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New Mom’s and Stress

Motherhood is still the most respected role in our society. It brings great pleasure and fulfillment. However, it also brings a significant amount of stress. This is particularly true for the new mother. She tends to have high expectations of herself and may have little experience with her new role.

Many new moms may feel that they are giving up a significant amount of their freedom as they enter a new stage in family life. This will only be true if they define their role in an overly restrictive manner. Remember it is the quality rather than the quantity of time you spend with your child that is essential to his/her well-being. It is fine to delegate some or even most of the responsibilities of child care to dad, or to a competent child care worker. Also remember that children are not as fragile as they seem. They are adaptable to parental schedules, particularly after the first few months. Each and every cry does not require a response.

New moms need to accept their personal limitations. Some are less patient than others. Some are more anxious than others. There is no one right way of parenting also remember, two parents are always better than one. Insist on dad’s help particularly when you are tired or depressed. Do not be afraid about reversing roles.

Also remember that society has not caught up with the changing roles of mothers. It has been an economic necessity for wives to work for many decades and over 50% of moms hold jobs. Yet, it has become increasingly difficult to find competent child care. Most employers do not offer or compensate for such services. It literally required an act of Congress to obtain leave for birthing and only if you work for a relatively large company. So don’t expect to receive much assistance. That is why it is so important to accept dad as a partner in this enterprise of parenthood.

Sometimes particularly tired or anxious new mothers may have feelings that they find unacceptable. It is normal to occasionally resent your responsibilities or to wish you were someplace else rather home taking care of your child. It is only when these feelings become frequent and/or overwhelming that it is considered abnormal.

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