Full disclosure – I’ve been there. Sleepless night, changing hormones, and a new body to love (or learn to love). I get it, which is why I want you to remember:
- Be kind to yourself. Whether you’ve come into being a mom through childbirth, adoption, fostering, becoming a step-parent, or any other way, you’ve been through a lot. Talk to yourself as you would your best friend – be real, but be kind.
- This too shall pass: Remind yourself that this is only a season of life and it will pass. One day you will feel like yourself again. One day you will sleep again. One day that child will thank you (ok, maybe not verbally, but in so many meaningful ways!).
- Make time for pleasure: Start to find ways to bring back those things you loved before kids. What hobby did you love? What movies or shows were you always dying to watch? What did you and your friends do when you got together? I know it can be hard to find the time and energy, neither are abundant with kids. Start to chisel out that time little by little and it will repay you tenfold.
- Enlist help: You don’t have to do this alone. Be willing to be vulnerable and reach out for help. Talk with your partner about how you can divide responsibilities based on each of your strengths. Plan a swap with friends – you watch their kids a few hours one week, they watch yours the next. Join a mom’s group or support group. Companionship and help is there if you’re willing to seek it.
- Savor the joy: Take a moment to pause and appreciate the good. Make a mental list of what you are grateful for, the good moments that have come this week, and those you look forward to. Parenting brings so much joy, try not to let the stress overshadow the joy.
-Stephanie Samudio, LCSW