Are you a new mom in the first few weeks of being a mother?  If so, the carefree days of picking out the cutest baby shower invitations, buying and preparing for your newborn baby, and overall excitement and anticipation probably seem light years away.  I cannot stress how common it is for many new mothers to feel overwhelmed in the first few weeks and months of being a mother.  No matter what people say, what advice is given, and what books you read about being a mother, the truth of the matter is no mother is actually aware of and prepared for the transition until the baby is born.  If you feel overwhelmed by something, I can guarantee you another new mother is in the same shoes as you.

Constant State of Fear

One of the most common transitioning hurdles new parents, especially moms, face is having a heightened anxiety level.  Depending on what type of personality you are to begin with, having a newborn baby can make you more high-strung than before.  All of the sudden, the modern furniture set  you bought a year ago look like death traps, there doesn’t seem to be enough electric socket covers to cover up the sockets in your house, and you find yourself waking up every other hour just to check on your baby.

This increase in anxiety and sometimes even borderline paranoia is experienced by most new moms and dads.  Think of it this way, for all of your life, your main responsibility was taking care of yourself (which most of us started only in our teens), and now all of the sudden you find yourself responsible for this helpless, completely dependent, fragile 7 pound baby.  The fear and anxiety stems from inexperience and the sudden realization that someone’s life is dependent on you…for the next decade or so.

Similarly, in addition to a heightened anxiety and concern for your newborn baby, you probably are also reevaluating your personal decisions, often imagining things that could go wrong to either you or your spouse.  This fear also ties in with the fact that you have this new responsibly for another life.  You realize that by putting yourself in any form of danger would also negatively impact your newborn baby.

Dealing With Your Anxiety

So the question now is how do you deal with this constant annoying, pestering anxiety?  As mentioned before, a raised level of anxiety is common in most new parents, but how much is too much and when should you expect for it to decrease?  Most parents are able to deal with the transition somewhat smoothly.  They go through the initial surge in anxiety for the first few weeks or months and start becoming more comfortable with how to handle their baby and what to look out for.  Unfortunately not all mothers/parents are able to have that smooth transition.  Some mothers are so overwhelmed by constant fear and anxiety that they will neglect everything else and lose a sense of balance.  The best way to transition smoothly is to maintain relationships with other mothers, keep your hobbies from before, and find outlets to express your fears, concerns, and joys.  The best way to transition and get used to being a mother is through having a good network for support-whether it be your spouse, your parents, your family, or your friends.  Keeping yourself distanced and your emotions hidden is a good way to become easily discouraged and burnt out.  Being a mother is one of the best experiences a woman has over the course of her life, it’s up to you to make the best of it!