Congratulations, you are a new parent! Having a child is a change physically, emotionally, and mentally, and you may have noticed some unexpected changes. Maybe you and your partner are fighting more; maybe you feel different emotionally; maybe you’ve become more withdrawn. These changes are normal, and there is no shame in asking for help to get you back to being the person you want to be.
Open Up About How You’re Feeling
Many people hesitate to share that they are fighting more with their partner, or experiencing sadness when they have a new baby. They fear being labeled as a bad parent, or being told they are doing something wrong. Most likely, there is nothing wrong. You’ve just had a huge change in your life, and all change requires adaptation. Adaptation is something humans are not great at since we are routine oriented.
Acknowledging your feelings, especially out loud with your partner or someone you feel understood by, can be a good first step towards adapting. Working with a counselor can also help you adapt to the monumental change that has occurred in your life. Making an effort towards self care is more important now than ever before, since neglecting your own emotional and mental health is easier when your focus is on your baby.
Take Care Of Yourself
Other ways of taking care of yourself include making sure you are showering, eating, and sleeping. This last one may seem impossible with a newborn, but try and work out a schedule with your partner so that you are both able to get some shut eye. If you can, take things a step further by carving out time to do things that re-energize you, like going to the gym, reading a book, or seeing your friends.
Ask For Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many first time parents have the unrealistic expectation that they will be able to “do it all.” You’d have to be some type of time-traveling super hero in order to make that happen. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s having your partner on baby duty so you can take a nap, having a relative babysit so you can go to the gym, or having your boss let you work from home so you can take care of your child. Another way of asking for help is beginning to see a counselor to process through issues that come up in your first few months as a parent.
If you are interested in getting the help of a counselor to adapt to this new change in your life, contact The Light Program today.