New mothers are expected to be all giddy and excited, after all, babies are blessings right? But what happens when a new parent doesn’t feel this way? What happens if a new mother resents her newborn child for depriving her of proper rest, for giving her sore and cracked nipples from breastfeeding, for turning her quiet, steady life into poopy nappies and relentless crying for no reason? Some mothers may feel baby blues, and for some others who have it worse, they may even suffer from postpartum depression. Postpartum depression may affect both genders, but more than 12% of women experience it (source). It is a serious clinical condition that requires professional medical intervention. While postpartum depression seems to affect a lot of new mothers, most of them still avoid talking about it for the fear of being judged as a ‘bad mom’.
As we all know, parenting is no joke, add the hormones going haywire, and expect a lot of crying – both from the baby and the parent. Because babies don’t come with manuals, new parents may tend to be clueless on how to raise their child gracefully. They can get overwhelmed by parenting responsibilities, and may doubt their parenting skills. These feelings, although not fun, are quite normal. Here are some ways to deal with baby blues.
1. Have enough rest.
Although the phrase ‘enough rest’ is quite controversial and probably non-existent for new parents, it is a crucial need. You may think that you have experienced the worst when your sleep pattern has gone crazy since you were pregnant, when you carried a seven pound tiny human in your belly, who by the ways loved to kick your ribs, and when you finally pushed that baby out into the world. Along comes the sleepless nights, sore nipples from breastfeeding, waddling and endless rocking to sleep. It is tiring! And you have to have enough rest, but since that’s debatable, the point is you have to rest as much as you can. Let your husband changer diapers, or cook you food, or clean the house. You have to take advantage of the time to rest while your baby is resting, because that time is golden. You’ve done quite a tedious task of carrying and birthing a human that is both physically and emotionally exhausting. You deserve to rest. You have to rest.
2. Ask for help.
You know the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Well, that is 200% true. While you think you’re a supermom who can do anything for your baby, the truth is, most of the times, you can’t. Sometimes, you have to let other people help you, and sometimes, you have to ask help from people. Stop denying yourself of the help people, especially your family, are willing to offer.
3. Declutter your space, declutter your mind.
Parenting can be overwhelming for the most part, we sometimes forget about our own well-being. Sometimes we’re too engrossed in taking care of our newborn baby that we forget to shower, or clean the house, or just have a me time. Having a baby can turn your life from quiet and steady into poopy nappies and relentless crying for no clear reason. It can drive you nuts if you take your own sanity for granted. So for one, go take a shower, go out for a while to smell the breeze outside, or have a sip of tea while reading your favorite inspirational book. Have someone to babysit for a while, and go out with your husband for a dinner or movie. Keeping in touch with yourself will keep your relationship with your baby a positive one. You may also want to have a general house cleaning, maybe hire a professional rug cleaner in your area (for this service, visit carpet cleaner in Lexinton KY), or just rearrange stuff in your room. A new feel of your environment is always refreshing and exactly what you need to stir away from overwhelming thoughts.
4. Be honest about how you feel.
One step into dealing with baby blues is accepting that you have them. While not everyone wants to talk about it, it is something that a lot of people go through. Admit that your situation as a new parent is something tremendous for you to handle, and that you want to take a step back and just free your mind of all the parenting difficulties. It’s not about not wanting to parent anymore, but it’s more of taking a hold of yourself so you can be a better parent to your child.
Remember that you don’t have to be alone in your parenting journey. Your spouse, family, friends, and even your doctors and nurses are very much willing to help you have a more positive parenting experience.
What is your ultimate goal in life? Some may answer to be successful in their careers, or to marry their one great love, or perhaps to be a billionaire. These are real life aspirations, but what’s their common denominator? All of these desires could potentially make us happy about our lives. While happiness seems to be an abstract concept, it is something that people aims for. After all, who doesn’t want to be happy? I know none. It is happiness that makes us appreciate life more.
But really, where do we find happiness? How can we achieve it? The answer is crucial, as you yourself have to make your own happiness. Here are some lessons on how to be happier with your life:
No bad thing can happen with smiling. Smile at your husband, smile at your kids. Smile at the grumpy old lady in the neighborhood, smile at the coffee barista. Smile at the homeless guy in the subway, smile at the little girl rushing to catch her school bus. Smile at your boss, smile at the elevator lady. Just smile. It will make a difference in your mood, and will definitely turn someone’s bad day around.
Have you ever felt so sluggish after finishing a bag of chips and a can of soda? Or you feel overfull after that steak you had for dinner? Yes, what we eat affects our mood. When we feel guilty about the amount of sugar, or cholesterol content of what we took in, we generally feel bad about eating them. If we feel happy about our eating habits, our mood generally improves as well.
Exercising releases serotonin, our body’s very own happy hormone. When you exercise you feel healthy, happy, and invincible. It also takes your mind off of negative thoughts. Release those sweat, and you’ll be in for a happier and healthier life.
4.Sing. Or Dance.
The point is, do whatever it is that frees your soul – be it singing, dancing, writing, running, whatever. Just do it! Your passion is what will give you the ultimate life satisfaction.
When we are crowded with negative thoughts, we tend to take for granted the things that we have. We forget the things (and people) that are actually present in our lives, and instead focus on what we don’t and can’t have. What we don’t realize is that when we just open ourselves up to the world that is present, there are a lot of things to be thankful for, and that we actually have a lot more than we realize.
6. Buy happiness.
They say you can’t buy happiness, and I partially agree. But if a cute, cuddly, little Welsh Corgi will make you happy, why not buy one? If you think that enrolling in a weekend spinning class will take your mind off of your stressful workload, why not spend the money for that? If you feel that getting a new pair of shoes will make you more excited to go to work every morning, why deprive yourself of that? As long as you can afford it, go for it. Although money doesn’t necessarily fill in that space void of happiness, it sure can help.
It’s not about escaping life’s struggles, but freeing your mind so you can better face them. Traveling can be an exhilarating experience, an eye opener, and an effective stress buster. It doesn’t have to be a week out of the country in a deserted island. A day or two away from your usual routine could work just as well.
Think about your long term goals, and work for them. Imagine how you would want your life in five, ten, twenty years. You’re maybe the CEO of your own company, or probably doing some volunteer work in Africa, or having a spa date with your teenage daughter, or maybe just sipping green tea in your bedroom veranda on a breezy morning. Whatever it is that you see when you dream of your future, keep your eye on that. You’ll find yourself more motivated and excited to achieve your aspirations. You’ll find yourself working towards a goal that is happiness.
Give until it hurts, they say. But the truth is, you have to give until it no longer hurts because giving already makes you full. A person can only give what he is full of. Fill yourself with happiness, and give some to others.
10. Fake it.
You know the saying, “fake it ‘til you make it”? As trivial as it may sound, it is true. You have to fake happiness, until you trust in yourself that you have it. You have to make yourself believe that you all things are possible, even if most times they aren’t. You have to teach yourself how to be happy until you’re confident enough to make others believe you too.
Now that you have read this list on how to have a happier life, it’s time to take action.