I wrote this post almost 4 months ago and didn’t have the courage to post it. I don’t often talk about my mental health because it’s just not what you do, as I’ve been led to believe. Today I told myself that I’m going to be brave because other people are probably experiencing the same thoughts and feelings. So here it is…
It’s not easy. Anyone that tells you motherhood comes naturally never had a fussy baby. As a first time mom, with an exceptionally alert baby, it’s difficult to find a way to deal with your new job. Today my little one got his 6 month shots – normally he’s quite fussy after a needle but today was our worst experience to date. After about 45 minutes of non-stop crying, soothing, rocking, feeding and almost pulling all my hair out, he finally took a nap. Seems like a relief right? Not so much…
Dealing with a distressed infant has given me serious anxiety issues that hadn’t surfaced since my early teens. After finally calming down my little one I always feel drained to the point of exhaustion. The reality of motherhood is dealing with crying but after months of not being able to sleep it can seem like the light at the end of the tunnel keeps getting further away.
Here are a few tips to help you through the first few months as a new mom:
- Trust your gut. Even though you’re not the first person to become a mother, you know your baby much better than anyone else ever could.
- Ignore advice. Everyone has an opinion but I’ve found that the best way to deal with it is by telling people “thanks, I appreciate your thoughts” and moving on.
- Take a break. It’s hard to take a step back from this new responsibility but for your own mental health you need a break. You body, brain and nerves all need a break.
- Let people help you. If you are lucky enough to have people in your life that are willing and able to help you – let them. It’s not everyday that you get to run out to the grocery store, take a nap or shower alone.
- Breath. It seems simple but I know when I’m stressed I work myself up to the point of sheer panic. Try asking yourself if it, whatever it is, will matter in 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 years.
Working through the craziness of becoming a new mom made me feel very alone. I’m learning that talking, listening and growing are so important to my own well-being. I hope I can inspire other people dealing with anxiety to do the same, even if it just takes a little extra courage.