Navigating Overwhelm: Tips for New Moms from a Postpartum Therapist

motherhood new parents postpartum Apr 05, 2024
new mom, overwhelmed mom

Hey mama,

Here's a reminder we wish we would have had much earlier in our parenting journey…You can love your baby AND feel really overwhelmed. This does not mean you're a bad mom. Feeling overwhelmed in motherhood is an experience we hear, and have felt ourselves, often. This does not change how you feel about your baby or about motherhood. You deserve help and support.

 As postpartum therapists, we've had the privilege of supporting many new moms through the ups and downs of early motherhood. And let me tell you – feeling overwhelmed is a common experience shared by many mothers for some very valid reasons. The demands of caring for a newborn, coupled with sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, expectations that mom’s carry, the pressure to do it all and be perfect, and the rollercoaster of emotions that come with new parenthood, can leave you feeling like you're drowning in a sea of responsibilities.

 But here's the thing: two truths can, and often do, co-exist. It's possible to love your baby with all your heart and still feel overwhelmed by the challenges of motherhood. It's okay to acknowledge your feelings, to give yourself permission to feel, to honor the complexity of your emotions.

 So, what can you do to manage overwhelm as a new mom? Here are some tips:

 1.Reach out for support: You don't have to do this alone. Reach out to your partner, family members, friends, or a therapist for support. Surround yourself with a support network that can offer practical help, emotional support, and a listening ear when you need it most. Remember to ask for help when you need it. This is a sign og strength. To schedule a free 15 min call with one of us to see if therapy or coaching is right for you, click here.

 2. Prioritize self-care: I know, I know – self-care can feel like a luxury when you're knee-deep in diapers and sleepless nights. But trust me, taking care of yourself is non-negotiable. Self-care also isn’t just bubble baths and massages. Even if it's just a few minutes of deep breathing, a hot shower, or a quick walk around the block, prioritize moments of self-care to replenish your spirit and nourish your soul. Self-care is also saying “no”, setting boundaries, and acknowledging your needs, remember that.

3. Set realistic expectations: Let go of the pressure to be the perfect mom. You are human, and it's okay to have bad days, to make mistakes, to ask for help. Set realistic expectations for yourself and your baby, and give yourself permission to embrace the messiness of motherhood. You are perfectly imperfect and all your baby needs is you. There is no such thing as a perfect mom. Take a look at what you are holding on your physical, mental, and emotional load and ask yourself, "what do I need?", "what am I capable of doing today based on what I have to give today?", and "can I let go of this or do this a different time/day?" 

4. Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself. We have not met a mom who doesn’t struggle with being hard on herself, at least from time to time (or more often for some of us, hello perfectionism!). Motherhood is hard, and you're doing the best you can with the tools you have. Offer yourself the same compassion and understanding that you would offer to a dear friend in need.

5. Create space for two (or more) truths: Remember, two truths can coexist. It's possible to feel overwhelmed and still be a loving, capable mother. Embrace the complexity of your emotions and create space for more dual truths in your life. For example: I am overwhelmed and I am a capable mom. I can struggle and be a good mom. I can do things on my own and I can ask for help when I need it. 

6. Become a part of our Happy Mama Membership! We give you tons of practical tips, strategies, and support to go from overwhelmed to confident mama. Join the waitlist here to be the first to know when it launches later this month, and get a special discount.

 So, mama, remember: you are not alone. You are strong, resilient, and capable of navigating the challenges of motherhood. Reach out for support, prioritize self-care, and be gentle with yourself along the way. We are here to support you through the ups and downs of motherhood. You got this mama. 

 With love and solidarity,

Alex & Sasha

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