Being a new mom feels overwhelming. If this statement you identify with, then you are not alone. Especially mothers who are alone with their babies early on, it is not uncommon to hear their reports of feeling overwhelmed. In recent celebrity news, the royal Kate and the reality star Kim each have a new baby. As the public we do not really know what goes on behind closed doors, for each it has been reported that the father in both of these cases had matters to attend to early on post the delivery of the baby. This theme is certainly not unique to celebrities. Many new mothers are alone with their babies whether it is for a day or several days.
Many women report feeling a wide range of emotions from excitement, joy, and happiness, to exhaustion, depression, and anxiety. The combination platter of being responsible for a human life, the various thoughts and feelings one has, one’s own experiences as a child, the relationship one has with the father of the child, as well as the change in hormones – all play a role in how a new mother experiences those first few days, weeks, and months ahead of motherhood. When the father of that child is not there by your side as often as you would prefer/expected, whether it is for a legitimately good reason, or for an upsetting and distressing reason, will impact your feelings certainly. Do know this; regardless of one’s celebrity or non celebrity status, the preference is typically reported by women to want to have the man you love by your side during those first few days and weeks especially, and months ahead of parenthood, if at all possible. From birth till onward in the years, parenting ideally is a 2 person team with it being human instinct and a healthy desire to want to have your mate with you through it all.
Star Magazine called upon this marriage and family therapist to share insight from a therapeutic angle about first time motherhood for their cover story entitled: Kate & Kim Alone With Their Babies. Magazine dated; August 26th 2013, already available on stands. Page 39 of the article written by Adriane Schwartz and Sarah Cordes includes the portion of my interview. Provided below includes my 7 main points.
Mothers Alone With Their Babies – Common Feelings And Therapeutic Insights/Tips:
- To not have the man who they chose to have a baby with, not to be physically there so early on can be very overwhelming.
- Acknowledge one’s feelings as a new mother is a helpful way to cope, instead of stuffing your feelings down. If you are experiencing feelings of abandonment since your husband is away, do know that the feelings are normal, even if you believe and know in your heart that you are not actually being abandoned. Reassure yourself.
- It is not uncommon for new mothers to experience feelings of sadness and feel lonely. If they have a predisposition for anxiety or depression, not having your partner there early on during those first few days/weeks can trigger an episode.
- Early motherhood is a challenge for many mothers as it is physiologically and emotionally a difficult time.
- It is not uncommon for women to worry about what type of mother they will be, and/or to worry about their future as mothers and as a parenting team.
- The father who is away for work or for play early on post giving birth often leads the new mother to ask themselves if this is a peek into what their future is going to look like. In essence, new mothers begin to think about what the new norm is, as they are going through this period of adjustment.
- If you are struggling with being a new mother, remember – you are not alone, and you do not have to go through this alone. The father of your child, your family, friends, new mothers’ clubs/groups, doctors, and health care professionals are options available to you, depending on your needs.