“It’s hard’. That is what people tell you time and time again about having a baby. Well of course it is, I had no delusions. I know that babies cry, they don’t sleep when you want to and they are helpless and needy creatures. I wish people had elaborated on what “It’s hard” meant. Books describe the ‘Baby Blues’ and you know you will still be hormonal but no one tells you how you change as an individual and how you, as a Mum, will feel after giving birth. Perhaps it is because it is too off putting to share? Or it is because it is fleeting for most and so you forget what it is like?
Having talked to many friends who have had babies in recent years, I discovered that we all shared similar emotions and experiences after the birth of our babies. For some it lasted 6 months, for me, 6 weeks. I would describe it as a fog lifting from me.
So, what were my ‘blues’ or ‘fog’ that engulfed me, and others after childbirth?
Paranoia – from checking the baby’s breathing constantly to thinking your husband is going to leave you or doesn’t love you (perhaps I wasn’t so paranoid afterall!)
Tears – at everything and anything. Sometimes you don’t even know why. For me, it could take the form of a child-like tantrum.
Feeling Overwhelmed – everything seems scary or makes you feel uneasy. Especially when it is the first time of doing something. For example, I was petrified the first time I took my baby out in the car. Sometimes just getting out of the house seemed like mission impossible.
Anxiety – especially at night-time. How much sleep am I going to get? Is the baby going to wake up the house? Bedtime is still my most stressful time of the day – how long will it take to get her to sleep in her crib?
Tired/Zombie like state – this would mean you cannot compute or register basic instructions and your memory suffers greatly.
All this, combined with learning the skills of how to handle your baby, expressing milk (moo!) or sterilizing bottles, amongst other things.
However, it is important to remember these feelings are temporary and doesn’t mean you don’t love your little bundle. You will get back to normal and enjoy the wonders and fulfillment of motherhood. It is just a matter of perseverance, as are most things in parenthood.