So there we were, huddled together at the table in her dimly lit kitchen. It was a freezing cold winter morning in January and this mom was desperate.
The baby was finally asleep. She spoke about frustration, anxiety, and ever-present, relentless exhaustion.
The sleep deprivation is the hardest thing, she says, because nothing else is good if you are bone weary all the time. It seems like the baby’s piercing cry is non-stop.
She is sick of trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations. She feels like such a failure. No one else seems to have problems with their babies like she does.
Earlier problems made nursing more complicated and down right difficult.
She doesn’t enjoy the baby.
She just can’t go on like this.
She even considered ending her maternity leave early. She wanted to get back to work, where she knew she was successful, and hire someone else to raise her child, someone better at it than she was.
This story is not unfamiliar. Fortunately, in many cases, family and friends can provide a support system for these new parents. They can lend sympathetic ears, help take household chores off your shoulders, and care for older siblings.
A knowledgeable postpartum doula can do all of this and more. She can demonstrate specific techniques and positions to comfort your baby. An experienced postpartum doula can also help parents work through issues of crying and sleeplessness. She can look at your daily routine with fresh eyes, knowing that what happens to your baby during the day can directly affect what goes on at night.
The important thing for this new mother and all new parents to remember is that their efforts are not in vain. You are not a failure if your results are less than perfect.
TRYING COUNTS! A LOT!
In business, trying doesn’t necessarily count; results count. In parenthood, nothing else can be farther from the truth.
Trying is how you express your love for your baby!
Trying is how your baby feels your warmth and knows that someone is there who loves, cares for, and comforts them. Even if your efforts seems futile to you, they are critical to your new little darling.
Ultimately, our new mom, with the help of her postpartum doula, finally has the support to get through this rocky time.
The truth of the matter is that we don’t all love EVERY stage of parenting. The early part of it may come very natural for some moms, while other moms struggle with the newborn stage but embrace the toddler stage.
Parenting is a process and we must give ourselves permission to ask for help when we need or desire it.
Authored by: Elaine Osterhout, The Goddess Of Sleep