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new mom challenge
[Image description: Exhausted looking mom holding a baby bottle.]

Being a recent new mom opened my eyes to the challenges that mothers face daily.

I thought I knew, but I didn’t. Not really.

It’s only when you become a mom yourself that you can truly appreciate the difficulties they face.

The trauma of this life change — yes, trauma — of becoming a mom, is still fresh in my memory.

My aim for sharing the below is to help you as a new mom cope with these challenges. And to help you realise that you are not in this alone

So allow me to list some of the challenges new moms face:

Lack of sleep

Newborns need to feed every 2 to 3 hours. Even when you are taking turns with your partner to bottle feed, that’s a hectic schedule.

You can’t explain that level of exhaustion to someone that hasn’t experienced it themselves.

You’re woken every few hours at night, during the day you zombie walk, and this continues for months on end.

Physical recovery

Your body needs to recover from carrying and growing a baby for the previous 40 weeks.

That’s intense.

You have hormones all over the place, trying to balance out. You could be dealing with an episiotomy that needs to heal or a C-section wound that needs attention.

You’re sweating buckets at night. Your boobs are sore, perhaps your nipples are cracked and bleeding.

You’re on your “period” for a minimum of about 3 weeks straight.

Your poor body goes through so much to bring that little bundle of joy into your life. I’m not sure we always appreciate how amazing that is.

Caring for a newborn

Remember, you’re dealing with a severe level of fatigue. AND your body is going bonkers.

But on top of all that — you actually have to take care of a newborn.

You can’t even remember if you showered today but somehow you need to keep this little person alive.

Like…shouldn’t you need a permit or something to be allowed to take a newborn home with you? It’s scary AF.

They are sooo tiny and so utterly dependent on you.

PLUS society tells you that “being a mom comes naturally” and “it’ll be easy once the baby comes”.

Yeah, right.

You don’t magically learn overnight how to change a diaper. Or what the baby’s poop should look like. Or what to do when they have a fever. What temperature classifies as high anyway?

Self-doubt

The self-doubt you feel as a new mom is crippling.

You feel the weight of this huge responsibility on your shoulders. Yet you are uncertain about almost everything.

There is this expectation from everyone around you that you should just “know” what to do. So when you don’t know you feel like a failure.

And no one speaks up enough about how tough it is being a new mom. So you feel alone. So very alone.

Yes, you love your baby.

Yes, you wouldn’t change being a mom for anything.

BUT that doesn’t change how traumatic the move into motherhood can be.

There are steps you can take to cope with these challenges.

Step 1: Ask for — and accept — help

You DO NOT have to do it all on your own. I know you want to be in control of everything. It’s part of your mommy instincts going into overdrive.

But ask for help.

And if someone offers — accept the help.

Whether it’s washing dishes, making (or bringing food), taking care of the baby while you shower. Whatever you need to get you through the day — hell, the next hour — ask for help.

You will be surprised how many people would be willing to step in to help if they only knew you needed it.

Step 2: Cry

Cry when you need to.

And don’t apologise for it.

Your hormones are going crazy, you’re stressed and tired beyond belief.

Tears bring relief.

Just don’t wallow in it, ok? Feel the feels and have a good cry. Then pick yourself up and keep going.

Step 3: Watch out for these signs

Postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum anxiety (PPA) are real.

If you can’t pick yourself up after a good cry, or you feel like running away, speak up.

If you feel your baby and family would be better off without you, speak up.

Tell someone, anyone, how you feel and ask them to help you get help.

You can treat PPD and PPA, you don’t have to suffer in silence.

Step 4: Be kind to yourself

Don’t buy into this notion that you have to know everything. That’s bs.

You can’t know everything, and you will make mistakes.

That’s what it means to be human.

So accept that you’re doing your best, and let that be good enough.

Step 5: Seek out a community

Find other new moms in your area. Or an online group or two where you feel welcome.

Ask for support and provide support when asked. A community of women supporting each other can be a powerful force.

You will realise you’re not alone, and that you are sharing this burden with women from all around the world. It will make things easier to bear.

To be a mom is to be a superhero.

To keep going day after day with all these challenges is truly amazing.

But even superheroes need help, mama. They can’t do it alone all the time.

To be the best mom you can be, you need to take care of yourself, too.

You got this.


Join the New Mom support Facebook group.



3 Comments

8 Unique And Useful Gifts For A New Mom | New Mom · 23 Dec 2021 at 3:38 pm

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[…] Don’t be scared or too proud to ask for help, mama. Most people will be more than willing to help out if they only knew what you needed help with. […]

3 Ways To Help a New Mom Take Better Care of Herself | New Mom · 30 Nov 2021 at 2:37 pm

[…] a new mom is also a person in her own right. She doesn’t exist purely to care for the newborn. There are challenges around every corner. And all the available, conflicting information is enough to drive anyone mad, never mind a new mom […]

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