We’ve all been there. That knock-down-drag-out-fight…that happens between you and yourself in your head.
It goes a little bit like this:
“Dammit, Amanda, you forgot to pump again?!”
“Amanda, she’s crying because you didn’t put her to sleep early enough…”
“Ugh – Amanda! How could you have missed that her rash was caused by that new onesie!”
The first three months of my new life as a mom was rough. I mean rough. Ruben and I fought over nothing because there were so many new responsibilities and frustrations associated with parenthood. I was insanely hormonal, – I think once I cried for a straight 3 hours – and on top of everything I was still trying to breastfeed.
Since I wasn’t producing enough milk, I had to switch to formula which, of course, made me feel like a terrible mother. The truth is, being a new mom is one long episode of feeling like the worst mother in the world.
That being said, there’s nothing healthier than admitting how out of control you feel and finding some professional help. Now, I used to think that only people with “problems” needed therapists. Thankfully, I’m much older and wiser now *30-year-old over here, thankyouverymuch* and know that absolutely everyone can benefit from a little talk therapy.
So why find a shrink? Here’s why:
- Because you’re not the worst mom ever: Contrary to what you may think, you’re an awesome mom. You are the best mom your kiddo could ever dream of. However, everything around you – including your own head – will be telling you that you’re messing this parent thing up. Your kid’s crying all the time, your partner is struggling to figure out what’s up with your moodiness, and you barely remember who you were before you pushed another person of your body. That’s right. You pushed another person out of your body. Um, think kind of explains why your brain and body are in full self-destruct mode.
- Because family members typically want to fix, not listen: I love my close family members – they were and continue to be an amazing source of strength and clarity for me – but sometimes they know you a little too well. What I mean is that there can be things you’re wondering or questioning that are uncomfortable to discuss with family members. That’s where an impartial third-party can be especially helpful in working through any issues you might be having. While family members are well-meaning, they can sometimes respond to your concerns with responses meant to “fix” the problem when all you really need is someone to listen. This is yet another reason why finding a therapist is essential to finding a healthy you post-baby.
- Because hormones suck: I can’t stress enough how much imbalanced hormones can make you feel things that don’t actually exist. For example, you are not a horrible mother, but you constantly feel like one. You and your partner fight over little things that weren’t problematic before your little bundle of joy was born. It’s important to keep in mind that this phase of your life is just that – a phase. As long as you keep in mind that you’ll come out of this reasonably unscathed, you can work through anything parenthood throws your way.
It’s also important to keep in mind what your comfort level is when it comes to finding a therapist. I knew that I would feel most comfortable with a woman between the ages of 40-60 with a genuine, unpretentious disposition. I wanted someone with life experience who I could feel comfortable with discussing any issue, no matter how sensitive.
If you’re interested in finding your ideal therapist that’s within your price range and insurance coverage, head over to Psychology Today and click on “Find a Therapist.”
Let me know how it goes!
Feel free to drop me a line in the comments section if you have any other questions about therapy!