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Adjusting to Motherhood: How to Deal with Postpartum Depression

Life.

 

What life once was, seemed to be a distant memory. I knew this would be the case, that life would change and this little beautiful human would be my main priority, but knowing it's going to happen and it actually happening was a shock to the system.

First, the Joy, then the multitasking, then the crash.

 

I tried in the beginning to really prove to myself, I've got this! I can still do all the things I was doing and more, while still being a great mum. But, I soon found out, that was just a fictional story that at the time seemed like a fact, my real, true reality.

In reality, it was a false idea, deep rooted in the issues that were brewing.

 

I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready to take on the new emotions that motherhood brought. I wasn't ready to let go of the 'old' life and embrace the new. I wasn't ready to let go of perfection and the picture perfect life that society and social media had embedded in my mind.

And overall, I wasn't ready to ask for help.

I was the "strong" friend. The one that would offer advice and support. To now try and find that strength within my vulnerability was difficult, so I continued to smile and be the support system everyone needed. But with this came the plummet.

I ignored my emotions but my emotions didn't ignore me. Instead they embraced all that I was and overwhelmed me completely that in the end, it was difficult to hide behind the smile.

 

Many women like myself experience this shift in emotion after giving birth. Some know where to go, while others are completely clueless.

Below I have listed 5 points that helped me to navigate this new beautiful, but overwhelming shift in my life.


1. Learning to prioritise

 

This can be difficult.
 

At first I didn't even think to prioritise or how important it was. I tried to juggle everything at once and nothing in my life came first or last, which meant everything had the same level of importance. 

 

Having not prioritised, caused me to be juggle too many things at once.

During this shift in life you have to become comfortable with the fact that this beautiful little human is your main priority. Everything else comes last. Instagram scrolling, that business. Yup, it comes last.

 

Once that little is settled and happy then it's mums time to unwind or to catch up on those essential reality tv shows ( It can't just be me!) or that massive to do list that has been pilling up and that's ok. It's ok, if the list is as long as your arm. It's ok if the house isn't as tidy as you would like it. It's ok, because right now mama, there is only one you.

 
 

2. Learning to ask for help/ accepting help

 

Pride.

We all have it at times. Especially if you've always been that "strong" friend. The one that always helps and also always often get forgotten about because of how strong you come across .

I can relate!

Being the strong friend can come with great benefits but also a few downfalls such, as

  1. Not being comfortable asking for help,

  2. Not coming across to others as needing the help

  3. Always wanting to try and do it all yourself.

We need to break this cycle because mama, you are important too! The help is there for you too and there are so many people out there, believe it or not, who would love to support you, only if you just ask.

 

3. Realising you have time.

 

When you have your little one 24 hours in a day can often seem like it's gone within a split second. I used to sit at the end of the day and wonder, "What have I actually done for myself?". The answer often came back as, nothing.

 

But that is ok. It's ok to prioritise your little one, it's ok to let that to do list grow. It's ok to put all those not so urgent, urgent things to the back of your mind and just focus on one thing for now, and that is your baby.

You have time for everything else.

 

4. Letting go of pre conceived ideas of motherhood.

 

Growing up all we saw on TV or social media was the fairy tale side of motherhood. The flowers, the cute baby giggles, the first smile and first steps, but rarely did people talk about the hardship and strain that motherhood could bring.

It wasn't normalised, which lead many of us into a false misconception of what motherhood is and will be. We didn't prepare our minds for all eventualities, but instead only prepared ourselves for the joy that motherhood brings.

When people ask me, ' Was it hard to adjust?', my answer is always the same. " Nothing will ever fully prepare you for motherhood, only until you're actually doing it".

 

I wish someone said those words to me.

 

We can prepare ourselves by reading up on sleeping patterns, what to feed them and the milestones, but it all mounts down to your little one. Remember their all different. So instead of setting your mind on what a book says your child should and shouldn't be doing, get to know your little one, their habits, what they like and don't like. But most importantly, don't be so hard on yourself if your version of motherhood is completely different to the majority.

That's ok.

 

5. Be kind to yourself

 

Motherhood can be challenging but with it can come so many beautiful moments. Allow yourself to embrace every part while being kind to yourself. Our little ones can only get the best of us if we still put ourselves first by giving ourselves grace.
 
We're not perfect, we're just humans trying to navigate this new journey. Don't add more confusion and pain to your route to success, but instead stop along the way, take a breather, ask for help and remember you're not alone!
 
With love,
 

A fellow mum x

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