Mind Matters | Postpartum issues
I am a 35-year-old working woman who just had a kid. I left my job because I wanted to give all my attention to my child. Being a stay-at-home mom is a sudden change for me. I feel guilty for wanting my old life as a professional. I can’t help but think that I am a bad mother. My husband is always working and it is solely on me to look after the baby. I am afraid that if I share my feelings with my husband, he might see me as a bad mother. —A worried mother
Answered by Alisha Humagain, Psychosocial Counselor at Happy Minds
The transition from working life to parenthood is a significant change. Hormonal changes in women after childbirth are believed to be the reason for mood swings. The hormones, estrogen and progesterone required during pregnancy decline quickly after birth, creating mood swings.
As for changes that you were anticipating after becoming a mother, the transition to a new identity as a parent can be surprising. This does not imply that you don’t care about your child, or that you aren’t a good mother. Simply put, you may require some time to rediscover yourself.
There are many positive things you can do to help you remember who you are and embrace the changes in your life. Having a child impacts your life, but try not to consider this as a bad thing. You may not be as spontaneous, social, or carefree as you used to be, but you’re likely to become more patient and selfless. You might even find an inner strength and confidence you didn't know you had. Instead of worrying about how things will be different now that you're a parent, try to concentrate on spending time and bonding with your child.
It’s best not to assume that your husband will judge you. Communicating with each other can be really beneficial in terms of gaining insight and finding answers to your problems. You may both feel as if your duty as parents has robbed you of your identity. In addition to spending time with your child, try to be with your partner as well. It may be as easy as watching a movie or eating dinner together on a Saturday night. It's also a good idea to seek moral support from your family and friends.
It is quite normal to need a break. Though it may seem obvious, taking a break can indeed be difficult for some new parents, especially if you don't have a support network. It doesn't always have to be about doing something other than caring for your baby. It's wonderful to just sit and do nothing every now and then.
After having a baby, many people battle with their emotions for a while. These should pass, but if your sentiments do not improve or you are unable to manage, it may be an indication that you require additional assistance. It is best to get professional advice, even if you are unable to attend physical sessions and must instead rely on virtual ones.
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