A lot of things will change in your world when you become a mom. There’s too much of everything. You sometimes end up having a bad and a great day at the same time. You often feel stressed, anxious, depress, and agitated for no particular reasons. All the anxiety are there, and you can’t seem to control it. There are instances that even the emotional and mental health affects the physiological aspects as well. It’s a bit damaging and a lot more exhausting than you think.
Being a mother can be a rewarding thing to do. It feels good to do all the best things for your kids and everyone in the family. However, there are times when stress and anxiety are too much to handle. You will start to realize that being a mom requires a lot of efforts to be patient and understanding on your part. Otherwise, you will experience chaos in your family.
In this article, our primary focus would be about the smart guidelines that you must follow if you want to eliminate stress and anxiety in your motherhood life. The first thing that you must be aware of is the reality that the presence of a mom is a complicated one, which is why you have to take things slow to ensure that you can think clearly and can deliver better work. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the list:
Clinical psychologist Jessica Michaelson, PsyD, said, “[O]ur culture still praises selflessness in motherhood, so there is a fear of being judged if you take time to attend to other interests and needs.”
When was the last time you went to a salon or spa? Never feel guilty to indulge in something that will make you feel relaxed. Take note that it is okay to treat yourself every once in a while. Do not worry about who will take good care of the kids because you can always ask your partner or seek help from a good friend who can do it for you. Remember that you deserve to take a break from the usual motherhood routine.
Meet Up With Other Moms
Do not underestimate the importance of support groups composed of wives and mommies. Just because you are already a mother does not mean that you can no longer have fun. It is still crucial for you to go out every now and then so that you can see your friends and hang out with them. Talk to other moms about your issues. You will never know what the other person might say. Her words can probably take your world upside down.
Create A Journal
Find time to write down all your thoughts and emotions in a journal notebook. “It provides a quiet time to reflect, and that reflection creates an opportunity to create time and quiet and this meaningful solitude which is so important during times of chaos,” said Howard Weissman, PsyD, founder of the Chicago Stress Relief Center.
Make sure to keep it to yourself and prevent others from stealing it. The great and best thing about journaling is that it allows you to process what is going on in your mind. It will allow you to think clearly about the joys of motherhood. It is highly recommended to focus on the good when it comes to jotting down stuff in your journal.
Take A Vacation
What is the first or primary thing that comes into your mind when you think of vacation? Do you want to go out of town for the weekend or travel abroad for a few days? Knowing the answer to these questions is the key to eliminating the negative vibes in your life. As such, it is ideal for you to travel with your husband so that you can take a day off from taking good care of your beloved kids. However, be sure to avoid leaving the house unless someone is there to watch over the children.
Talk About Your Issues
As already mentioned above, it is crucial for you to find a way to talk about your life issues. Find someone whom you can trust your concerns and issues. It is understandable that you will have a hard time to do this during the first few months. Do not worry because it is only completely normal. Remember that opening up about your issues can set you free. In the long run, it will make you feel liberated to the point that you will feel nothing but genuine happiness in being a mother.
Do What You Love
Whether you like it or not, motherhood can take a toll in your life. There are some sacrifices that you have to make or opportunities that you have to forego. Karen Kleiman MSW, LCSW, wrote, “[W]hen a woman endures the pain of disconnection from her baby, or fails to meet the expectations dictated by her critical mother, or can’t face her own reflection in the mirror because she has lost touch with the soul within—it’s hard for her to know where to turn.”
As such, it is best if you will spend some of your days doing what you love. Being a mother is not supposed to stop you from doing what you do best. Look for your passion and dedicate yourself into doing it. Continue to do what you love, and everything will feel better in your life.
Being anxious and stressed during motherhood is part of your journey to raising amazing children. Fortunately, there are tons of things that you can do. Be sure to follow the list above.
I am a woman who loves my family so much. I am thankful for having a wonderful and hard-working husband who always supports me whenever I need him. I am also grateful for the experience my only daughter gave me before and after I delivered her into the world. Everything that is in my life right now is all worth the pain, suffering, and struggle that I endured consistently during my pregnancy.
It’s been several weeks since I gave birth to our only child. Looking at her makes me feel so blessed that I can’t thank God enough for the experience. I’m still in awe. I can’t believe how amazing life is and that nature can become incredible. However, the everyday struggle of taking care of my daughter is something that gives me these unwanted moods. I understand that this could mean signs of postpartum and that it’ll eventually go away. But still, the whole experience is giving me the chill.
When I was a young adult, I do have some expectations on how life would be like when I become a mom. However, it seems like some of those perceptions are way far from what I thought it would be now that I am currently a first-time mom.
A New Born Child Is Indescribably Delicate
I know for a fact that a newborn baby is soft and delicate. That is why I set up my mind to always be careful in handling things that are fragile. I make sure to properly hold a glass in a position where it won’t slip off my hand. However, keeping a baby in your arms is different from the latter experience. There’s a need for an “extra” of everything. There should be an extra carefulness, attention, focus, as well as slowness. That is the reason why sometimes I don’t want to hold her at all. I get the feeling that I might lose control and snuggle her too tightly. I sometimes avoid touching parts of her body because it’s way too little. I get scared of putting her on top of my chest thinking that she might not feel comfortable. “Good enough is best. Within a normal range of interactions, babies, especially older ones, benefit from some variations in timings and styles,” says Yale School of Medicine psychologist Ruth Feldman Ph.D.
Things Around The Baby Become Way Too Different
When I was still pregnant, I kept thinking about the changes I need to do once the baby is out. But now that my daughter is under my care, I began to change everything around her. I thought things will still be organized and that her stuff won’t add a mess to our room. Unfortunately, it is not the case. There are clutters everywhere. Well, not literally out of the pile, but most of the stuff in the house is primarily for the baby. Because I’m afraid that she might find accidents in the house once she learns to crawl or walk, I started clearing all the edges. I put foams everywhere on the floor and some on the walls. I eliminated most sharp objects I can see inside the house. I became paranoid in keeping her away from tons of unwanted incidents that might happen to her even though those are just things I imagined in my head.
I’m Not That Tough As I Thought I would Be
Being a mom is something I look forward to becoming. Now that I currently handle motherhood, I realized that I’m not remarkably that tough. Yes, I am confident that I can deliver my baby’s needs and that I can give her the love and care she deserves. However, I still have these emotional imbalances that make me feel weak and vulnerable to mental conditions. To understand this further, Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. wrote that, “Becoming a first-time parent can have a dramatic impact on many people, both in terms of the stress they experience and the impact that it has on marital satisfaction and emotional well-being.” And that, “New parents can report considerable stress for different reasons.”It happens every time my daughter cries, I get too scared, distracted, and emotionally hurt seeing her like that. Every time she cries, I feel like she’s losing her breath. There’s a bit of me that says I should stop her from crying right away, but seeing her stoning her little body every scream, it stuns me. From there, I lose all the confidence of holding her in my arms.
Everything Is A Struggle, But It’s All Worth It
I know that having a baby is not an easy task. That the situation I am at is only the beginning of what I will have to endure for the benefit of the future. The sleepless nights, the unscheduled eating habits, the long hours of physical discomfort, and the emotional agony are just part of motherhood. As what psychiatrist Mark Banschick M.D. wrote, “…parenting is not about freedom. It’s about love; because the minute you deliver or adopt a child, your life changes forever. You are no longer the center of your existence – nor is your partner.” And I won’t lie. There are times that I feel exhausted, agitated, and anxious, but those are not enough to make me stop caring and loving my child. The pain, suffering, and stress become worth it. That’s because her smile takes it all away in an instant.
There are a lot of things I need to learn about motherhood. But before I enter the struggle of parenting, I will take this opportunity to embrace the adjustments I have to make as a first-time mom.
My first childbirth went rather smooth. I felt horrible pain, but my baby came out after an hour. I thought to myself I never want to give birth again, and I guess that’s what most moms say after a delivery. Then, after two years of enjoying being a mom to my firstborn, I got pregnant again. Honestly, I wasn’t that excited. I was more of terrified. I couldn’t bear the thought of feeling the same amount of pain, but then, believing it will be all worth it, I thought I just had to be strong and prepare myself once again.
We all know that being a mother is no joke. Mothers need to endure a lot of things such as nine months of physical discomfort, more than an hour of uncontrolled pain in delivery, stress, and anxiety from environmental toxicity, family issues, and career decisions, and the list goes on. Sadly, for some other people, they don’t take mothers seriously. They assume that because they decide to give and create a life, they should get stuck with its duties and responsibilities.
Congratulations, you are now a mother! However, did you notice that upon giving birth, you felt anxious, upset or uncomfortable? If these feelings linger, these will be some of the symptoms of postpartum mood disorder.
“A new baby is the most exciting event on earth, but caring for the baby is a major new life adaptation. Baby blues is very common – crying and irritability and to deal with it, one needs loving support, and others on hand to share in the care,” wrote psychiatrist Robert Berezin, M.D.
PPD is closely linked to depression and similar mental illnesses. The anticipation and pressure of having a child are different from having a tiny person depend on you 24/7. It causes psychological disruption that even some mothers cannot fully comprehend.
“Overwhelmed by a quintessential force that feels both euphoric and inconsolable, she looks into the eyes of a child she doesn’t know,” wrote Karen Kleiman MSW, LCSW, founder and director of The Postpartum Stress Center, LLC. “Imagine the strain, the pressure, the utter disbelief in her capacity to respond appropriately.”
If you think you might have PPD, do not feel that you are a terrible person for your untoward feelings for your baby. It is just a phase that your mental state will conquer eventually.
Thankfully, this condition is now treatable through different methods, a combination of counseling and medication. Before doing any harm, read on to see how crucial early treatment is to recover immediately. Do not be ashamed to admit that you need help, especially since the health of your baby is also concerned.
Here are some information, insights, and advice on how to get through this challenging stage of motherhood with counseling.
Counseling As A Sounding Board
During the first nights with your baby, you will discover that your baby can become very fussy and demanding! This behavior is brought about by changes in the environment and sometimes, a growth spurt.
If you are a breastfeeding mom, you will find yourself waking up to cries (or shrieks) every 2 hours. It means you will have little, or no sleep, at all. Some babies want to latch onto their mothers for reassurance. Thus, they will cry more if you lay them down on their cot.
More often than not, the mothers are more hands-on in taking care of the baby. Husbands can only help in burping your baby and changing diapers, but the bulk of the work remains with mothers.
The perceived lack of support from relatives, more importantly, your husband, can cause you to harbor negative feelings toward other people. Raising these feelings in counseling can help you process these feelings constructively. Harboring these feelings longer than it should lead to more negative emotions and self-pity. These could be the springboard for mood disorders.
Importance Of Self-Care
You should not underestimate the importance of self-care when your family becomes your top priority. Talking to experts, especially when you are usually left alone at home with your child is indeed necessary. It will help lessen the chances of negative feelings to lead to post-partum depression in the long run. It will help you to become more of the mother you are aspiring to be.
Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D., clinical psychologist at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders assures, “You are not a bad mom if you have postpartum illness, and reaching out for help—to your doctor or a qualified therapist—makes you a great one.”
Motherhood is already a daunting task. In addition to that, other issues such as personal challenges, bouts with your husband, or other family concerns that will appear in the course of your life. Your life will inevitably change. Talking frequently with a trusted counsel is an option if you want to maintain anoptimal state of mind.
Most people believe that being a mother is the most challenging job in the entire world. Hence, do not beat yourself up for trying to be the best mother right away. It admittedly takes time and practice.
Oh yes! Baby blues is a far different condition from postpartum depression. The former is not a mental health issue, and it will go away on its own without the need for treatment or counseling. As for postpartum depression, it is a severe ailment that affects the mind of women who have just given birth. More often, these women go through a destructive phase, and various help systems are required to treat the issue.
Dina Cagliostro, PhD, distinguished baby blues and postpartum depression by saying, “Women that give birth and struggle with sadness, anxiety or worry for several weeks or more may have postpartum depression (PPD). While the baby blues tend to pass quickly, PPD can be long-lasting and severely affect a woman’s ability to get through her daily routine.”
The baby blues
Hormones and emotions are intimately intertwined which are why there is a condition called “baby blues.” Studies have shown that almost eighty percent of women who recently gave birth are suffering this roller coaster of feelings called baby blues and that’s because of their hormones. When a woman is pregnant, all her hormones are intact and ready to sustain a healthy pregnancy. But after the baby is delivered, these same hormones will rapidly drop. It is the reason why a woman who has just given birth will experience irritability, weepiness and being overwhelmed.
The baby blues condition is not an alarming issue. It will just dissipate as the mother’s body will adjust to its new role. Postpartum depression, on the other hand, affects the remaining 20% of new mothers. And this is something that needs immediate treatment. Sometimes called postnatal depression, it can also bring about the existence of anxiety problems. Mothers don’t only deal with one mental health issue, but they are trying and perhaps failing to cope with two mental health problems.
If you feel like you have post-natal depression, don’t prolong your suffering. Go to your family doctor and open up about your concerns. He will direct you to a specialist or offer advice as to what you can do. With unlimited support from family and friends, and necessary treatment, therapy, or counseling, women with post-natal depression will make it through and recover completely.
What to do if you have post-natal depression
There are ways three ways to help yourself overcome post-natal depression.
You can practice self-help techniques to beat your post-natal depression.
It is advisable for women with post-natal depression to go into therapy or counseling.
The doctor might prescribe post-natal depression meds, depending on the severity of your condition.
All the ways to help, as mentioned here, have advantages and disadvantages. Talk to your doctor about it so that you can decide which avenue is best for you. Your doctor will also have to check your medical history and physical health before prescribing medication especially when you’ve just given birth.
Depression is more common than you think, especially for women who just gave birth. It’s called postpartum depression wherein new moms have that feeling of hopelessness and helplessness a few weeks after delivery. Depression is a real illness, and it’s plaguing more or less 10 percent of Americans in the country today.