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Selflessness in motherhood
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amother




Apricot


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 4:08 pm
I'm looking for some guidance from some experienced mothers.

BH I had a beautiful baby three months ago. First baby, awful pregnancy, difficult birth and terrible newborn stage. Now that we've passed all that and life has taken on a new routine, I'm trying to find myself again. I'm having a really hard time with the selflessness that being a wife and mother requires. I don't like being "pampered" and spending money on myself doesn't appeal to me so self care isn't really the issue.

I feel like I lost myself somewhere in the process of becoming a mother and I don't know where to go next. I can't articulate it clearly but the constant responsibility and being so needed is making me want to just ignore it all. I would often rather be on my phone than look at my baby while nursing, and just want to go to sleep when the baby falls asleep without talking to my husband. I am not sure if I explained well but I guess I'm trying to figure out how to embrace this new reality without resenting the responsibility and selflessness it entails.
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amother




Puce


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 4:38 pm
First of all, take time for yourself! Being selfless doesn't mean losing yourself. Take time to do the things you enjoy, spend time with the people you like etc.

Second of all, try and define for yourself what motherhood demands of you. Are you trying to change who you are in order to be what your idea of a mother looks like? I heard once that it is interesting that whereas you take kalla lessons before getting married, no one requires you to take parenting classes before giving birth. The reason being that every type of parent is different because you are who you are as well as being a parent.

Motherhood is a responsibility but then so is almost everything in life that is worth having.
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Rachel Shira









  


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 4:42 pm
You sound normal and a bit worn out. I would say that self care doesn’t need to involve pampering or spending money, and that it’s important to find things that make you feel like yourself. What did you do in your spare time before you had the baby? What did you and your husband do together? Try to make time to do things both on your own and as a couple. I don’t know what you like to do, but going for a walk, out with a friend, or even on errands by yourself regularly might give you a bit of a feeling of freedom. If it’s hard to get a babysitter, leave the baby with your husband when he’s home and go out for an hour. You also might enjoy the baby more after a little time away.
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amother




Apricot


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 5:04 pm
I am back at work so I'm getting away every day and trying to make time to spend with friends but it doesn't seem to be helping.

I guess worn out is the right word, the feeling of always going is getting to me. (The not sleeping in ever also has something to do with it).

I just find myself wishing I could run away from everything. And then remember that I actually love my husband and baby and wouldn't trade my life for anything.
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amother




Purple


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 5:11 pm
look at your phone when you are nursing. Watch television. Read a book. Listen to music. Call a friend. Call a parent. Just don't get so distracted that you forget what you are doing.

The biggest problem with the phone while nursing is you get used to it.. so when the child is older you're still stuck on the phone when its actually inappropriate.
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amother




Sienna


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 5:32 pm
Op, you're sooooo normal. It's a huge shift to dealing with the endless, endless needs of a newborn. It took me many years to slowly adjust. And even now, there are days that I feel like I'm running on empty, because the demands of being a mother never seem to end. Hugs.
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amother




Apricot


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 6:10 pm
Good to know I'm normal Wink

I'm just not sure how to make it through this transition intact
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thunderstorm









  


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 6:18 pm
amother wrote:
Good to know I'm normal Wink

I'm just not sure how to make it through this transition intact

As your baby gets older it becomes more exciting with each milestone. There's more enjoyable interaction and he/she will begin sleeping better at night . It's difficult and your feelings are totally relatable and normal. It does change as time passes. There's hope!
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amother




Bronze


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 6:40 pm
It's possible you have postpartum depression, especially after such a traumatic start.
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amother




Copper


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 6:47 pm
You have to deal with the resentment on a somatic level. Otherwise it will fester for a lifetime.
Try a few sessions of Somatic Experiencing, and focus on this hard-to-articulate issue. You will feel a shift after a few sessions.
The resentment transforms.
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amother




Apricot


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 8:01 pm
I don't think it's PPD because it's not constant and I am managing well and happy for the most part.

Whats somatic therapy? How does it work?
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amother




Copper


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 8:22 pm
amother wrote:


Whats somatic therapy? How does it work?


Resentment isn't merely a concept, a thought, a word spoken. Resentment is actually held in the body as a physical sensation. When you tap into the precise quality of the resentment on a visceral level, this awareness releases the charge that is bogging you down.
A skilled SE therapist keeps you company as you access those felt places.
The SE therapist I saw a few years ago mainly asked, ''Where is that in your body?'' and ''How is it now?'' and ''What's it like?'' and similar questions. I was able to release a lot of charge regarding resentment of my clingy child. Totally worth every dollar.
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chag334









  


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 8:31 pm
Didn’t read all previous posts but yes so normal! First of all, it’s SO hard to transition into this stage. There are lots of ups and downs. I am so happy with my husband and kids bH But was sometimes miserable and depressed while going through it!
So I have found that you get used to it. It took me years hopefully it’ll be quicker for you but you adjust. You change as a person and just become different and adapt to your new normal and see the Bracha in it.

Also it’s important to discover something you like/love. Whether it’s needlepoint or sewing or music, exercise, going to a shiur or organizing a shiur, something that fills you. It might not be something you have exposure to. FIND something. And not work!!! Pleasure.
Enjoy your brachos! Hashem should help us appreciate the good iy”H. Because sometimes it’s hard!
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amother




Crimson


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 8:35 pm
Op I was you.
The. I had another baby. And another.
With 3 Kids, my feeling we’re only amplified and I was going crazy from just being on constant duty.

I went onto long term BC, and once my youngest turned 3, life started being a lot more relaxed. I started having time for myself every day when they were at school.

Now, my youngest is 5, I’m staring to think that I may want another.


Life doesn’t need to be crazy hectic. Give yourself a break and you’ll be back to yourself when your baby is a bit older.
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amother




Apricot


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 11:12 pm
I didn't realize how common this is. That definitely made me feel better. With no older sisters or close relatives and a supermom mother, I guess I never was exposed to this side of motherhood. Thank you for the encouragement, I'm definitely open to more insight but feeling better already 😊
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amother




Silver


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 11:23 pm
amother wrote:
I am back at work so I'm getting away every day and trying to make time to spend with friends but it doesn't seem to be helping.

I guess worn out is the right word, the feeling of always going is getting to me. (The not sleeping in ever also has something to do with it).

I just find myself wishing I could run away from everything. And then remember that I actually love my husband and baby and wouldn't trade my life for anything.


I don’t.really have much advice, but wow you articulated my struggles when I was a new mother perfectly! I’m still not doing great but it’s a few years later and the sleeping through the night surely helps! But yes, the never ending was of it all gets to you!
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Miri7









  


Post  Tue, Jul 10 2018, 11:47 pm
Yes, this sounds very normal for a first time mother. Suddenly, your great desire is to be able to take a shower and use the bathroom according to your own schedule....or to sleep for 4 hours straight. It's really physically demanding, and the lack of sleep and constant nature multiply the emotional demands.

Try to make some plans that are for "you" - I would go for walks with a friend with our babies in the stroller. We got to walk and hang out while the kids were happy being pushed around. Also see if you can take some breaks - even leaving the house for an hour to go read a book in a coffee shop can feel good. Some evenings I'd nurse DC, leave DC home or sleeping with DH and then just go get a cup of tea by myself or peruse a bookstore.

IME, nothing changes your whole world as fast as when you have your first child. Suddenly, your every move is dictated by their needs. It will get easier.
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FranticFrummie









  


Post  Wed, Jul 11 2018, 1:11 pm
I didn't really settle in with DD until about 5 months. She was a difficult newborn, to say the least. Nursing is BORING, and she had a weak latch, so I had to constantly make sure she was getting milk properly. I couldn't take a break at all.

She had colic so bad, I thought the neighbors were going to call CPS on me, because DD would scream bloody murder from 7pm to 5am. B'H, that stopped at 4 months. I wasn't sure I would survive!

For the first 3 months, she didn't really do anything. She was just a little larva. Then one day she smiled at me - and I mean REALLY smiled, and everything changed. When your child starts to have meaningful interaction with you, you will feel a lot better.

In the meantime, sleep when the baby sleeps, play on the phone when you nurse, and get extra cleaning help if your house is flying.
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amother




Powderblue


Post  Wed, Jul 11 2018, 1:15 pm
I remember the desperate need for sleep and a minute to myself. And seeing no end in sight.
Now,years later as the kids turn into adults and you realize you have helped "make" people, it just blows your mind!
Its valid to take some time for yourself and nurture your marriage. But just the thought that all that you are doing is making an impact and your child will thrive Gd willing should help to get you through.
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amother




Apricot


Post  Wed, Jul 11 2018, 3:57 pm
It's true that it has gotten easier as he gets bigger. I love spending time with him when he's smiley and happy. But at the same time it feels never ending.

I love that last point about realizing that you're making a person. I wish I was better at staying focused that way because it's awe-inspiring to think about
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