As much as I would love to say I am the perfect wife and mother, I can’t. I do everything I can, but I’m still only human so I am going to have some bad days. Because the point of this blog is to show new mothers that they aren’t alone, I will be sharing both the good, the bad, and sometimes the scary.
I very recently had one of my bad days. I spent most of the day holding back tears. I was doing everything I could to try and stay happy and positive because I didn’t want to take it out on Andrew, and also because I really didn’t feel like explaining to anyone why I was upset. I was just feeling a lot of pressure from various aspects of my life, and it had all caught up with me at once.
I had to force myself to get things done because all I wanted to do was lay in bed. I hear a lot of people say that you have to take life as a new mom one day at a time, but sometimes you need to take it one minute at a time. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed as a new mother especially if you are like me and just recently decided to work again, or if you have just started going back to work after maternity leave. Trying to find the balance of work and personal life again so you can maintain your sanity can seem nearly impossible.
I really did have to take life one minute at a time the other day. If I started to think about everything I had to get done, I would feel overwhelmed and start crying. Then at around 3:00 p.m. I still wasn’t feeling any better, so I fed and changed Andrew, put him next to his dad and went upstairs to go lay down. I didn’t sleep for more than about fifteen minutes, but I stayed up there for a couple of hours. I just really needed time to myself, and to be honest I needed a good cry. That might sound odd to some of you, but I have found that sometimes the only way I can start feeling better is if I just cry until my stress is relieved. I tend to bottle up my emotions because I don’t want other people worrying about me, so every now and then I need to release those emotions by crying. (Don’t worry though, I did talk to my husband later, so I do tell people how I’m feeling if I think they need to know.)
Once I came back downstairs, I was still upset, but I was also feeling a little better. I fed and changed Andrew again, then went to go wash his bottles. I had a bit of a meltdown in the kitchen and took it out on the microwave bottle sterilizer because it wouldn’t close. With quite a bit of force I finally got the sterilizer to close, and somehow I felt accomplished. All I did was close a dumb container, but it was also a victory. It may have been the world’s most insignificant victory, but it was still what I needed.
It was a small reminder that even though things have seemed tough for me lately, I refused to give up. It may take some time, but if I keep pushing through, then eventually things will start getting better. They will seem easier too because I will be back in a routine soon enough. (As I write this, I realize it sounds terribly cheesy, but that doesn’t make it any less true.) Sometimes on really tough days all you need is a small victory to get you back on your feet.
The next time you feel like there is too much pressure on you, try taking things one minute at a time. Recognize the little victories you have that day, and see if you start to feel any better. I bet you will. Life is tough, but you are tougher.