By: Tammy Mahan
The reality of being a mother can be a little unsettling at times even if you have been consumed with the thoughts and dreams of being a mother for years before you had a baby. You looked forward to the joys of a new baby even though you were well aware of the changes and challenges.
You cannot prepare for some realities:
- Losing your identity
- The feeling of isolation
- Lack of time for yourself
- Lack of hygiene
- Being deprived of sleep
Even when you experience one of these things, it is not likely to boost your mood. You are not going to feel like going out to socialize when you have not showered in days and you have lost the ability to communicate at an adult level. All moms go through this and even attempt to hide their fear behind the coos and smiles of their new baby.
Ask for Help
You cannot do everything by yourself, so do not even try. You will be less stressed as a mom if you ask for help and be specific about it. Reducing stress as a mom is not that difficult if you make sure that you are not alone in the task.
- Tell your partner what you need them to do to help you.
- Use experienced mothers for support
- Join a group for new mothers; community groups, churches and rec centers are all places that you can go socialize with other new mothers.
The socialization will be good for you, and provide you with an additional source of support.
You have to grab peaceful moments when they come to you. Take advantage of the times when others are with the baby to do things that relieve stress:
- Take a bubble bath
- Use nap time to pamper yourself or just read a book
- Squeeze in a few minutes for yourself to do something like get a massage, grab a smoothie or buy a magazine while you run errands
- Learn relaxation techniques or yoga that you can do before bed to relieve the stress and tension of the day
Taking care of yourself is important especially when you are trying to take care of someone else’s needs.
- Eat well
- Get quality sleep
- Exercise for your physical, mental and emotional well being
- Get fresh air
You will need alone time with your partner. Leave the baby with a sitter and have a regular date even if it is only an hour or two. It will reduce the stress and isolation.
You have to remember the friends that do not have kids too. Not everything has to be about the baby, you need to be an individual and not just a mommy sometimes.
Too Much Stress
Babies can be demanding and there are things that make mothering more difficult.
When the stress becomes overwhelming and you are unable to cope, you should ask for help. Things like being depressed and overly stressed require you talking to your doctor. It is ok to ask for help.
Tammy Mahan has 20 years of experience in the healthcare field. She is also a freelance writer who specializes in medical and health articles. She is a regular contributor on Healthline.com.