Whether it be becoming a new mother or transitioning between two to three children, motherhood is not easy. From lack of sleep to unsolicited advice, being responsible for a tiny human results in selflessness and increased exhaustion. Below are five habits which make being a mom harder.
When you are a new mom it is easy to be vulnerable to questioning your ability in your new role. For instance, soon after I had my daughter I remember struggling to leave the house because I was exhausted and was recovering from my delivery. I attended a mom baby yoga class at 4 months postpartum, feeling frustrated to hear other women sharing that their babies slept through the night. Meanwhile, I felt like a disaster with no makeup and a glazed look of exhaustion due to only getting a couple hours of sleep. Social media also leaves you vulnerable to unfair comparison with celebrities like Khloe Kardashian being bikini ready 3 months after giving birth. It is important to be mindful that not everyone has the same situation or same amount of supports. Stop placing unrealistic expectations on yourself.
Not Asking for Help
Sometimes when you become a mom, you feel super human. It may be the lack of sleep and the fact that you have no choice but to keep going. The strategy of not asking for help, can only last so long before your start to feel resentment toward your partner family and friends.
Ignoring your Needs
As a mother of one or three you are vulnerable to taking your needs for granted, focusing on caring for your child(ren) and your daily responsibilities. Mothers often feel selfish for considering their own needs. Keep in mind that when you consider your own needs, you are not only getting much needed time to recharging and refresh, you are providing a good example to your partner and children on the importance of self care. When you take care of yourself, you can be a much better caregiver.
With technology being easily on hand, it is easy to fall into the trap of google searching everything. Especially at 3 am when you do not know what to do with a crying baby or a rash you have never seen before. The danger with Dr. Google is that every search is often the worst case scenario and/ or you are led to a message board where people are talking about their experience which may not be anything like yours. This can lead to amplifying your anxiety.
Sleep is critical during the postpartum period. Sleep can be disrupted due to unhelpful worries or your baby consistently waking up to be soothed or nurse. A great strategy to improve sleep is to nap when baby is sleeping. However, many mothers neglect this need for fear of ignoring other responsibilities including laundry or household chores. When you are able to sneak in that nap or even just rest you are allowing yourself to recharge. This decreases risk of worsening anxiety or feelings of sadness.
B Healthy Counselling specializes in supporting women and couples during their transition to parenthood.
Samantha Attinello MSW, RSW, Psychotherapist She specializes in providing psychotherapy to women and couples during pregnancy and the postpartum period. She has 15 years experience working in mental health and has a passion for helping client learn healthier coping strategies to manage their life stressors. Contact email@example.com for more information.