Some new moms are finding help and support from each other.Tenneehesia Mobley, 33, has the mom thing down, now. But she remembers the first day she and Mai's dad brought their now 3-year-old home from the hospital. She says, “We took her out of the car, she was in the car seat. And we put her in the middle of the floor and we just kind of stared at her for about thirty minutes, like what do we do now?"
For Mobley, and a lot of women, pregnancy seems to be the easy part. Once they get home, and on their own, Elizabeth Corwin, a professor at Emory's Woodruff School of Nursing, says new moms are often bombarded by doubts.
“I think almost every new mother worries if she is doing things right. Is the baby crying too much, not crying enough is she feeding on schedule, should she feed on schedule? There's a thousand questions," says Corwin.
To get some answers, Mobley and a friend pulled together a loose group of high school and college friends, who meet up around Atlanta where the kids play and the moms talk. Mobley admits she had huge expectations for motherhood.
Mobley was caught off guard by the sadness she felt in those first few months. She says, “It was mostly a lot of crying, a lot of not feeling adequate enough to be a mother. Feeling that I wouldn't live up to expectations."
The one thing that helped? Reaching out to other women going through the same experience. Corwin explains, "Sharing the minor day to day worries can be very positive for a woman. So it really does help to have someone to talk to."
Mobley says her mother has been a huge help, but they work together, and see each other all the time. She says, “She kind of expected me to mother my daughter how she mothered me. There was an overwhelming amount of 'you shouldn't do that' or 'she's okay,' or 'she's not okay' or 'give her this.'"
Which is why – her group of friends - is a good fit. Mobley says they’re not trying to be her mother. Instead, she says, “It was more like, 'Are you experiencing this? What did you do?' versus, 'You should do this' or, 'you shouldn't do that!'"
And Mobley is learning there is no wrong or right to be a mom. She says, “Motherhood is different for each individual and each family, and that it's okay in that, you get through it."