Becoming a parent will arguably be the most life changing exciting event you will experience in your life. Out finally emerges this little person you’ve been waiting to meet for 9 whole months. While for many of us these moments are filled with overwhelming joy and excitement, it can also be a time of anxiety, exhaustion, loneliness and overwhelm. It’s okay NOT to love every second of parenting, in fact, it’s perfectly normal. My experience as a social worker in the mental health field has taught me that even today, there is HUGE stigma attached to mental health. Postpartum depression, isolation, anxiety, and sleep deprivation should all be taken seriously and treated with love, compassion, understanding, and helpful RESOURCES. One of the things that I absolutely love the most when I’m working with new moms, is watching the power of peer support. Magic happens when new parents come together and share their experiences of parenting. Raw honesty, vulnerability and compassion are so powerful to witness in a circle of new moms. I asked my clients to come up with a list of their top 3 struggles as a new parent.  And here’s the top 3.

 

Breast Feeding

Okay this is like the simplest concept in the world right?! Boob into baby’s mouth and BOOM! Done Right?! Oh HELL no! Not even close. Nobody tells you about sore, raw cracked nipples or being hooked up to a breast pump for what feels like 23 hours a day. And then there’s those posters in the clinic that say, “Breast is Best.”

 

Listen by the time your kid hits kindergarten, do you think you can really tell which baby has been breastfed and which baby has been formula fed? Hmmmm NO! So, while it might seem like a huge incredible mountain of stress, shame and guilt, I just want you to remember that A FED BABY IS A HAPPY BABY. You do whatever works for you. Breast milk or Formula – you do you and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise

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 Changes to your Marriage

 

Having a baby changes your relationship in a different way. Long gone are the lazy Saturdays where you could sleep in to noon and then go have a nice brunch and then knock back a few beers at the neighborhood pubs with some friends. For new parents, it’s all about diapers, feedings, crying, exhaustion, and no sleep. I also say if you can survive having children, you can survive anything! Legit!