After nine months of patiently waiting, your baby has finally arrived. Finally, you’re able to hold them and see their beautiful face. For some new moms, lack of sleep and the addition of new responsibilities is no big deal. But for others, giving birth has made them feel like they’re on an emotional rollercoaster.
Becoming a mom is stressful. No matter how much you prepared prior, having a baby changes everything. Considering the fact that you’ve gone from doing what you want, when you want to only sleeping in two-hour increments and maybe having five minutes to yourself, it’s not uncommon to feel a little down. In fact, mood swings and mild depression are pretty common in new moms.
Even though you’re head over heels with your baby, being a new mom can be both difficult and frustrating. You might even feel ashamed that you’re feeling that way. After having a baby, you need to show yourself compassion. Try to identify why you’re feeling the way you do. Are you afraid that you don’t have what it takes to be a good parent, or are you frustrated with your post-baby body?
Remember, that millions of women are feeling the same way you do right now. Coined “shared humanity,” this concept can help you feel less alone and isolated. Since a lot of new moms spend an enormous amount of time alone with just baby, it’s perfectly normal to feel out of touch with others.
Everything changes one you become a mom, and that includes couple time. But without it, you may find yourself feeling alone and out of sync. Find ways to create mini pockets of time with each other alone. Even if it’s just once a week, it can make a big difference in your mood.
Everyone needs social interaction to flourish. Unfortunately, especially when a baby is tiny, new moms often end up at home alone the majority of the time. Make time for yourself to meet with your best friends without baby. As rewarding as it is to be a mom, you still need time to be yourself. You can also join a mommy-and-me group where you can meet other new moms for weekly play dates.
Ask for Help
Most importantly, know when to ask for help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask a relative or friend to step in, so you can have some time to yourself to sleep, shower or even just take a walk. However, if your low mood persists past two weeks, or if you start to have feelings of deeper depression, seek medical attention. It’s. to ask for help if you have other children and need someone to babysit them. It’s ok to get meals from loved ones and neighbors. It’s ok if you need to talk to a doctor or therapist about your mental health. It’s ok if you hire a maid so you can focus on other things. It’s ok if you are unhappy with your body and get body contouring or a personal trainer. It’s ok if your normal looks different than it did before. No path is the same for any pregnancy, not even your own past ones. Don’t compare or feel guilt for asking for any help.
Becoming a new mom is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. And though your life will change, it doesn’t mean you need to lose yourself. You are still the same woman you were before you became pregnant.
By Kara Masterson
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys Tennis and spending time with her family.