For the last 6 months I have been focusing in this whole motherhood process; I have learned a lot of the basic care of the baby and I have created new routines. I have been creating a balance between my home and work tasks. I have been trying to dedicate at least 30 minutes a day for myself. I have been investigating and following creative advises for common baby problems. This past 6 months I have been enjoying my baby girl as much as I can but at the same time, there has been a lot of mental and physical challenge. It’s been an intense time of my life in which I have experienced a lot of new feelings.
When we speak about motherhood, we think about that little baby that makes us smile every day. For some reason though, we find difficult to realize that motherhood also brings sadness and sometimes loneliness.
Experiencing those feelings is hard to understand. Why would we be sad when you have planned and expected a baby so much? Why would we be feeling lonely if we have family, a parthner, friends and that little one? We distress just thinking about it. We feel we should have everything in control. It should be perfect.
Well, last week I had an emotional breakdown. I felt extremely overwhelmed, exhausted and discouraged. I felt like a was carrying a big weight on my shoulders… weakness in my bones… heaviness in my joints. I felt I was running around doing a lot but at the end f the day didn’t accomplish much. I felt like a slave from the breastfeeding and the routine. I wanted to scape from my body for a couple of days. I wanted to sleep for a whole night. I felt loneliness. Even though I felt like that before in the postpartum, it was the first time I actually felt guilty about accepting I was vulnerable. I was feeling guilty with my baby since I knew she needed care, love and protection. And I was the only one who could give her that.
For a couple of days I read very interesting blogs around this topic. I found out unintentionally, that my 6 month old baby has been waking up a lot more at night lately. This has some organic causes related to the acquisition of new sleep phases that start appearing. It is also related to other emotional causes like the start of the solid food process, teething and separation anxiety. This explained a lot the fatigue I was dealing with.
I also read about how the majority of mothers associated the loneliness with general incomprehension from the society, from the close environment and even own inconprehension. Many blogs advised the need of a ‘tribe’ that could help new mommies to raise their babies in companionship. But in my case this is complicated. To live away from both of our families has a very high cost when it comes to create a ‘tribe’. One can know a lot of people but only a few will come often to visit you or ask if you need something.
I found so many articles, news, blogs that touched the topic. I found out that I wasn’t as alone as I thought I was. Thousands of women around the world feel loneliness in the first few months of motherhood, specially those who breastfeed.
Identifiying and accepting the problem with no remorses was the first step. I decided to follow some advises from Ph. D Guy Winch. Since I am still not ready to go out and have a social life just yet without my baby, I took her to do what I enjoyed the most. I got a bag ready and we left to the beach for just for a couple of hours to watch the sunset. Once we got home and I put her into bed, I called an old friend through Skype. We had a few glasses of wine and talked for a while. I felt a huge relief after it.
I finally felt comprehended (I think honestly though if I would have shared that feeling with anyone else they would have probably understood as well).
But in the other hand, I allowed my soul to fly away for a couple of hours to return back brand new into my body, ready for a new sunrise.