The Mighty Logo

5 Motherhood Realities New Moms May Face

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Becoming a mother is often associated with a magical experience, and often the “expectation” for a new mom is to love every moment. The idea of being in a happy-go-lucky mood and acting as a master juggler capable of handling everything at once, is a tall order. Some of the major points of support a woman receives are the baby shower and during the time just after giving birth. Everyone is eager to see a mom’s new bundle of joy and celebrate.

But after the initial excitement, new moms are faced with learning to navigate the world with a little human that is completely dependent on her for their survival. It can feel overwhelming and new moms can experience feelings of guilt, insecurity and sadness; all of which are normal, even if they are not spoken about.

Here are five completely normal realities for a new mother:

1. Feelings of loneliness.

Running on a new baby’s schedule can be extremely hectic. You may find yourself spending a significant amount of your time with baby rather than anyone else. It can feel isolating, especially for women who have always been social butterflies or had a social routine.

2. Experiencing loss.

As exciting as it can be to welcome your bundle of joy into your life, you might find yourself going through a grieving process. Grief can come up when reflecting on losing your pre-motherhood self. Sometimes, mothers feel like they have lost themselves to this new role. But motherhood is just a part of your many roles. You are still the smart, strong, talented woman you have always been.

3. Struggling with guilt.

It’s normal for all types of thoughts around guilt to come up for new moms. Whether you’re struggling with letting your baby cry for a little bit, debating on whether you should be going to work or staying at home.

4. Increased insecurity.

As a new mother, you have spent nine months growing a human within your body. Your body has been through hell and back to do this. While it is an amazing ability, it does leave your body changed. Feeling uncomfortable in your own skin is normal, and adjusting to your new body takes time.

5. Feeling unseen.

Before becoming a mother, you may remember being asked how you were doing, or what you were up to on a regular basis. But now that you’ve added “mother” to your identity, you might have some difficult feelings come up because everyone is asking about your baby first.

These are difficult feelings to process, but remember that becoming a mother is life-changing. If you’re having a tough time, you’re not alone and this is normal. But these scary thoughts and feelings are not permanent. Being mindful of your experience is important.

Mothers, it may be challenging, but you deserve to give permission to yourself to:

  • Have “you” time.
  • Have goals that have nothing to do with your new title as a mom.
  • Show yourself compassion when experiencing difficult days.
  • Engage in your hobbies and interests.
  • Recognize when you need support and asking for help.

The transition to motherhood is not a cake walk. Between cluster-feeding, sleep deprivation and your physical body readjusting after giving birth it makes sense that you may be dealing with difficult thoughts and emotions. Even if you have the most wonderful baby in the world, you are going to have overwhelming moments. But it’s important to remember that you need to be OK in order to be the best version of yourself for you and your family. Take care of yourself, and remember that you’re more than “just a mom,” you’re human.

Photo credit: paulaphoto/Getty Images

Originally published: November 15, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home