Often, I talk to my new moms about the seasons of giving and the seasons of receiving. There are certain times, throughout a lifespan, that an individual falls into each category. For a new mother, she falls into the season of receiving, but why is it so hard for mothers to receive during their postpartum days? Why is it so difficult for mothers to ask for help? How often do providers discuss this with new moms and let them practice self-acceptance, and patients while knowing it is okay to reach out for help?
In a society that often judges and scrutinizes new mother’s on every single thing they do, from how they feed to what they dress their infants in, this can lead new mothers a little, hesitant, to reach out to anyone. However, research shows that that is exactly what they should do. Let the mother-in-law come over and hold the baby while you nap, tell them to DoorDash you some food, or accept a fruit basket at the front door. Small things can make a big impact and impact overall mental health.
When one in five to seven women are being diagnosed with Perinatal Mood Disorder, sleep (while not the cure) can help greatly. So, mommas, if you have supports that can help you, lean on them.
A lot of mommas also think they are going to go home and keep on cleaning, cooking and doing dishes. Only to have a reality check that a lot of this expectation of yourself or your spouse is too much! Let the dishes be dirty for a little bit, let the laundry build up, let the mother-in-law’s clean! You are in a season of receiving sister. Receive it and don’t judge yourself. Be mindful of the thoughts you are telling yourself and that you allow yourself to think. This isn’t easy and no momma, no matter how easy they make it look, knew every answer. We try, we fail, we try again, we guess, we get tired and loose our cools and that’s okay. Good mommas have scary thoughts sometimes and THAT IS OKAY. Thoughts don’t equal actions. Take some time, realize when there is a real problem and allow others to be the givers right now.
Traci Schank, MSW, LCSW