You may remember that, as a child, the holidays were ablaze with sparkle, wonder, excitement, hope, family and love. However, as a mother dealing with any form of postpartum difficulties, the holidays may be less magical.
A time of year you once looked forward to and enjoyed sharing with loved ones may instead be marked by stress, anxiety, anger, and sadness. It can be a lonely and tedious time of confusion and alarm.
If you find yourself amoungst those feeling hopeless and stuck this holiday season, I am here to tell you it is possible to enjoy the holidays again!
Here are 4 ways to handle the holidays postpartum strong:
1. Make a list of the holiday must do activities
What is essential to your holiday? The key here is “your holiday”, not everyone in your extended families holiday. Yes, you may be required to do some activities you may not 100% love, but overall this holiday does not have to look like holidays of years’ past or the one’s on TV. Give yourself permission to only participate in activities you can and truly do see beneficial.
2. Ask for help
You very well may think you have to do this all alone, but you do not. Significant others, parents, in-laws, siblings, extended family, friends, neighbors, and other moms along with nurses, doctors, clergy and therapists are all possible, viable options to assist you in taking back your power over your life, but you do have to take the first step and ask.
Remember, people aren’t psychic and cannot help if they are not in the know. Some mothers prefer sharing with a group of people, while others find having one trusted confident a true game changer in feeling supported.
Feeling a little shy? Not knowing where to start? Ask for help by any means possible such as in person, over the phone and/or written note. You may very well be surprised how many people are willing and eager to assist you!
3. Identify your needs and let your supporters help you
Once you have gotten people to assist you, allow them to help you. I know this sounds simple, but many times I see people not following through with letting their supporters assist. Identify how you need help. S
upport can be anything from having your neighbor to use as a sounding board, a mother-in-law as a shoulder to cry on, a brother to pick up your toddler from daycare, a friend to walk the baby around the neighborhood so you can have alone time, a therapist to teach you coping skills, to a husband telling his family you are doing Christmas Eve alone this year as a family.
4. Know your limits
Yes, a lot of your emotions and feelings may be new to you, but you still have the instincts and foresight you always had. Trust yourself and treat yourself like a good friend. If you would tell a friend that they are handling too much if they were in your shoes, than tell yourself that.
Additionally, you might be getting a lot of well-intended recommendations and ideas from loved ones and the community in general, but if they don’t seem to work for you, it is your job to know your limits.
5. Take baby steps
Motherhood, pregnant and postpartum, takes practice. You did not get to this point emotionally overnight, don’t think it will change overnight. Accepting that fact as truth, can help ease some of the stress you currently feel, which can assist you with being a little less hard on yourself.
Overall, remember today is a new day, you will never be the same person you were yesterday, but you can be the person you want to be as a mother as long as you are willing. Remember you are stronger than you think you are and you are not alone!
Call Life Counseling Solutions today at 407-622-1770 for additional support.
Author Morgan Rahimi