This motherhood thing is filled with an overwhelming rush of emotions, especially as a first-time mum. Happiness, joy, guilt, paranoia, anxiety, love, it’s pretty much an assortment of emotions. It can get really exhausting feeling all these because they are usually intense.
The first few weeks of being a first-time mum made me emotionally vulnerable, I was so sensitive that anything, literally anything!!! could trigger an emotional reaction.
The different emotions I felt in those first few weeks after delivery depended on the person or circumstances that triggered it. There were times I even got emotional for no reason at all.
1. Emotions triggered by others
As a new mum, if for example, someone mentions that your child is small for his/her age, you suddenly feel bad and guilty that you’re not taking care of your child enough. A close family member makes a seemingly harmless comment? Your emotions and mind go all over the place. (I say close family member because they are most often than not, the ones that can very easily affect you).
I don’t know if this is true for all women, but this was definitely my case. My major insecurity was with feeling like my baby wasn’t satisfied whenever I breastfed, this thought was fueled by a passive statement made by a close family member (which I’m sure was meant to be harmless). My baby is 7 months now and I’ve been struggling with the thought that breastfeeding doesn’t fill my child because “her stomach isn’t big” after feeding. But every day, I’m learning to trust my gut and instincts where my baby is concerned, no matter how much experience the giver of the advice has.
I think people need to put the feelings of new moms into more consideration before making certain statements because we go through more than you can see and some of us don’t have the words to express it, so we bottle it up. Next time you see a new mum, be more gentle and kind. It’s not the time to talk about how much weight she has added, how she still looks pregnant or how she should be doing something better for her baby. Please save the observations and opinions.
2. Emotions triggered by your baby
These emotions can hit at any time and for the littlest reasons. I look at my child sometimes and I’m so consumed with love and a strong sense of protection. Some time ago, her hand got attacked by mosquitoes (yes attacked, silly mosquitoes gave her like 6 bites ) and the bites turned red, I suddenly felt terrible! I blamed myself for letting them bite her, I felt bad that the bites probably itched her and she couldn’t scratch or even communicate her discomfort. I felt helpless at that moment and I really hated the feeling.
Another case in point is immunizations, which I am sure is dreaded by every parent. I still don’t understand why they can’t be given orally. With all the science in the world, a painless option still hasn’t been discovered *eye roll*. My baby’s 3-month shot left a slight swelling, and I was filled with sadness knowing that she was probably in a bit of pain, but was bearing it like the strong baby she is. (I call her a strong baby because this madam didn’t cry for her very first immunization or even when her ear was pierced, I was shook!)
The swelling left me with a strong feeling of never wanting her to ever feel any pain or discomfort, I looked at her and made a silent promise to protect her from the evils of the world.
(I know some mothers are against immunizations, if you’re one and you’re reading this, please remember “to each mother her own” so kindly read this post with a non-judgmental mindset.)
My newest fear is being in a situation where I’m helpless and unable to be there for her. I pray fervently anytime the thought crosses my mind.
The sense of protection is so strong that my eyes water sometimes. When people talk about “a mothers love” it is mostly from the point of being a recipient of said love. But now I’m experiencing it from the giving end and it’s truly amazing; loving so deeply, unconditionally and ferociously with your whole being. Maybe it’s the helplessness of babies that makes these emotions surface, but they are there and they are real and they are very intense!
3. Emotions triggered by absolutely nothing:
Postpartum depression and anxiety are very real! I didn’t experience the full blow of it, but I may have gotten just a glimpse. There were times I would feel sudden bouts of sadness followed by the intense urge to cry, but thankfully these episodes didn’t last long and were not frequent. I’m learning to be more self-aware and to tackle the mood swings before they become something deeper.
Fear is also an emotion that rears its ugly head every once in a while. Fear that something bad may happen to your child, fear that you’re not doing the best you should be doing, fear of absolute nonsense because none of that is true, none of these fears will ever become a reality. I hate the feeling of fear, so I immediately counter the thoughts with prayers and positive affirmations.
Phew! Motherhood is such an emotional journey sha! Good emotions, bad emotions…dem dey.
If you’re a new mum, it’s important not to let those negative emotions stay too long. Whatever you’re feeling or thinking, know that your child has the best mother. No matter what people’s opinions are or what comments they make, know that you’re doing amazing and whatever you think is best is best! That doesn’t mean you can’t take advice, but be sure to filter and take only the ones you’re comfortable with.
Also, if the negative emotions/thoughts stay for too long or if you feel like you’re depressed or extra anxious, please see a therapist or talk to someone asap! You need to be at your 100% best not just for yourself but also for your baby.
When you get the time, check out this article HERE
If you’re a mum, tell me about a time you’ve been extra emotional because of your kids? And how you overcame or are overcoming it? If you’re not a mum but have experienced a mum being emotional, I would also love to hear about it?