Motherhood is all about the continuous struggle which makes you feel exhausted but looking at one adorable smile of your little bundle of joy refuels you with all the right energy for the next battles during the day.
Being a mom is not easy. The infancy to toddlers and then toddlers to preschoolers so on and so forth, every single phase of your kids’ life gets emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting yet rewarding as well. Every age has it’s very own challenges. It is so very normal to feel frustrated and stressed out, there could be a possibility that stress makes you feel you need medical help. Postpartum depression is a condition which should be identified and a mom should not hesitate to discuss with experts.
New moms’ stressors
There are few factors which are a constant source of stressors for new moms and how you can cope up with those.
1. Being Judged by other moms
Every new mom thinks that she is being judged by other moms. Whatever experienced moms are doing is overwhelming for new moms subconsciously. New mom could develop a fear of being judged on how she is mom-ing her infant.
Being judged on a mom’s learning curve is one of the major reasons for stress.
Baby is sleeping through the night or not?
Your toddler is 3 and still not potty trained.
How is your child still using an infant seat in a stroller when he is just 6 months?
Why are you responding to your kids’ tantrums or cries right away?
There are plenty of issues to be judged on parenting.
But who cares? Your baby, your choice.
No one knows a baby better than her mom. There is no second thought about it.
The solution to this judgmental behavior is DO NOT BOTHER. Do what you think is right for your child and do what is best in your child’s interest.
If one baby follows a sleep routine and other baby does not then this does not mean any lack of parenting rather every baby is different, so as every mom. If one thing works for one mom might not work for another. So never compare your situation and your child to anyone else’s.
The best response is LISTEN to what other moms have to say only if are concerned and receptive. Do not take any unwanted advice if YOU DON’T WANT TO. Respect the advice from where it is coming from and save your SANITY for your family.
2. Breastfeeding and Formula battle
Breastfeeding is a very sensitive issue for moms. Breastmilk is by far the best you can have for your baby and there are no doubts whatsoever. However, the dilemma falls when some moms do not get enough supply and their choice of supplementing is looked down upon by other moms. Breastfeed is a complete nourishment your baby could get from you and every mom wishes to breastfeed but sometimes things don’t go the way they are supposed to. Moms need to be understanding and considerate about someone’s choice of breastfeeding,
Breastfeeding or no breastfeeding, supplementing or no supplementing, it is someone’s personal choice of how she wants to nourish her child(ren)
Be strong and do not add on to some extra amount of stress which you have to deal with as a new mom. You as a mom should know what is best for your baby and for your circumstances. I know few moms who just got in ICU right after C-section and could not get a chance to breastfeed after that, so things happen.
Supplementing does not make you any less of a mom. Some moms call it a lazy mom thing but as a matter of fact the struggles of supplementing are real and I believe it is less convenient than breastfeeding.
Relax and mom as you want to, at the end of the day she is your baby and you are the mom. As long as your baby is happy and healthy. that’s all that matters, You have all the rights to decide whatever is in your child’s best and healthy interests.
3. Worrying about doing everything wrong
Not all new moms have help when they have their first child. They don’t know what to do with the baby. Eventually, moms learn -sometimes the hard way. The subconscious worry of probably doing everything wrong could be a major stressor.
Babies are fragile, yet strong. They can absorb a little bit of trial and error as long as it is not harmful. You might want to know beforehand about potential risks for the baby. What you should and should not be doing to ensure baby’s safety, health, and newborn care.
It is always a good approach to know about newborn care as much as you can to mom in a less worried manner.
If you are a first-time mom, here are things you might want to know about newborns before your baby arrives.
If you get any concerns about your baby or yourself please never hesitate to talk to your doctor and seek out professional help.
4. Sleep deprivation
Unfortunately, sleeping is not a new mom’s thing for a few weeks or months. Getting a full 8 hours uninterrupted sleep is a fantasy for moms. Babies need time to adjust, they have to eat every two to three hours, diaper changes at least 8 times a day. Baby is going to eat, sleep and poop. During this process, a mom has to work according to her baby’s schedule which adds on sleep deprivation.
Although sleep ensures better productivity and lack of sleep affects mental, physical and emotional health. Experts recommend 5 to 6 hours of sleep during postpartum for a mom to at least let her brain and body function in a sane way.
Staying alert when you just want to doze off is pretty stressful and exhausting at many different levels.
Sleep deprivation is major stress triggering factor. Here is what you can do to overcome sleep deprivation.
The harsh reality is you cannot just go sleep (like you might in the past) when your baby is awake only if you have no help. The good news is once the baby’s routine settles down, you can start adjusting your naps or night sleeps much peacefully because gradually, your worries wash away when your baby is growing better and faster.
Ironically, you just have to learn how to deal with sleep deprivation once you become a mom. one of the stressors is to stay alert all the time to look after your kids if you have more than one. You have to think above and beyond.
Welcome to motherhood!
5. Not being able to spend time with kids or in their activities
If you are reading this post and you have more than one kid then you know what I am talking about. The guilt of not spending enough time with your other kids when you have a newborn around. As your baby is growing so as the demand of other kids growing and some days it is really hard to keep up with that.
My son bumped his forehead on a round glass table out of sheer joy when I had my second baby. He got 5 stitches in his forehead and it is not in my weirdest of imagination that how a roundtable about 3/4th of an inch thickness could hurt this bad.
Kids want attention and the truth is when you have a newborn you can’t really focus as you are still struggling to keep up with everything, newborn, your own health, your family and much more.
What you can do – Get help whoever offers you help, or hire some help (if you can) to watch your other child(ren) so that you can focus on your newborn.
If you have a toddler, prepare a toddler activity basket before your delivery and when you get comfortable just have him/her sit close to you while you are nursing. Read to them if you are not exhausted. These things would help you staying closer to your kids and sharing the bond if you have been feeling slightly disconnected for a while.
Kids love exploring – they are curious all the time. You have to make sure if your house is baby proof just to avoid extra stress. Just to be sure that there is nothing which could be detrimental to your child’ safety could save you so much sanity.
6. Being labeled as not doing anything
The biggest issue of being the stay at home mom is about being judged as not doing anything. Stay at home moms are misjudged to be free not doing anything in most cases if not all.
Truth is no one notices the number of diaper changes, messy floor clean ups, the struggle of potty training, feeding families and constant mental exhaustion. Above all the stress of not being productive – even when you are doing the toughest jobs in the world of raising children- is still there subconsciously.
I can feel you, mama! When my second born was about 4 months old I actually started looking for work from home options mainly to divert my mind in something productive without compromising my kids time. I chose to blog as a side hustle which could give me confidence and somewhat have my mind focussed on something which could eventually be productive.
What you can do about it- Just look up the options of how you can start working from home without making your life more stressful.
7. Not having chores done
When you have kids around the age of 1 to 3, it is really a task to get the chores done. All they want you to play with them but you have so much invisible burden on your plate that your chores are half done at times. Clothes are not even out of the dryer, dishes are piling up, a lot of stuff needs to be purged and its chaos everywhere.
If you are trying to get your stuff done it would seem like you are Ignoring kids and trying to get chores done.
It’s hard to get stuff done during this time of your motherhood journey.
Try to get a chore organizer. a planner for a week or month that you see every day to keep yourself less stressed and more organized and mentally relaxed.
8. Not being able to spend time with your partner
Yes, the biggest fact, your moments with your partner/husband are compromised. You can’t even talk once your kids start talking. All they want to talk to you the most when they see you two are TALKING!!. Its frustrating on different levels though. This too shall pass!
Just hang in there Mama, this too shall pass. In a couple more years they will be independent and sleeping, talking and getting everything done ON THEIR OWN.
9. Not going out or meeting friends
Well going out with kids is one of the battles you have to fight every time you go out, not only with your kids but also with yourself. Kids are vulnerable to throwing tantrums to meltdowns. Sometimes they are annoyingly asking for something which is not in their interests what so ever.
Being judged by other people (who don’t have kids yet) adds up so much stress for moms about raising them, teaching manners. It is hard for them to understand the kids’ milestones. Somethings they are going to do out of sheer curiosity no matter how attentive you are.
Kids are kids. Do not treat them like adults. Let them learn and explore as long as they are safe and healthy and nothing is jeopardizing their safety.
Those who do not have kids could not understand the stress and the reason for the stress you are having while hanging out. And those who have not experienced that stage in their motherhood ride are not going to understand either. There are very few moms who are going to have you feel at home while you are stressed out due to your child(ren) behavior.
Good news is that such people do exist who make you feel at home when you are thoroughly stressed out.
Some tips on How to minimize stress
1. Try to Stay patient (I know it’s hard)
If you are stressing over something your kids is a year old and still no teeth or she is not walking yet. Even though you know that every kid is different on his/her development chart but still you can’t stop stressing over in the back of your mind.
If you get easily agitated by some of your kids’ activities, just remember that this is temporary. this too shall gonna pass. You have to have yourself understand that kids make messes, they have their own style of making things joyful for them.
Do not add on to your stress levels when you can’t really control the readiness of your child while potty training.
Try not to react in an extreme manner which you are going to regret later. Just remember, your kids are kids, not adults so they can’t behave like them.
If you have serious concerns regarding your child development talk to your doctor and he/she will certainly provide you with better solutions.
2. Organize your life as a new mom
To be honest, the first couple of months would seem like chaos for a new mom. After that things start falling in place and you could be more organized. If you have more than one kids then chances are staying organized would seem more stressful. Do not try to do everything all at once. Once you start feeling healthy and emotionally stable, then gradually things start getting in shape.
Try to prepare your to-do list in advance.
Remember if you are doing something which is adding on to your stress level then reconsider if you might want to continue with it or skip it for a while. You can start over later on when you are ready. Having set up a routine could reduce stress drastically.
3. Minimize the clutter
I used to be a hoarder and now my strategy is inclining towards minimalism. I am giving away the extras I have. The outgrown toys, clothes everything that is not in use, are being purged. When there is less stuff then you would have to do less cleanup. Too much stuff here and there could trigger the stress levels,
Trust me while your kids are still kids, minimalism could save you so much sanity.
There could be more stressors for mom as kids grow and it varies with circumstances. Every mom has to deal with a different scenario. Prioritize your chores. Your kids need you more than anyone else, thus, do what you got to do for them, dishes and laundry could wait. The goal should be to keep the little humans healthy, safe and happy.
4. Connect with your kids
Well, this may sound pretty cheesy but in the bigger picture, this is the only thing that matters. Your kids need you. Besides, providing them with everything, food, toys, activities, education which may seem enough you might want to build a connection with your kids. You have to know them in the heartbeat. You have to feel them what they are capable of. The art of parenting lies in maintaining that connection and establishing a bond which you can cherish for the lifetime when they are independent and successful in their lives.
4. Hanging out with positive people
Try to hang out with people who are more positive and understanding rather with those who are going to make you feel miserable when you don’t want that. It’s your turn today to deal a tantrum of your child and next time it might be someone else’s turn.
5. Figure out a side hustle for yourself
Changing diapers and cleaning up multiple times a day makes you feel less productive as you are not being paid for taking care of your family as a stay at home mom. Try to find a side hustle for yourself that could be a hobby, passion by not overstressing your workload. Just to have the right amount of motivation to get you moving forward.
If you want to work part-time, you can set it up on the weekend while your partner can take care of kids,
If you think your stress is not in control whatsoever, you should seek professional advice as soon as you can. This could lead to postpartum depression.
These are the stressors of new moms in my opinion. Feel free to share if you have struggled with something different as a new mom.