February 14, 2011
It has happened to you!
As a mother of two little children, I have spoken with a lot of other moms over the past few years. It is amazing how most women are overwhelmed with their lives and the adjustments they have made since having a child. This overwhelmed feeling is certainly reasonable. Our life changes dramatically, we lose sleep, we lose focus, and mostly, we lose ourselves. Mothers who feel super tired, super stressed and super emotional, they are going through what I call the "Wacky Mom Syndrome" (WMS).
Many women talk about getting married and / or having children one day like it fits into the puzzle of you are trying to put together for your life. Then when you do... All the pieces you thought you had in place get shaken out of whack. There is so much that happens in a women's life that we cannot be prepared for it. In so many cases, after becoming a mother, we lose our identity as we knew it and it could be very difficult to adjust. There doesn’t necessarily need to be a medical diagnosis to know if something is wrong, and you might not need medication, but certain "out of whack" feelings are normal for moms.
Today women are used to their freedom, independence, jobs, hobbies, quietness, and sleep. All of a sudden, after having a child all that can be taken away, or altered dramatically, depending on your support system, if there is any. When this happens we can feel depressed, angry, inpatient, fatigued and very emotional. Many of the women I spoke to say these feelings are more common than not.
The fact is, for women who have had a child, there are many elements that undergo drastic changes. Hormones shift weeks after conception and do not balance out until long after the child is born (it feels like it takes forever). When our hormones fluctuate like this it can have very obvious side effects that we cannot control. We can get extremely emotional, tired, and our bodies retain water which makes us uncomfortable. In addition, there can be other issues that arise, such as, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, anxiety, insomnia, back aches, swelling and the glorious weight gain.
All of a sudden you have a child or children! Now, how do the pieces fit? If you keep your life as you knew it before, what do you do with your miraculous child / children? What is your priority now? You have a very big decision to make. One, you make arrangements for the child so you can continue working or whatever you were doing before you had your child. Or two, you commit to being a full time mother and your previous life gets altered drastically or put on hold for a long while. We have our own unique paths and stories on our motherhood phase.
There is no way you can assume how you will feel for your child ahead of time. There are no words to describe the feeling that mothers inevitably feel. It is an overwhelming emotion that only a child can make you feel. And no matter the illnesses, the emotional challenges, the stresses, the confusions and all the tests you were faced with, a mother (at least most) would never take it back. Nothing can be taken for granted. Pregnancy and the birth of a child is extraordinary and every single woman has their own unique experience and story. We should trust and embrace our motherly instinct on how to be a good mother to our children.
Never the less, it is good for the father to know all this is real so he can support and stay by our sides and be the best he can be! Some men think their parenter is crazy if she seems too stressed and might think other women seem just fine... Little do they know! Unfortunately, many divorces happen after children for this reason. There are many ways women might react under pressure, possibly being super emotional, angry, tired, overeat, gain weight, not eat, indulging in bad habits, becoming lazy, forgetful, distant and or preoccupied. It is not fun for us and everyone around us, so even though it is common, we still have to work on readjusting ourselves.
Here are seven tips that might help:
1. Life has phases, accept and embrace your "present" position.
2. Do what feels right for you (full time mother, working, hobbies, etc.)
3. Have a support system - Friends or family you can socialize with and someone you trust to watch your children when needed.
4. Mother's need a "Time Out" too! We need to breathe deep and slow, clear our minds and recharge.
5. Remember you need to sleep well, eat well and exercise regularly to be in Good condition for everyone. You have to make those things happen somehow. If you fall apart, everything around you falls apart!
6. Exercise is your best remedy, it helps you to:
Release feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters and endorphins); gain confidence; take your mind off worries; get more social interaction; cope in a healthy way.
7. Be a STAR with your child:
S - Stop and breathe before you react
T - Think things through
A - Act, only after you stop & think first
R - Recognize everything you do matters
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