The New Mom Dilemma: Cracking the Code of Identifying Needs and Asking for Help (Without Losing Your Mind)

new parents perfectionism postpartum anxiety postpartum depression Aug 01, 2023
new mom perfectionism

Welcome mama! Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back because, let's face it, you're officially a superhero now! With your baby snuggled in your arms, you're navigating a whole new world of sleep deprivation, diaper changes, and spit-up surprises. Amidst the chaos, there's one thing that often eludes us moms: identifying our needs and asking for help. If you're anything like me, you may have noticed that 1.You have a hard time even knowing what your needs are and/or 2. You don't even know where or how to get started to get those needs met/ask for help. Today, we're going to unravel the mystery behind this common conundrum. So grab a cup of coffee, your favorite snack, (or a glass of wine, no judgment here) and let's dive in!

  1. The "I've Got This" Illusion: Picture this: you've just become a mom, and you're determined to ace it. You're fully prepared to juggle it all like a pro. Who needs sleep when you have superpowers, right? But here's the thing, dear mama: superheroes are fictional characters. Real-life moms need sleep, nourishment, and the occasional shower. Oh and I forgot to!  Identifying your needs and acknowledging that you can't do it all alone is the first step to maintaining your sanity. 
  2. The Myth of "Superwoman": As new moms, society often imposes unrealistic expectations upon us. There's this notion that we should effortlessly handle everything, from managing a baby's needs to cooking gourmet meals and keeping our houses magazine-worthy. Well, here's a little secret: even Superman had his kryptonite. Identifying your limits doesn't make you weak; it makes you human. So embrace your cape, but remember that even superheroes need sidekicks sometimes. It's okay to ask for help, whether it's from your partner, family, or friends. You might be surprised how much others are willing to help. 
  3. The Perfectionism Pitfall: Ah, perfectionism—the arch-nemesis of all new moms. From meticulously arranged nursery decor to perfectly timed feeding schedules, we often fall into the trap of wanting everything to be flawless. But here's a reality check: babies don't come with instruction manuals, and life rarely goes according to plan. Identifying your needs and seeking assistance doesn't mean you're failing; it means you're embracing the unpredictability of motherhood with open arms. So let go of perfectionism mama, and make room for a little chaos and imperfection. It's where the beautiful memories are born.
  4. The Fear of Being Judged: We live in an age of social media, where every milestone, outfit, and organic puree can be broadcasted to the world. Amidst this frenzy, it's easy to feel like we're constantly under scrutiny. As a therapist, let me assure you: nobody has it all figured out. We're all just doing the best we can. Identifying your needs and reaching out for support doesn't make you any less of a mom; in fact, it shows strength and self-awareness. So let the judgmental whispers fade away, and focus on what truly matters—your well-being and the happiness of your little one.
  5. The Historical Part: Often times moms may not even know what needs they have. This can be for many reasons. Maybe since you were very young you learned to push down your needs because you were told directly or indirectly that your needs were not valid or important. Maybe you felt like you had to do this to protect yourself, either physically or emotionally. Maybe you grew up in a home where one or both parents, a sibling, or another family member's needs took precedence over your own. All of these experiences teach us that having our own needs is not safe and therefore we learn instinctively how to suppress, deny, or shut needs down. As a mom, it also puts you in a place to have to focus on the needs of others over your own (hello supermom facade!), so it is no surprise that often times moms don't even know what they need. It's time to give yourself permission to shed the roles you were thrust in to without a say. To give yourself permission to get to know yourself and your needs. Cause we all have them mama! 

Dear new mom, identifying your needs and asking for help is not a sign of weakness or failure; it's an essential skill for navigating the unpredictable journey of motherhood. Embrace the fact that you don't have to be a superhero, perfect, or have all the answers.  This is impossible. By identifying your needs, you're not only taking care of yourself, you are taking care of your baby. You are doing an amazing job and your baby is so lucky to have you. 

PS If you're struggling with feeling not good enough as a mom, not sure what you need or how to communicate this, or are not feeling like yourself, therapy or supportive coaching may be right for you. To schedule a free 15 minute call with one of us to see if this might be a good fit for you. click here

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