The first year with a new baby, things get real, very quick.
That relationship that was so strong can quickly turn into, I have a new baby and my marriage is falling apart.
Whether you are married or not, co-parenting does not come with a manual.
I know from personal experience, the first year with twins was one of the hardest tests of our relationship.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Common problems after having a new baby
- Communication becomes transactional
- Being overly exhausted
- Not being intimate together
- Disagreements on parenting styles
- Tit for tat arguments of who did what or who did more
Here is the good news. You are not alone.
A new baby is a monumental change, with no manual.
Even in your biggest frustrations, heartbreaking arguments, and temper tantrums, take comfort in knowing that most new parents are going through the exact same thing.
So here is how to survive it.
How to survive the first year with a newborn
Have empathy for yourself and stop beating yourself up.
I know when I first had my twins, the first six months were the hardest. I suffered from severe post-partum and nothing made sense.
I spent 90 days pregnant in the hospital smiling and positive and hopeful, only to come home and not even understand the emotions I was feeling and was a bundle of tears.
My husband was there for me every step of the way. But maybe you don’t have that support system.
My best advice to you is this. Ask for help.
Seek out a mental health professional. Tell them exactly how you feel.
It will leave you feeling heard, understood and supported. They will be there for you every step of the way, helping you navigate post-partum depression and all the challenges that come with being a new mom.
Have those hard conversations.
I remember sitting at the dining room table and crying my eyes out. I was so ashamed for feeling this way and didn’t know who to turn to and why I was feeling this way.
I was scared to talk about how I was feeling because I thought it made me a bad mom.
I thought people would judge me.
I thought I wasn’t equipped to do the job right.
These thoughts and so many others are not yours and yours alone.
They are what many mothers feel, and post-partum could be a very scary emotion, especially when you deal with it silently.
So be vulnerable. Tell others how you are feeling.
Let them be a support system for you and seek out help.
Have empathy for one another.
Oftentimes, we forget what our partner may be going through because we are so wrapped up in our own challenges.
The truth is, they may be struggling just as much as you and not showing it.
Ask them how they are doing. How you can help them. And here is the clincher…..
TELL THEM what you need help with as well.
Be specific. Hold them accountable.
When you both feel supported, that will ease the transition.
Do things that make you smile.
Maybe that means having a friend come over to talk.
Maybe that means going out and buying something special for yourself.
Maybe it is going to dinner.
Maybe it is planning a future getaway.
Maybe it is taking a drive and singing at the top of your lungs.
Maybe it is getting your hair done.
Maybe it is date night.
Maybe it is a nap.
Maybe it is Netflix.
Maybe it is taking care of your overall health and mental wellness.
Maybe it is figuring out what your unique purpose is.
I promise you it gets easier, even when it feels like the tallest mountain you can ever climb, and you have everything it takes to get to the top, my friend.