Number of kids: 1
Ages of kids: 9 weeks
Problem: I am a stay-at-home mom still adapting to my new lifestyle and role as a mother. Recently I have found it difficult to accomplish what at one time was a very simple task. Since having the baby, I find that I double guess myself with the decisions I make whether they pertain to child rearing or not. Even the smallest tasks seem overwhelming-- for example, finding a carpenter to fix a leaking roof. Just making the call stresses me out. Is this normal? I wonder if I am suffering from the "baby blues." Please let me know how you have regained your confidence after baby.
Solution submitted by Carole R. from Brentwood, CA: Hang in new mom. I had two babies in 16 months and thought I would never get my act together again. Sleep deprivation and hormone upheaval are big factors in your life right now and can make even an experienced parent feel rubber-brained at times. If you add up the amount of time you spend caring for your baby you will see that it takes up a big chunk of your day (and yes, caring for the baby includes the time you spend oohing and aahing at her in total adoration). Grab naps when you can and get out of the house and with other adults when you get the chance. Honest, the roof may not wait but the dust bunnies will and towels and underwear don't have to be folded to be used. Regular aerobic exercises helps a lot especially if you can socialize at the same time. Build up your network of caregivers so you can get out with your mate now and then. Sharing babysitting with friends is good but having a trusted caregiver that you can pay with cash rather than your precious time is a must. Hang with people who see the humor in life and ditch the ones who don't. Laughing raises endorphin levels and you'll need all the endorphins you can get for the next 20 years. If you truly feel like you are losing your grip, talk to your OBGYN. He or she has had a lot of experience with the "blues" and can help you decide if you have a more than temporary problem. Best of luck and congratulations!
Another solution submitted by Karen from Amherst, MA: Hi, Well I see that you have gotten all sorts of excellent advice! Mine will be short and sweet. There is nothing more meaningful in life than bringing a child into this world and watching them grow up each wonderful year of their life. I learned with my child who is now 17 and I would do anything to do it all over again. Yes, you will have challenges-but find the wonder in each stage. Last night I was in the supermarket and I heard a little girl asking her mother over and over again, simple questions that her mom ignored. "Mom, can I push the cart down the next isle and be the driver?" Her mom was too engrossed in reading labels and looking at food. Tears filled my eyes...I would've loved to get down on my knees and say "honey, that's a great idea, you are such a great helper!" I know her eyes would've lit up and she would've been very happy.
Take pleasure in all the simple delights that you can give your little one but taking a minute and acknowledging them! I know it's exhausting...but take the time...the rewards are great. I can now look at my daughter with such pride and joy and see what a wonderful woman she has become at age 17. She has morals, ethics, and people come to her all the time for advice. You too will reap the rewards... you'll see!
Another solution submitted by Carri from Warren, PA: Did you go to birthing classes? If you did, did you meet any first time moms-to-be? Give them a call, or call your instructor and ask her if she knows of any new moms that feel the same way you do. Get their name and give them a call. Talk to them, get to know them, establish a friendship with them and get together with the babies. Have lunch or just talk with the babies together. It's refreshing to know that there is someone that has a baby around the same age as yours and most likely shares the same feelings you do. Believe it or not, it will get easier in time. You're adjusting to a new way of life. You know have a little one to brighten your home. Good luck!!!! And remember the clutter and dust will be there when you finally can get around to taking care of it, but babies don't stay babies forever. Unfortunately they grow up all to fast.
Another solution submitted by "Lori" Santa Cruz, CA : Please don't overlook the idea that your feeling over- whelmed might be due to your hormones being off--Yes, post-partum blues. I had a lot of anxiety and fear after I had my baby. I called the Dr. and got some hormones, and began feeling much better.
Another solution submitted by "Jom" N. Attelboro, MA :It is a major adjustment being a new mom and staying at home. I signed up for a parenting course through the junior college in my home town. This helped me meet other moms who had issues as to how to raise children since I didn't have a clue. Check your local schools, YMCA or churches for support groups or classes. Sometimes the hospitals have classes as well.
Another solution submitted by "Mahmee" from Jamaica, NY :People have wedding day jitters; Why not baby jitters? Got a baby book...throw it out!! The chapter you need is never in there. Roof leaks, toilet backing up, dog chewing couch, child chewing dog, all of the above. Find the humor (Hard to find under the circumstances), but once you get a good hold of it you won't lose it. Laugh, smile, listen with your ears and heart. Roof leaks, is the child leaking at the same time? Laugh...prioritize...call roofer...baby will leak for a few more years. Talk to friends, family, the dog (dog may be the only one who knows the right answer), talk to yourself!!! Open up at the supermarket... people stuck in lines will listen...or lose their spots. Once again, humor!!!
None of us is perfect, all make mistakes. Good days, bad days. One day baby will look at you, Mommy, and smile, and it won't matter whether there were moments when you couldn't make a simple phone call or remember how you boil water. Baby's look, smile, gurgle, will be the academy award for greatest mother in a high/low stress situation!
LAUGH, SMILE CRY, TALK, THEN LAUGH CRY SMILE.!!!!!
Another solution submitted by "HomeMom" from Chandler, AZ: Welcome to Parenting - As a mother of two I worked with my first child and now I am home with both of them. When I was a first time mom, there were not a lot of people who I could not relate with because all of our friends did not have children. My husband and I felt very alone, and being home I would feel even more alone because my husband was working and I would be home trying to catch up on sleep.
When my OB/GYN came in the hospital room after delivery, she said to take care of the baby and have friends come over to help with laundry or cooking and you take care of the baby.
As time went on, I got the baby on a schedule and he was fine. Find some other new moms from your friends or church if you belong to one. I found out that just exchanging stories can help and offer some suggestions.
No matter what, remember, children are God's blessing to us and we are blessed with taking care of them and loving them as he loves us.
Good luck and stay in touch with people.
Another solution submitted by Dent of BC, CAN:When I had my first baby I had zero experience and very little in the way of a support network. My daughter was colicky and screamed day and night for 6 months. I found some moral support in a book "Your Baby and Child-Birth to Age 5" by Penelope Leach. (Amazon Synopsis: The classic guide to child care has now been fully revised. Previous editions have sold more than 900,000 copies. Illustrated.) I also tried to take comfort in the idea that I was a reasonably intelligent adult and even if I had no idea how to do some thing like bath a baby, the baby had no idea if I was doing it wrong. I certainly wouldn't ever hurt her. I also joined a local babysitting co-op so I could meet other mothers in the area with babies and preschoolers. We swapped baby- sitting and also met for coffee etc. It was the support network I had been lacking. Take heart. Anyone intelligent enough to use a computer can certainly do just fine with the care of a baby. I'm sure you'll do great and don't sweat the small stuff.
Editor's Note: Click on the title of the book or book jacket above to order it through The #!Parentsroom Bookstore, in association with Amazon.com.
Another solution submitted by ^MAMA^: Every NEW mother (father too for that matter), is perfectly just in not having self confidence. Remember that you are doing something completely new and that you do not have to be, nor are expected to be perfect. No matter how many children you have cared for it is different when it is your own child. No matter if you have never cared for a child before....you have oodles more to learn.
Don't be discouraged because being a parent is a completely wonderful learning experience that is the most important thing of all that one can do in their lifetime. YOU will learn to do all that is needed.....YOU will not be perfect now or ever. You are a mother and you will do wonderfully. Your CHILD will learn with you. Take comfort in knowing that YOU & your CHILD are in this together for LIFE and you have a lot of time to LEARN together!!!
Another solution submitted by Alana:When it comes to starting a family, there are always going to be times when one doubts their abilities in making proper decisions. Our lives and way of thinking change after we have children, and to feel a lack of confidence is normal. When there is another life dependant upon our decisions, we will have the natural instinct to second guess our decisions until we become more comfortable with the situation. As time goes on, we learn to understand our environment, our families, and ourselves better.
When my children were born I doubted every decision I made, but learned after some time, that this would enable me to make the right decisions. Just don't beat yourself up, and allow yourself to make mistakes. It would be nice for all of us to have a parenting handbook given to us when our children are born, but we just have to do with the next best thing - support from family and friends. Many of us in The #!Parentsroom have been through similar situations, and can empathize. And I find that The #!Parentsroom is a very good support network.
Remember, enjoy your baby and ... Good Luck.
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