This mom discusses the anxiety of always wondering what a life with a baby would be like and how the most difficult challenge was going through sleep deprivation.
This blog entry comes from an anonymous mom that felt like there was no escape when sleep was at its most minimal. Wherever you are in the world - we thank you for sharing your journey.
Raising a baby has been one of the most challenging but also most wonderful experiences of my life. During my pregnancy I was so anxious about what the life with a baby would be like. To be honest, at first it was a nightmare. It was so difficult to go through postpartum and not feel connected to your baby, but with time that fog lifted and I realized how truly lucky I was to be a Mom.
The most difficult challenge so far was going through the sleep deprivation. It felt like there was no escape or light at the end of the tunnel. Being solely a breastfeeding mom was a great experience but it gave me no breaks or reprieve from my baby, especially during the long nights.
How to Overcome this Challenge
Honestly, the only thing that helped us overcome this challenge was time. My baby needed time to grow up and learn to sleep on his own. We did a very gentle sleep training to help in this process but I kept reminding myself that all phases pass, the good and the bad ones. That also helped me through other challenges of motherhood in the future.
A Little Piece of Advice
My mom group! Having a group to stand by you, get advice from and sometimes just vent to is one of the biggest saving graces a mom can have.
TR Take Aways
In terms of this mom's biggest challenge, I cannot say that I fully relate. I could talk for hours and hours about sleep cause I love talking about techniques and try and be the detective for parents that need help with sleep but that being said, the routine I had established with Rockie from day 1 was really helpful and I felt that I got adequate sleep right from the beginning (although it was broken up).
HOWEVER, the quality was not the best because I was peeing like 3 times a night (probably need to see a pelvic floor specialist for that) and would then look at my partner sleeping peacefully and some nights, although I told him not to wake up cause I felt there was no point if he wasn't breastfeeding her, I would look at him in annoyance. That is a story for another day hahah but I know that sleep deprivation be that it is indirect or direct can really impact you.
In terms of working around this...mmm..for me? It was mostly time and reading. I run this business and so in the evenings I would scroll through Instagram intentionally or read a couple pages of a blog or book or simply let the time pass and know that it is temporary.
Soak up Your Transferrable Skills
It's funny...when we become parents we sometimes forget the skills we have had elsewhere in life. I remember being at a fish and chips shop for lunch (when I thought I was bulletproof and could eat whatever I wanted when I was pregnant...hehe oops) and seeing a mom outside by herself take the car seat out herself with a purse, shopping bag and a water bottle.
In my life, I am sure I have carried many things before at the same time but somehow, I thought this was a completely new skill. I looked at her and felt anxiety rise thinking how am I ever going to do that? Will I know which handle to take first? Will I develop a method as to how to take her out of the car? Do I leave her in the car seat...wait...do I dress her with a big poofy coat in the car seat? Oh geeze...is this what the mom above meant when she would get anxious about what a life with a baby would be like?
What I gathered from this is that we need to trust our previous successful skills in life. When you're facing a moment like this (may not be the car seat situation), try and think of a time where you rocked at getting dressed in 5 minutes fast without your hair done or (on and on) you may just be able to find another time in your life where you have dealt with something similar and came out of it alive! :)
Geeze. If you follow me you know I use trello for LOTS. I remember talking to my partner about my worries, what would make me anxious and the things I just thought would not be possible when the baby comes and he would always reply "we will figure it out" but we also discussed it. I remember writing a massive list in trello (kind of like dumping my brain) about things that I was unsure of, worried about or felt anxious about and we workshop them one by one with a temporary solution - we even did research for some of the points. Try this, you can even do it by yourself (when the emotions settle that is).
Resources Related to this Post
For your stress log
The Trello App
What I use for my time management logs and stress log when/if I feel overwhelmed.
My Favorite Nurturing Resources