Being a mother is hard, no matter if it’s the first time or the fifth time. Yes, some pregnancies or babies are easier than others and some people handle it differently, but taking on the protection and care of another human being is never a simple job. For many of us, being a parent is the most important job we can have and it comes with enormous levels of responsibility.
The fact is, no one can prepare for motherhood 100%. Every baby and experience is unique. Unfortunately, many of us come into motherhood with rose colored glasses that show us our lives should resemble what the books and movies project. Thus, when things do not go as planned a lot of moms feel like they are alone in the trials and tribulations of raising a baby. I am here to tell you, you are not alone. There are good and bad days for everyone. No matter what Facebook and television tell you, motherhood is not easy. Sleep loss, constant feedings, diaper changes galore, and increased laundry and cleaning combined with little to no downtime and no days off disturbs everyone to varying degrees. Therefore, feeling a little out of sorts at times is NORMAL and OK.
What is not acceptable is if your distress or emotions are causing daily issues to your life that make it difficult or impossible to function on a daily basis. Research shows that 20% of new moms, 1 in 7 women, will have some form of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder in their lives. Leaving these types of emotional distress as the most common complication in the pregnancy and postpartum time period. Experiencing these feelings, unfortunately, isn’t something you can control or choose. However, there are choices you can make that will improve your current circumstances. If you have similar feelings to any of these listed below, please know that you are not alone:
“I shouldn’t have had a baby.”
“I’m a bad mom.”
“I’m not connecting to my baby or being a mom.”
“I have a short fuse all the time.”
“I’m not happy.”
“What if I hurt my baby?”
“I’m lost myself.”
“I’m worried constantly.”
If any of these thoughts connect with how you or a loved one is feeling, help is out there. These issues are not your fault, and medical and mental health professionals are out there to assist with these various perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Remember, motherhood is hard enough and you deserve to not only survive it, but to enjoy it without feeling guilty. For more information, please visit Postpartum Progress. To find local support go to Postpartum Progress Mental Health Specialists or for support anytime of day call Postpartum Support International’s Support Helpline at 1.800.944.4PPD.