Although everyone’s experience is different, most every new mother feels her emotions are overwhelming at some time in the days to weeks following childbirth. A combination of hormones, fatigue, and the desire to do your best with the little experience you have as a first time mom all play together and can throw your life out of proportion at times. Just knowing this common experience is both normal and possible may be helpful for you. Here are some examples.
That first night after giving birth, as you realize there is no going back, an overwhelming sense of responsibility may engulf you. Your life has changed dramatically. Not that you really want to go back to the way things were, but the “24-hourness” of having a baby is no longer a general concept, but is now your reality. Suddenly you have a tiny person totally dependent on you. It can feel overwhelming.
Let Them Help
This overwhelming sense of responsibility may make you feel that you alone must do the work of caring for your baby. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You may have family and friends willing to help you. They know they will never change as many diapers as you will during your baby’s diaper stage, and a few now and then are just part of sharing your baby. Letting someone help you requires trust, and the person who helps is aware of the gift.
Your overwhelming emotions may make you feel that your baby somehow is an inconvenience to others around you, particularly when your newborn is unhappy and letting everyone know. I assure you that those around you choose you and your baby and delight in the time together no matter what. Your baby is just being a baby, not an inconvenience, something your family and friends (whose emotions are not running rampant) already know.
It Gets Better
Taking the moments as they come, and giving your best in those moments, will help you through these emotional times. And, when the opportunity presents itself, letting someone help you will be beneficial for all three of you. As you become more experienced, and as your helpers prove trustworthy, you will be able to feel more relaxed, and not so easily overwhelmed, allowing you to truly enjoy this new adventure. Little by little, it gets better.