As a new mother, you’ve probably noticed that taking care of yourself and a new baby at the same time is next to impossible. How are you supposed to make sure you are getting what you need to thrive when you are on call 24/7, responsible for keeping a new human being alive and happy?
It’s no wonder that so many new moms feel emotional and completely overwhelmed. You know you need a break, but then you feel guilty about even needing one.
Relax – It’s very okay to ask for help. And here are some ways you can do it:
Be Realistic – Yes, you’re a mother now, but you are still an individual that has her own needs. Recognize that being a great mother has nothing to do with being a superhero. Never feel you have to go it alone. Be realistic and understand that everyone needs help now and then.
Be Honest – Stop trying to be the greatest mother who has ever lived and do everything by yourself. When a family member or friend asks how you’re doing, be honest with them. Let your loved ones know you are feeling exhausted and stressed and could use some help. Have someone watch your baby for an hour so you can get out of the house. Or have them watch the baby so you can simply clean the house. You may also want to keep a list of household tasks posted somewhere, such as laundry, washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, and have your loved one pick something from the list to take off your plate.
Be Flexible – When asking others for help, make it known that you appreciate others are busy and you would be happy to get their help whenever works for them. If this means the recycling doesn’t get packed up and taken to the center until Wednesday afternoon, that’s fine. If you’re the one asking for help, you’ll have to be a bit flexible with WHEN you receive it.
Be Safe – If you are suffering from postpartum symptoms it is incredibly important that you ask for help. Lingering feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and hopelessness need to be addressed.
If you or a loved is suffering from postpartum depression and would like to explore treatment options, please be in touch with me. I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.
Chelsy A. Castro, JD, MA, AM, LCSW