Dealing with all the emotions and how to manage the stress and responsibility of motherhood in the early days.
It’s no easy feat. No one prepares you for the overwhelming amount of juggling it takes to simply live (in an attempt to live well) while welcoming motherhood.
Here you stand (or sit, or lay) while tending to a newborn, keeping up with the outside world, considering going back to the work-place, trying to navigate your new (if present) sex-life while also trying to find the time to shower. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. Nor is this side of motherhood often discussed amongst us parents.
We may complain about lack of sleep and eating desert for breakfast, but what about those nights we check on our baby’s breath to ensure they’re still breathing? What about those days where you’re trying to remember the last time you washed your hair?
It is ok to feel lost, to feel a bit “all over the place” as a new mother. We are carrying an immense load of responsibility for more than just one individual now. Not only are we physically exhausted, but we are also trying to manage a new schedule and lifestyle; a lifestyle that came quite suddenly.
If I’m going to be honest with you I have to admit that I do not have the answer(s) you may be looking for. What I do have is the ability to validate how you may be feeling, because I too felt it. We all do.
Whether you’re the mother who gets out daily with a full face of makeup or escapes after bath-time for a walk around the block still in last night’s robe, each of us are trying to feel that little bit of normal. The normal we once knew.
This normal changes the moment we become mothers and it’s beautiful yet horrifying. Each of us handle the abundance of new-ness in different ways; whether that be getting dressed to the 9’s and begging your partner to run an errand solo or having a bath in the middle of the night with ear-plugs to mask the sound of newborn cries.
It’s apparent that most of us feel as if we’ve lost our old self when we put so much energy, time and love into a new little life. The feelings can be overwhelming- that’s why it’s important to take some time for you.
I know this is easier said than done. But, it’s vital for us to take at least an hour out of our days to be exclusively alone. No partner, no phone, no baby; true dedicated time to re-charge; time to reflect on the day’s struggles. If we don’t, we may explode. Explode from the stress of said juggling, of keeping everyone well and alive, including yourself.
It may seem like yet another task to block out some time for you, Momma. But, the stress of the early days can add up. In the moment it feels like the days blend and the hours become one…big…blur.
It’s monumental to get outside alone and feel the air on your face without the care of a little one. At times, having the responsibility of another human can inhibit the ability to feel the moment, to feel the joy.
Don’t feel bad when you realize you’re low on bananas and need to drive to the grocery store alone. Whether you’re with yesterday’s mascara or freshly blown out hair, do what ever makes you connect with your self; your true self. The one you know so very well, yet feel unconnected to in the early days of motherhood. She may look and feel a bit (or a lot) different but she’s still there. Don’t loose her in all this whirlwind of stress and responsibility.
Without Her motherhood won’t be as fulfilling and wonderful, even in the early days.
Words by Mother Muse Julian Jamie