At first, I was going to title this post to new mamas but I realised that my own experience was based on my second child not my first. So, this post is to all mamas – newbies and experts. Postpartum experiences are different every time. Our bodies and emotions all respond uniquely. I’ve never experienced postpartum depression but I’m convinced I would have if I had not implemented these 3 effective ways to overcome postpartum struggles.
Acknowledge Your Struggle
I don’t appreciate it when people whinge and moan about every little thing. I think that’s why it took me so long to admit that I was struggling. When I examined my heart as to why I was reluctant to face the fact that I was struggling I realised it was because I feared I might be met with an attitude of ‘get over it‘ from other people. I was worried that I was being weak and that because I chose to have children whatever feelings I was struggling with were of my own doing.
When I finally acknowledged the fact that I was struggling and that it was not okay, half the battle was won. Mama, you can not fix something that you won’t acknowledge. There is no shame in struggling. I remember sobbing on the couch thinking that it was going to be that way forever. It was awful. I’m so glad that I acknowledged my struggle because it meant that I could move forward to the next important step towards fixing it.
Share Your Struggle
I mentioned in this post about how things seem to lose their power once they’re said out loud. When you share your struggle with the right person somehow the load just seems lighter. You’re no longer alone and the fight isn’t all yours.
Even once I had accepted that I was struggling it still took me a little while before I was brave enough to share my thoughts with someone else. One reason was the one I previously mentioned, that of being told to just get on with it. Another was that I would be burdening someone else with my problems. The truth is though if you continue with your struggle eventually someone will be burdened anyway because you will fall apart. For the sake of your children and family seek someone out and share what you’re feeling. You may be wondering if you have postpartum depression, I know I did. Find someone you trust and share. Go to your doctor and have an honest conversation. Just pick someone and go from there.
Identify + Implement
Once I had overcome the huge hurdle of acknowledging and sharing my postpartum struggles I was able to take actionable steps to move past them. This included identifying what could make it better.
For some of you, this may mean a visit to your healthcare provider. You may need medication or outside support of some kind. That’s okay because it is a step in the right direction.
For me, it meant circling in on what was really making me struggle and working to fix those areas.
I felt lost.
I didn’t feel like myself.
I was going through the motions of everyday life with very little motivation.
I needed three things:
- A creative outlet
- To invest in myself
That’s when my blogging journey began. It didn’t make all my struggles go away immediately but it has brought me back to who I am. I feel like myself again and I am fulfilled. I have renewed motivation and confidence in the role that God has given me as a wife and mother. Blogging has been a way to connect with others, share my thoughts, and (hopefully) bless others.
Blogging was part of how I invested in myself but other things included a new eating plan, a little exercise, a wardrobe update, and a new hairdo. They may sound shallow but it was exactly what I needed to boost my confidence again.
So, sit down and identify what might help get you back to where you want to be. It might even help if you sit down with someone else who knows you well because they could pull ideas when you get stuck. And don’t just identify them…implement them too. I know how easy it is to let things slide because you are just too exhausted, but investing in yourself is the same thing as investing in your family. If you’re thriving they will too.
Don’t get me wrong. Life still has ups and downs but I’m no longer in that dark place that I once was. If you are there right now then please get help. You will be so grateful that you did! If you don’t have anyone to talk to then reach out to me and I will be more than happy to lend a listening ear.
Your struggle is valid and should not be dismissed. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your family, mama.
Until next time!