Overwhelmed New Mom? 6 Tips to Find Calm & Rediscover Yourself

Overwhelmed New Mom? 6 Tips to Find Calm & Rediscover Yourself

This article is sponsored by Brightside Health, a supporter of Peanut and women alike.

Let’s face it, mama, the newborn stage is a whirlwind of emotions.

But let’s be honest, the journey of motherhood doesn’t come with an instruction manual, and sometimes, especially in those early days, it’s no surprise you’re feeling like an overwhelmed mom.

The good news? You don’t have to navigate this alone.

With the help of our friends at Brightside Health, we’re here to share some practical tips and resources to help you prioritize your mental health and rediscover yourself in this amazing (yet challenging) new chapter.

Remember, new mama, you’ve got this!

And if you need a little extra support, Brightside Health can offer convenient online psychiatry and therapy services to help you navigate the journey.

Now, let’s banish the overwhelm so you can enjoy your new mamahood!

In this article: 📝

  • Is it normal to feel overwhelmed as a new mother?
  • Why is being a mom so overwhelming?
  • How do I stop feeling overwhelmed as a mom?

Is it normal to feel overwhelmed as a new mother?

Is it normal to feel overwhelmed as a new mother?

Yes, it’s totally normal to feel like an overwhelmed mom — whether you’re just starting your parenting journey or you’ve racked up a few years of experience under your belt.

For new moms, the fourth trimester (those first three months after birth) can be a rollercoaster of emotions.

You’re dealing with sleep deprivation, a new routine, hormonal shifts, and the immense pressure of caring for a new babe.

It’s no wonder you might feel stressed, frustrated, and overwhelmed — being a mom is hard.

And then there’s how society treats moms, too.

As clinical psychologist, Dr. Rachel, explains, “Many women feel unsupported by healthcare systems, especially after childbirth. This period can feel quite lonely, with many women feeling abandoned by healthcare professionals, and overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed, and underprepared”.

It’s normal to feel all sorts of emotions throughout the postpartum periodstress, anger, joy, anxiety… whatever you’re feeling, it’s valid.

For many overwhelmed mothers, depression could be a factor — overwhelm can be a symptom of postpartum depression, which affects around 1 in 7 new moms.

While experiencing postpartum depression is common, you don’t need to go through it alone.

Help is available.

Brightside Health is a platform that connects you with licensed therapists and psychiatrists who specialize in supporting new and expecting moms like you.

They offer convenient online sessions, so you can get the professional help you deserve from the comfort of your home.

They accept many insurance plans, and getting started is easy — you can schedule an appointment in as little as 48 hours, including evenings and weekends, so you can find a time that works for you and your family.

Is it normal to have an identity crisis after having a baby?

Yes, many moms struggle with knowing who they are, post-baby — in our Invisible Mothers survey, 70% of moms said they experienced a motherhood identity crisis.

And 74% of women said that, since becoming a mother, they felt reduced to one identity: mom.

As one mom put it, “I feel like I don’t have an identity outside of being a mom”.

So if you feel like you’re losing yourself in motherhood, you’re definitely not alone.

Is it normal to not enjoy motherhood?

Here’s the thing: it’s completely normal not to feel like you’re “enjoying” every single moment of motherhood.

Motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint, and there will absolutely be days, nights, or even periods where you feel exhausted, frustrated, or overwhelmed.

Many moms in our Peanut Community feel the same way sometimes — “Some days, I’m feeling like a failure as a mom”, “when you feel like you’re the only one responsible for everything, it’s overwhelming”, “I feel like a bad mom if I ever feel overwhelmed or talk about myself”.

But those feelings don’t mean you’re a bad mom or that you don’t love your child.

It just means you’re a human being navigating a really challenging, but ultimately rewarding, experience.

Talk to other moms, you’ll find most will tell you the same thing.

It’s okay to not feel happy all the time, and it’s super important to be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling.

But if those feelings are persistent, you’re experiencing chronic overwhelm, or if you’re at all concerned about your thoughts and feelings, you can always reach out for help and support from professionals, like at Brightside Health.

What percentage of moms feel overwhelmed?

We did the legwork: 87% of moms said they’re feeling overwhelmed in our Invisible Mothers survey.

But we get that numbers can sometimes feel impersonal — what’s important to remember is that every mom’s experience is unique.

Why is being a mom so overwhelming?

Why is being a mom so overwhelming?

Between the sleep deprivation, endless diaper changes, and figuring out this whole new parenting thing, it’s no wonder you might feel completely overwhelmed.

Let’s break down a few other reasons why you could be feeling overwhelmed as a mother, with some help from our Peanut moms:

  • Newborn needs are demanding. “Everyone saw a happy and well-kept baby while I was in the dark and in constant agony and pain.”
  • Sleep deprivation is a reality. “Those first few weeks are wild and sleep deprivation is no joke.”
  • Identity shift and adjustment. “It’s as if my only identity is to care for my child, but my partner is allowed to have his own life.”
  • Balancing motherhood with other roles. “I am 11 weeks postpartum and I am already being asked by friends and family when I’ll be going back to work. There is definitely a pressure to parent like I don’t have a job and work like I don’t have children.”
  • Hormonal changes. “Wow, I am a wreck this evening! I think it’s a combination of hormones and being majorly sleep deprived, but I can’t stop crying for seemingly no reason at all.”
  • Societal expectations: “I was always taught that it’s a woman’s burden to have children. To raise them, to cook, to clean. To do everything.”
  • The mental load: “All invitations to any event are sent to me. Any plans that need to be made, whether with family or with friends, go through me. Everything runs through me as if I’m the gatekeeper for my family.”
  • Being the ‘default parent’: “Today, I was sitting eating lunch, my husband was next to me, and my MIL was holding baby. When baby started getting fussy, he was brought back to me and not to dad, who is perfectly capable of caring for and soothing baby.”
  • Minimal ‘me time’: “Taking care of a kid all day, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, etc. is not what I would call the easy way out. My job starts at 7:30 am when she wakes up and ends at 7pm when she goes to bed.”
  • Not ‘allowed’ to feel unhappy: “I feel as though becoming a mom made people automatically think I will love every moment of it and just give up every aspect of my life to be a full-time mom.”
  • Isolation and loneliness: “Being a mother is a big job and no one talks about it enough, so we feel like we are kept in the shadows of our family. I can’t ever get a break to just scream if I need to.”
  • Everyone has an opinion: “When I spoke to doctors, neighbors, or strangers who knew I had kids, I would emotionally wall myself off, anticipating the ‘you’ve got your hands full’ or ‘your baby isn’t wearing socks!’ or ‘do they have the same father?’. Or whatever insensitive unsolicited comment stranger and acquaintances would make.”
  • Feeling like you have to ‘do it all’, all the time: “It’s extremely difficult to get people to understand the many roles a mother takes on… I always feel like people don’t understand how much help a mother actually needs. Generally, it is assumed that I can handle anything that comes my way.”
  • Being dismissed: “Any time I expressed my concerns to anyone, I felt like I was talking to a brick wall. Hospitals assume that as first-time moms, we are overreacting, and dismiss our concerns.”
  • Postpartum recovery while looking after baby: “While pregnant, I felt cared for, but post-birth, I felt invisible and dismissed, enduring intense pain and trauma.”

Why do I get overwhelmed so easily?

Here’s the thing: you’re not getting overwhelmed easily.

It’s important to remember that you’re facing a lot right now.

Between the physical demands of caring for a newborn (think sleep deprivation, constant feedings, and diaper changes galore!), hormonal shifts that can impact your mood and stress levels, and the mental load of juggling motherhood with other roles like being a wife, partner, or employee, it’s no wonder you might feel stretched thin at times.

How do I stop feeling overwhelmed as a mom?

How do I stop feeling overwhelmed as a mom?

Now for what to do when you feel overwhelmed — the good news is that there are ways to cope and rediscover yourself in the midst of the chaos.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the overwhelm:

  1. Acknowledge your feelings: Don’t bottle up your emotions! Talking to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist can be incredibly helpful. Sharing how you’re feeling can be liberating and help you feel less alone. And if you want to talk to a professional, the experts at Brightside Health are there to help.
  2. Prioritize self-care: We know, self-care feels like a luxury you don’t have right now. But hear us out: taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it’s essential. Even if it’s just 5 minutes a day, find something that nourishes you — take a warm bath, read a few pages of your favorite book, go for a walk, or practice some mindfulness exercises.
  3. Ask for help: We get it, asking for help can feel daunting. But remember, you are not in this alone. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner, family, or friends for help with things like cooking, cleaning, or childcare. There’s no shame in delegating or sharing the load, and accepting help will give you some much-needed breathing room.
  4. Set realistic expectations: Social media often paints an unrealistic picture of perfect motherhood, when the reality is messy, unpredictable, and often far from perfect. Comparison is the thief of joy, so focus on your own journey and set realistic expectations for yourself. Progress, not perfection, is the goal!
  5. Connect with other moms like you: Sharing your feelings and experiences with other moms who understand what you’re going through can be incredibly helpful. Not sure where to start? Join us on Peanut, where you can share experiences, ask questions, and offer each other encouragement.
  6. Prioritize your mental health: Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Your feelings matter, and you deserve help, if you want it. There is help available, whether you talk to your doctor or reach out to professionals like our friends at Brightside Health.

Here’s the thing: you are stronger and more resilient than you think, even if you feel like an overwhelmed mom.

You brought a life into the world, and that’s an incredible feat.

But it’s okay to admit you need help.

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or like you’re losing yourself, please know that you are not alone.

There’s a whole Community of moms on Peanut who are feeling the same way, in a safe space where you can share your story and know that you’ll be heard.

If you’re looking for additional support, Brightside Health offers convenient online psychiatry and therapy services, making it easy to get professional help from the comfort of your home.

Remember, mama, you’ve got this!

There will be ups and downs, but with the right support and a little self-compassion, you’ll find your way through the overwhelm and rediscover the amazing woman you are, both as a mother and as an individual.

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