By Adrienne Rains LMFT – Associate (TX) and AMFT (NM) Supervised by Dr. Mark White

I’m going to say what we are all thinking, motherhood is hard. You go into motherhood thinking about all of the sweet things that a baby will bring into your life. Like love, joy, cute outfits, setting up the nursery just so, etc. But once your little one is in your arms you learn about the sleepless nights, the crying, the spit up (or in some cases projectile vomit), the poop, being peed on, but mostly you learn that you as the mother can lose yourself, lose who you were pre-motherhood, lose the person you thought you were before you became a mother. 

You are not alone! Most mothers go through this loss and it is a hard loss. You are forced to take time away from work (this becomes a bad thing if you love what you do), and you cannot just walk out of the door to go do something with just a purse you now have to think about all of the things you might need in case the baby messes themselves while you are out, you find that sometimes it is just not worth it to leave. Motherhood takes so much from you. 

Motherhood changes you, no matter how you became a mother (pregnancy, adoption, surrogacy, fostering, etc) you are forever changed because this tiny human now depends on you for their every need. But who takes care of the mother? Who takes care of you?

As mothers, as hard as it can be we have to find a way to find time for us. This does not include showering, showering is a necessity not a self care skill; unless that shower is a good 30 minutes to an hour long and you are able to just stand there then it counts. So what are self care skills for new mothers that do not take a lot of effort or mental capacity? 

Let’s start with hydrating and eating enough. If you are a breastfeeding mother, you need this nutrition to be able to feed your baby; the more you drink and eat the more milk you will make for your baby. If you are not breastfeeding, you need this nutrition to keep you going to make those bottles, being able to measure out the right amount of ounces in water and formula in the middle of the night is hard. If your child is older you need the nutrition to keep up with that child, they are fast and slippery especially when tired. So mama take a drink, eat a bite, and thank yourself for doing so. 

Next try brain dumping. Taking 5 to 10 minutes to get all of those feelings out either onto paper or into the note section of your phone or in any of the journaling apps that are out there. Doing this will release all of those feelings you are feeling and help you be able to be as present as a sleep deprived person can be. 

You don’t have to navigate the challenges of motherhood alone. Call us today to discover how we can support you on this incredible journey.

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