Much as we love our kids, we have stages and moments when we want to unwind, sit calmly, and not have to do any of the baby commitments we have been doing for a very long time. Life changes entirely after a baby, and it’s nothing like earlier. We must give up on many things post-baby and sacrifice many habits and routines for the same. This is not very easy mentally, psychologically, and physically. It may not seem very difficult initially, but as time passes and parenthood settles in, it becomes more mundane, monotonous, and a little overwhelming.
When all the laughs and smiles slowly fade into everyday chores and milestones hit hard as it is a different and challenging phase for the child and the parents, things turn sides, and it’s not all that fancy anymore. For instance, teething – a tough period for both the parents and the baby – all we got to do is hold on and be as positive as possible.
Amidst all this chaos, we tend to feel pressurised and vulnerable. We feel exhaustion and irritation overpowering our parental instincts. We feel agitated, upset, depressed, anxious, and helpless, all at the same time. This phase is called parental burnout or mom burnout. It is valid for working moms too – they are not spared because they work at the office more – they feel the phase equally, if not more, with all the stress from the outside world and the world inside their homes!
To begin with, IT IS OKAY to feel overwhelmed and angry. It is natural, and it must be addressed. It is beautiful to share this with someone, understand what we are going through, and acknowledge that we need a break. Lying down what makes us anxious can be a start. Talk to someone who listens. Embrace what is left and take one step at a time. It helps deal with the feeling better. The baby does not know what is happening. There’s no point in holding the baby accountable for us feeling a certain way. All we have to do is be an adult and deal with this phase as cleverly as possible.
Take a break from being with the baby. Go on a date night or maybe a movie. Take a two days vacation and relax your mind. It’s alright to miss being with the baby, and it’s completely OK to feel a little weird – it’s just parental instincts! But we deserve a break, and we must take it when we can!
These things may seem modern, but they are not. Feeling exhausted and angry is something all women have dealt with, but no one addressed it or spoken about it. Today is when everyone is open to understanding emotions and helping people with mental well-being. Therefore, it is each one of our duty to appreciate parents and mothers and open up when they need. Do not shrug off their worries or concerns. We never know what someone’s going through.
Being a good mom or dad is not about never feeling odd or angry. It is about understanding feelings and acting according to them. So, for the baby’s benefit, parents, and the family… Happy parenting!
Follow Aakanksha Dinah