Prior to having your baby, how did you envision motherhood? Most people see themselves holding, caressing, talking or singing to their child while surrounded by soft colors, warm lighting and quietness. These moments do exist and you should embrace them.
However, there are also points of exhaustion, stress and questioning, too. These are the moments you probably spent little time imagining prior to your child’s birth. These are real. These are okay. These are common.
The important thing to remember is that this is part of parenting, too. Learning how to cope with the emotions these instances create will help you be more stress free. When you are tense, your baby knows and often responds with a stress response of crying or discomfort. When you react with a stress response the cycle continues.
What can you do?
It is helpful to develop a personal plan when you are calm. A plan for how you will deal with the challenging emotional moments you will experience during motherhood. Things you may want to consider include:
- Putting on calming music to help calm your heart and mind.
- Visualizing a positive, peaceful scene in your mind while you are trying to keep your emotions in control.
- Breathing through your nose. Take a deep breath. Let the tension leave your body as you exhale.
- Keeping things in perspective. This moment will pass.
The reality is parenthood can be an emotional roller coaster ride filled with joy and exhilaration as well as emotions that drain us of our energy. Some emotions challenge our self-control. These emotions are a normal part of parenting. They will continue as you and your baby develop your relationship over the next days, months and years. The irony of this emotional roller coaster ride is you can appreciate the highs more when you have experienced the low parts of the ride and vice-versa. Remember to develop a plan of embracing the highs and coping with the lows. The ride is worth every minute.
If you find that you are experiencing prolonged feelings of sadness, depression and/or a lack of being able to enjoy your baby, please contact your physician.