Three Tips for Managing Your Expectations in Motherhood

There's a possibility that you have a plan for what you think motherhood is going to look like. That can be anywhere from the pregnancy, to getting them off to college and more. The problem with planning a whole lot in motherhood is that we don't have quite as much control as we'd like to believe that we do. Dr. Lisa Folden tips for managing your expectations in motherhood.

By Dr. Lisa Folden, PT, Mom Life Coach


Hello, my name is Dr. Lisa folden, I am a licensed physical therapist and an NASM certified behavior change specialist or health coach, I specialize in helping busy moms find their healthy. And I do this without any focus on diets or weight loss as my practice. And my motivations are Health at Every Size aligned. And I believe in helping people understand health without any regard to the size of their body, the shape or the weight. Today, I want to talk to my mamas about managing expectations in motherhood.


So if you’re anything like me, and a lot of the moms that I know and coach, you have a plan for what you think motherhood is going to look like. And that can be anywhere from the pregnancy, to getting them off to college, right. So it’s a long, long process in there. And if you’re the type of person who likes to figure things out in advance and be well prepared, then I am probably speaking to you. I am one of those people as well. The problem with planning a whole lot in motherhood is that we don’t have quite as much control as we’d like to believe that we do.


So I would like to share with you three tips for managing your expectations in motherhood. And I just want to highlight the fact that it is really great to have a plan, I think it’s important to have a plan, I think it’s beneficial to have a plan. But you have to be able to manage when the plan doesn’t work out, manage your disappointment, manage your depression, manage your anxiety, right? Being a mother comes with all of those things.


So tip number one is to have a plan but don’t marry it. Think about your plan as someone you are casually dating, you like their company, you spend time together, but you’re totally okay dating someone else. Because it’s casual. There are no strings attached. There’s no engagement, no marriage, you are not married to that plan, be open and flexible and fluid with your plan, because it will undoubtedly in most cases change. Alright, so tip number one is do not marry your plan.


Tip number two is to have a backup plan. And if you can, backup to the backup. So again, these are the suitors that you’re dating, right, you got your main one, have a few in the background ready to step in, when Plan A or plan number one doesn’t work out for you. And again, be okay with that transition and be flexible. Okay.


And then tip number three is to be open to the possibility of no plan at all, or constantly changing and evolving plan. I’ll be very honest with you, this is a truly, truly difficult one for me, because I like to know what is going to happen. But sometimes I think the beauty and some of the most enjoyable moments and motherhood for me have come when I have let go of the reins. Let the kids kind of take control, you know, let the universe do what it does and just get to sit, sit back and see how amazing the experience was. So be open and flexible with the idea that you may not have a plan or it may constantly evolve and change, you might start out with Plan A, and you might have to go to plan B and then you might have to come back to Plan A and then you might have to try Plan C and that is okay. That is the beautiful rollercoaster ride that is motherhood. So you need to learn to be more flexible.


And think about the fact that kids come in and they rock your world. They’re not necessarily doing it on purpose. You know, they’re just here trying to figure things out as well. But when they come on the scene, they change everything for you. And it can be hard and so if I could offer you a bonus tip, I would say that it’s okay to grieve the changing of the plans. It’s okay to grieve the loss of this ideal of what you thought it would look like to be a mother or what you thought labor and delivery will look like or what you thought, you know, being a stay at home mom would feel like whatever you had planned and and you were sort of looking forward to and fantasizing about, it’s okay to grieve that loss. But you need to pick up your things and move right along. Because life is going to continue to go on and your babies need you and more importantly, you need you!


Alright, so I hope that helps you manage your expectations and motherhood so that you can get the most out of this experience and end up in a great headspace mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally for you and your children. Thank you all for listening. Have a great day.

Dr. Lisa N. Folden is a licensed physical therapist and mom-focused lifestyle coach. As a movement expert and women’s health advocate, Dr. Lisa works to help busy moms find their ‘healthy.’ The owner of Healthy Phit Physical Therapy & Wellness Consultants in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Folden works with clients recovering from orthopedic and neurological injuries. Additionally, she assists busy moms seeking a healthier lifestyle by guiding their food, exercise and wellness choices through optimal organization, planning strategies and holistic goal setting.
A regular contributor to online and print articles on topics related to health, wellness, self-care, motherhood, pregnancy and pain, Dr. Lisa has had the distinct honor of being featured in Oprah Magazine, Shape Magazine, Livestrong, Bustle and several others.

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