Previously I talked about a physical recovery after the delivery, but I felt a long time ago that it’s important to talk about mental health as well. Therefore, I will try to highlight my experience that should help others.
Some moms are lucky to have a baby or a toddler who falls asleep very well, also sleeps at nights and have great naps, haven’t experienced severe teething or other problems. These moms may not understand why it’s important to talk about this kind of topics. It’s more actual for these parents who are struggling with some kind of practical problems during the first years. This topic is not about later motherhood, because I don’t have any experience yet.
While hormones can cause quite an interesting change during your pregnancy, the hormones do the tricks even after childbirth too. Every woman’s hormones play a different game, but it’s important to be aware of these things.
I was very calm and peaceful during my pregnancy, sometimes too phlegmatic, but about a week after giving birth I had some indescribable feeling. The first week I was floating somewhere in the clouds, in complete happiness, but suddenly I just started crying after putting my baby to sleep and just watching him. My husband asked me why I was crying. The reason was that the baby was too cute. Total weirdo and poor men, who have to understand the complexity of women.
Later I realized that it was a “baby blues” phenomenon that can last from a couple of days to months and can lead to hypersensitivity and nervousness. It’s very common, safe, normal, but may be scary if you don’t know about it before.
I believe that a lack of sleep is one of the main sources of stress, so it’s no wonder that new mothers can be exposed to stress. Of course, there are exceptions – mothers who are generally well rested because their baby is able to fall asleep independently and quickly. Let’s not talk about them right now, because, for a mother with a great sleep deficit, this kind of knowledge may be quite frustrating.
It was the first time in my life to see a psychologist, and it was not because of a new role, but I finally decided to deal with a problem that has severely disturbed my life – namely, specific kind of sounds bother me a lot. To my surprise, it turned out that hearing these sounds is strongly related to stress.
The psychologist seemed to be very experienced and aware of the psychology of mothers of young children. She said that mothers often forget to treat themselves and quit doing their own projects. She encouraged to work with my own projects even that 30min that I have every day. It’s not much, but it’s at least something. She also suggested finding two pleasurable activities every day to get out of the everyday routine and going out more often, meeting friends, asking for more help from others, and doing something that offered self-fulfilment (btw, blogging is a good thing). The ability to ask for help is something we often can’t do because we think that we can manage but it’s important to learn to ask for help. Also, great massage may change your life – I remember that feeling after a massage – I am just like born new again. Indeed, these recommendations are not the easiest to achieve, but even small changes have an effect when you have been working days and nights as a mom of a little baby or toddler.
I think moms should be reminded to treat themselves very well, because most of all, a child needs an energetic and happy mother.
Fortunately, the psychologist said I didn’t get into a severe depression but had some indications. I think that if I haven’t known about God, I would definitely have fallen into postpartum depression. I truly understand moms who struggle with it. I won this battle but sadly, postpartum depression is quite common these days. Women should get help when they lose interest to go out, don’t want to meet anyone, some very bad thoughts come into your mind – this may lead to physically dangerous behaviour. Keep in mind that postpartum depression can occur much later and not dealing with it may have dangerous consequences.
Just want to give up
While pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood are certainly one of the most wonderful times in a woman’s life, not everything is always that beautiful. Oh, how many times I have lost my strength and patience! I have had enough of putting him asleep for hours, wake up several times at night, then wake up tired in the morning, etc. It is very difficult to manage alone when your husband is too busy all the time. Certainly I’m stronger and more patient than ever, but there are moments when I’m done.
So what makes you feel better? Knowing that it will pass, that everything is maybe good for something, that everyone doesn’t have to be the same, that the difficulty is to overcome. By the way, one great gift that I recommend giving to moms is a small jar with great thoughts that should only be opened when it is very, very difficult. My colleges gave me this gift and it’s really comforting to read them at some darker moments.
Maybe people who don’t have kids have an impression that life with an infant or toddler is only depressing. As mothers, we know how much it’s really worth, the happiness and joy of being with your little one are just indescribable. It would also be weird if everything was simple all the time, right? It’s just good to hear that you are not the only one who has had difficult moments. If you have a problem, be aware of it and seek help.
Let’s be mentally strong!