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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Dear Mum, the transition to motherhood is rough


Dear first-time mum,

The transition into motherhood can feel very rough.

Sometimes, the most difficult aspect is less about the fact that there’s a full human being that is completely reliant upon you but more about the complete lifestyle change. Many times it is a combination of both.

Your postpartum depression can peak, your anxiety can attack and leave you drained, and adjusting to much less sleep can leave you feeling worn out. It can feel like everyone has forgotten you and you are left to survive on your own. There are also times where you feel like nobody understands you.

Read also: Spotlight on Mum: I never expected to see my newborn baby in a coma

It can get lonely, yes. But I want you to realise that it’s okay to feel this way because becoming a mum can be life-changing in so many ways.

Many times, you feel left out as a first-time mum or struggle to catch up with friends and even your pre-motherhood routine. It can get overwhelming to try to attend regular coffee dates, and it can leave you feeling really down when you get left out from events and dinners that you may have previously really enjoyed.

The loneliness factor can become very challenging especially with this pandemic, where social isolation has proven to be extra difficult. These emotions are not normally discussed to help a mum prepare for life her new life, but it seems that maybe it’s an important conversation to have.

First-time mum, your feelings are valid. The changes are many and everyone handles them differently. You can still be content and feel down because the combination of both sentiments doesn’t invalidate your gratefulness towards becoming a mother.

Sometimes, it’s the inability to express your needs to those around you that leaves you feeling lonely. Other times, it’s the fact that the people you thought would be by your side could only really support you to a certain extent. While you may be living at a certain pace, others may be at a different pace altogether. Naturally, this allows for distance to grow in a relationship.

“If you feel like nobody is there for you, then make it your goal to speak to a mental health specialist that will understand how to offer you the support you need.”

Take it easy and go at your own pace, mum.

If you feel like you’re being left out then it’s important to communicate how you feel with the goal of being understood. It doesn’t have to be a hurtful conversation that leaves you feeling worse than before. It can be a simple “I’d love to join you” or “keep me in mind”.

Finding a group of mums with babies the same age as yours is also really helpful. Although the pandemic has made it a bit difficult, it’s a good idea to keep in mind for the future. If the transition to motherhood is proving to be a bit of a challenge, communicate with your support system. If you feel like nobody is there for you, then make it your goal to speak to a mental health specialist that will understand how to offer you the support you need.

It’s okay to feel this way and I want you to know that you are not alone.

Read also: The Mum Diaries: Mothers don’t need judgement right now

Transitions aren’t always easy (motherhood can feel like a whole new world) but it doesn’t mean they aren’t worth it.

Remember that there are people that would love to have you around them and your presence is absolutely a gift. To the friend that values your presence, having coffee with you is worth every sip.

Kind Regards,

Chereen Shurafa is a Doha based community counsellor, writer, and certified change coach. She is the founder of “Dear Chereen”, an online platform dedicated to mindfulness, mental health, and inspiration.

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