This post was written by Leanne Field as part of my ‘Dear mom’ series. I have a passion for moms supporting moms. Therefore, I want my blog to be a place where other moms’ voices are heard and all motherhood experiences are shared. I am blessed to have amazing women who have agreed to guest post here to share parts of their mothering journey with you.
New Mom in need of support...
“Any advice on how to handle low mood moments in these first few weeks? I’m feeling pretty down today. Just exhausted because my baby didn’t sleep from like 2am until like 10am. And now it feels like we are halfway through the day already and night is almost upon us.”
Dear: New mom in the first weeks postpartum, feeling the blues and dreading the nights
Oh my goodness, I remember it well. I remember crying when the sun started setting because nights were just so hard to handle. Nothing in the world feels more lonely and depressing than being sleep deprived and trying to get a baby to sleep.
Low mood moments are very real and I would say take heart in knowing that you are not alone. And it does pass.
I remember when I was a new mom with my first it was more depressing, as I asked myself, “is this my life now?”. But with my second baby it was easier because I knew it was a phase; this too shall pass.
It gets better! Hold on to that fact. Just take things one step at a time, one day at a time, one minute at a time.
Give yourself some self care. You NEED it for your own sanity. Give yourself a nice long shower or go hide away for half an hour and watch a show or nap or whatever you need in that moment. You need to go recharge.
I want to share with you a couple simple tips for how to get through those low mood, lack of sleep times!
1. New Mom Off Duty (The Nightshift)
Do you have a partner, parent, or friend that can take a night shift?
For each of my babies, one night per week during the first couple of weeks my mom did the whole night with the baby. And my sister was able to do the nightshift with one of my kids. It was life changing.
I still got up so that I could pump (to provide bottles and keep my supply up) but other than that I did not see the baby the whole night and I got to have rest and peace of mind.
It is amazing what one night of rest can do for your mental health. Even if you don’t want to do it now because you are still establishing breastfeeding etc. I would suggest that you have a day booked for a week or two from now. Knowing that the relief is coming will help you make it through as well.
That mantra of “it won’t be like this forever” is really important.
ps. If you don’t have someone who can help you out during the night but is available for one afternoon per week, take it! Even a couple hours of relief, so you can shower and nap, will bring a feeling of rest.
2. New Mom & Partner Connection
Spending some time just you and your partner without the baby is important too.
I remember feeling so disconnected from my husband because of the emotions and the sleep deprivation and always being on opposite shifts. It felt kind of like we were ships passing in the night and I missed him and it felt lonely.
So, try and get some time together just the two of you to even snuggle on the couch, grab a coffee, or go for a walk.
If you don’t have much help from friends and family due to distance and time this connection time may need to be while baby is napping which means household tasks can wait!
3. New Day, New Clothes
Days where you brush your teeth and put actual clothes on feel better too. Surprisingly, it just makes you feel like you did something.
And it helps differentiate the day from the night instead of just living in the same clothes all the time. You feel a little refreshed.
Squeeze in a quick shower to wash off the grit and dried breastmilk so you don’t feel like you are just surviving and being a feeding machine.
Remember you are just learning
You are not alone! The term “it takes a village” did not magically appear, it came about for a reason. It’s hard and it’s ok to ask for help! ❤️❤️❤️
Thinking of you tonight, new mama. The sun will come up again and with the light things will feel a bit better again.
In the meantime snuggle that little peanut and remember that (s)he has only been in the world for such a short time and (s)he is still learning too. Just like you.
(S)He is not used to the noises and smells and the brightness and feeling things like hunger and pain and discomfort and cold. (S)He has never been apart from you and the comforting sound of your heartbeat.
Sometimes I still need that reminder for my kids. When my daughter is giving me a particularly hard time, I remind myself; She has only been in this world for 3 years. And that isn’t a lot of time. She’s still learning. I’m still learning.
In this together!
When you are up tonight, remember that there are many other mamas up with their babies in that exact moment doing the exact same thing as you.
It is a community and although it feels lonely in the dead of the night, know that you are far from alone in this thing called motherhood. And that together you are raising the next generation.
Love you mama, you got this
I am Leanne, mother of a 3 year old girl and an 18 month old boy. Being a mom has shaped me, defined me and has given me more fulfillment than anything else in this world. It is also incredibly hard! I am thankful and blessed to have a supportive partner and close family to lean on.
I also work as a public health nurse specifically with new and expecting moms and so I guess you could say moms and babies are my life! In every aspect of my life…home, work, you name it! And I wouldn’t change it. Moms need each other. It is the way it has always been and how it will always be. Anything that I can do to help moms know that they are not alone and to normalize this crazy, terrifying, frustrating, rewarding rollercoaster of an experience is totally worth it.
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