feel pain increase as you tense your back muscles.
- D is the way out. D means disputing, challenging, or questioning your negative belief system (the negative thinking that goes on after the stressor). This disputing, in turn, affects how you feel. For example, you might question whether your friends will think that you are weak. You would certainly also challenge the statement, "I can't do anything anymore".
The ABCD model takes practice but yields extremely positive results over time.
If you have tried these methods in the past, and you still feel drained, you can check out these links:
http://loncpc.ca/ – London crisis pregnancy centre
http://pailnetwork.ca/ – loss of pregnancy or of an infant
http://www.helpformom.ca/ – post-partum depression
http://asafepassage.info/ – supporting survivors of abuse
http://www.vaginismus.com – sexual dysfunction post-partum
http://www.iaac.ca/en – infertility network
http://hopeafterabortion.com/ – post-abortion help
If you know of anyone who could use this information, please pass it along!