“Bringing a new life into the world will fill you with joy.” Well, that’s the popular notion! But how does that stack up against the reality of being a new mother?
After nine months in the womb, your baby is now in the real world, and everything that you do once they arrive is about keeping them safe, happy, and healthy.
But, of all of the different stages of development your baby will go through, the newborn phase may be the most challenging- for the entire household.
While you may feel that you’re a terrible person for feeling a range of complicated emotions as you deal with the challenges that being a new parent throws at you, here’s why it’s okay to not love the newborn phase.
A Newborn Baby Takes No Less Effort Than An Older Baby
Many people expect that caring for a newborn baby is somehow easier because a newborn isn't able to move around and is much less mentally active.
But newborns come with their own set of challenges;
When you come home from hospital, you will still be exhausted from childbirth. Labor can be intense and puts a strain on your body. But now you’re home, you have to take care of yourself and a new baby this can prove to be quite a challenge.
Feeding every couple of hours, constant crying, diaper changes, and lack of sleep leave little time for seemingly simple tasks such as grabbing a shower or something to eat.
You may have endless family and friends calling around to see your new baby. But in the midst of it all, it’s not unusual to feel isolated.
Things Will Improve
Days will blend into one another. Your body clock will become confused as your baby can’t differentiate between day and night. You may feel so tired that it causes you physical pain. It can feel as though you’re trapped and have lost all sense of normality.
However, the newborn phase doesn’t last forever. As your baby grows, they’ll eventually need less attention and less feeding and should eventually be able to sleep through the night without having to be fed every few hours. And that means more rest for you too.
Reach Out And Get Help
If you’re struggling to cope emotionally and physically, this is not a sign of failure. Adapting to your new life as a parent will take time, and learning to be kind to yourself is essential.
Reach out to those around you and tell them how you’re feeling. Talk to your partner, family members, friends or your doctor. Other people may be able to give you emotional and physical support, and there is no shame in this. Families have rallied around new parents to support them since the start of the human race.
You’ll learn a lot about yourself as you get to know your baby in the newborn phase. It is a challenge, and it is not one that can easily be prepared for.