Coping strategies for new mums
Being the Mother to a young baby brings love and joy into your life. It can also be exhausting, challenging and overwhelming! As Mothers, we can feel a lot of pressure to be the ‘ideal’ parent and then we feel guilty for struggling. The added stress of caring for a new baby can leave you feeling very lonely and isolated, and it is often difficult to talk to friends and family about this for fear of being judged. So what are the everyday things we can do to take the pressure off?
Tiredness and fatigue are a natural part of becoming a new mother, feeling drained from labour coupled with sleepless nights can take its toll. Caring for a new born while trying to stay on top of everything else is often overwhelming. Partners, friends and family want to help but can be unsure as how they can. Try to delegate. Let them know what they can do to take some of the pressure off of you. They can’t read your mind so don’t be afraid to tell them exactly what you need.
Becoming a parent is a huge transition and the focus shifts from you to the baby. It can be easy with everything you have going on to put your own needs on the back burner, but this is the time that it’s most important to look after yourself. The happier you are within yourself, the easier it will be to cope! It’s important to take time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes here and there. Do whatever it is you need to recharge your batteries, to nourish your body, to calm your mind. This can be anything from taking a nap, to eating your favourite meal, practicing five minutes of mindfulness, taking a walk, whatever it is that will make you feel good.
Media would have us believe that the transition into motherhood should be easy, natural and full of joy, but the reality is, being a parent to a young child is hard. Friends and Family expect you to be the happiest you have ever been when in fact it is perfectly normal to be feeling anxious, exhausted and overwhelmed. It’s important to talk about how you are feeling with friends or family. Keeping it in will only leave you feeling more isolated and you may be surprised to hear that others have felt exactly the same way.
If you are still feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope it might be a good idea to talk to a counsellor about how you are feeling or to join a New Mothers Support Group which can provide you with a safe, confidential and non-judgmental place to share your experiences and feelings with other women who understand, and are going through the same things.