Motherhood Doesn't Have to SUCK!
It doesn't matter if you are a first-time mom, or have several kiddos; motherhood can be pure elation and joy. It can also be a time of fear, doubt, exhaustion, and vulnerability. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there and even more unknowns. Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed, grateful, joyous and despairing all at the same time. How can that be?
Well-meaning friends and family may say:
- Isn’t this the best time of your life?
- Aren’t you just the happiest mom?
- Treasure this time with them, they’re only little once.
- Why aren’t you (insert personal none of their business statement here)?
- You know, when my baby was a newborn…..
- Are you going back to work?
- Are you staying home?
- Oh, it’s just the baby blues, you’ll be fine.
You may feel like saying:
- Yes, but... I’m crying a lot, I feel sad, and I can’t get control of my emotions
- I’m worrying all the time, I’m having difficulty concentrating
- I’m having scary thoughts about things happening to my baby
- I just want to run away for a few months and sleep
- Everybody else has their babies/life under control, what’s wrong with me that I don’t?
- It’s a no-win situation:if I go back to work, I feel like I should be spending more time with my baby, but if I stay out of work longer, the bills might start piling up.
From social media, to TV commercials, friends, relatives and even the checkout clerk, people all seem to want to ask you questions and offer few to little support or solutions. You feel like you’re doing this alone, and you’re afraid you’re not enough for your baby. You might feel like you’re supposed to “just get over this” and “be normal already” so you can bond and have that Instagram-perfect Saturday morning with your new and changing family. These are all things that can make you feel like a bad mother for needing or wanting help. It can get better and you don’t have to be alone, drowning in the questions and fear.
"This isn't what I expected"
Moms, trust your instincts. Do you feel like something isn’t quite right? And what does “right” look like? Everybody keeps telling you it gets easier but it feels like it’s still not easy. It feels like you’re trying to do it all, but you’re failing: the baby needs you, your partner needs you, and it feels like nobody gets it that you’re spent. If you feel that way, most likely things are not right. These feelings may be symptoms of postpartum depression.
- Postpartum depression is the MOST frequent medical complication of childbirth. So please know, you are not alone.
- 1 in 7 moms will experience Postpartum Depression.
- There is hope. Postpartum Depression is very treatable.
You do not have to suffer in silence, hoping this will pass. With help, you will not always feel like this and I know steps we can take to get you feeling better.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is to be a present, healthy, and centered parent. And for you being present, centered, and healthy probably feels as out of reach as flying to the moon.
Everybody is going to have an opinion about how to “just get over the baby blues” ranging from inaccurate, to the silly, to the really really unhelpful. You can be the present, calm, happy parent that enjoys this big new change with their baby.