Never Say Never Mind- Not Ignoring What’s Going In Your Mind As A New Mother

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Having a baby changes your life completely. Isn’t it? It takes a 360-degree shift in your priorities, routine, outlook towards your life, hormones, relations& even body. Nothing can prepare you for this until you are in it. While you are bonding with the new addition to the family, parallelly there are certain disconnects that can happen within you and outside you. For many, new motherhood can be so very isolating that one is plunged into a kind of disengaged inertia as what we see of the baby products ads that shows a happy good looking mom with a smiley baby & husband enjoying their playtime is just one small part of motherhood, but not total reality.

I knew it will be hard, as I heard during my pregnancy, people telling me things like- “Sleep as much as you can” ” Go out as much as possible” But I used to think- ” I would have it ALLLL under my control”. But it’s a completely different ball game. The first 3 months were extremely tough with an erratic sleep schedule, understanding breastfeeding, tending her needs it was all a new territory and the mismatch in the expectations of what I thought and what it was like – made me go crazy! I feel which made me be in a bad mood most of the time and that definitely impacted people around me.

  • Sense of Humour went for a toss: I honestly felt that I lost my sense of humor during the first few months after being a mom as I became so sensitive around anything or everything coming my way in form of any joke. I remember a few of my friends were coming over for dinner and were discussing in the group chat that they would get along some beers, and then they started joking that they will get fruit juice for me. This made me mad! I knew it was all in good spirits, but I could not take it and I lashed out at one of the friends. It is a mixture of missing your old life, hormones, and the seriousness of the mom’s duty that can evoke such reactions.
  • Load of doing it all right: It’s self-inflicted and also the weight of expectation given by others. We want and are expected to be Super Moms from Day 1, which is totally unrealistic. It is a new experience and we would learn on the way. But an experience of 1 week cannot be matched to the experience of 30+ years of the moms who are suggesting us things, obviously in the best interest. Also, the whole experience of birthing leaves your nerves like exposed live wires and the courage that you have mustered to go through the process often remains in you and spills over people around you in case of disagreements.
  • Pampering in Pregnancy Days: All the attention shifts from you to the baby overnight. 9 months of pregnancy you are treated like a Queen- All your wishes are fulfilled, everyone is super patient with you, you get to call the shots in most situations. But everything changes- When you were allowed to go eat everything and suddenly there is a restriction around it. You used to roam around even with a big belly, but you are confined in the four walls of your home for at least 40 days. You were able to decide for yourself, but now it’s agreeing to disagree to come to a conclusion. All of these can lead you to be a rebel or either go into a silent treatment with everyone around you. I knew there would be restrictions, but how it makes you feel when you are at home, while your family & friends go on about their lives like usual- is very difficult to articulate.
What can help to minimize the impact:
  1. Having that 1 confidante around you makes a lot of difference – can be your mom, husband, a dear friend, or any family member- someone who is not going to judge you and jostle you to the fact that you are doing just fine. Even if you do not have them around under the same roof- even a call can make a difference. 20 days postpartum and I had the roughest day- the baby had not slept the whole night, I was in splitting pain, had some unsolicited advice coming my way on how I could have managed my baby. I was in a bad shape- and that’s when I got a call from my dear friend and I broke into tears- That’s when she said one thing “Listen wear your shoes, get out of the house and have an ice cream” I thought she got to be kidding. But She was serious ” Do it now” she said. I did not say a word and left the door – I did it! And I can’t tell you how good it felt. Just getting out of the entire scenario at home helped me retain my sanity and also look at it from a different perspective.
  2. Stop saying “I am fine” and start being real. There are the dear ones who really want to know how you are doing, so share yourself with them.
  3. Do not pin a lot of expectations post-delivery- Take each day as it comes and do not compare it with anyone or any rosy picture that you had painted in your head.
  4. Stop Shoulding yourself- You are entitled to feel however you feel at that moment. Do not try to think that you are supposed to be happy always postpartum and since you are not – something is going wrong. This can make you more sad and guilty.
  5. Mom tribe is for real – And its value is undermined. Have your tribe who can exactly understand what changes have you gone through mentally, emotionally, and physically.
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Also read:
A Simple Guide for New Moms to Understand Postpartum Depression
Emotional Intimacy: My Realization About a Successful Relationship
Me Super Mom? No Thank You !
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