A few weeks ago over on our Instagram Stories, we asked you if you were doing okay. And for a lot of you, the answer was… not right now, but I will be.
Here’s something we’re pretty sure you’ll all agree with: Motherhood is hard. Pregnancy and the postpartum period can have many dark days. It’s not always happy, we’re not always healthy, and sometimes the answer is “No, I’m not OK”. But you will be.
We promise the darker times will get brighter.
The crazy busy days that make you want to hide under the covers will get calmer. Whatever is mentally and emotionally draining you, you will soon overcome and feel recharged.
The morning sickness (read: 24-hour nausea) will pass. The swollen and unbelievably sore boobs will calm down. Your baby will eventually decide to make their appearance and make all of it worth it.
Your 6-month-old will sleep longer and through the night, slowly but surely. The countless voices that feel entitled to tell you how best to raise your child? You’ll learn how to quiet those and trust yourself. Returning to work will feel less scary, day by day. Finding the balance will never be perfect but you will become practiced.
You’ll realize that even though this is all ridiculously hard, you’re doing a really great job. In fact, you’ll learn that…
You are the very best mom for your children.
You’ll give yourself permission to love the girl in the mirror, and you’ll promise to take care of her, too. And you’ll grow beautifully into your ever-evolving identity that now includes being a mom: the same you as before, but stronger than you ever knew you could be.
But right now, you might not be there yet. And that’s okay, too.
The one thing you have to know is that you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) go it alone. It’s so important to share where you’re at with someone you trust and who will be there to hold the light through those hard times. And at Baby2Body we’ll always strive to be a light for you, too.
We know we talk a lot about helping you feel like your best, healthiest self — because that’s how we can best serve you. Keeping you empowered, informed, and motivated to make the healthiest lifestyle choices when it comes to fitness, wellness, and nutrition. But we also know that’s not the whole picture, and we want you to know:
We’re here for you through all of it.
We all have our own reasons, demons, and struggles that contribute to those “Not OK” times. You may be newly pregnant and feeling the weight of new anxieties you never had before. You may a new mom trying to figure out how to care for a fully dependent child while maintaining your own independence and identity. Whatever your struggles are, they are valid and you deserve the time and space you need to move through them.
And sometimes, it’s okay to not be okay. You don’t have to be 100% all the time.
If you’re having a hard time right now, we see you. Here are a few key things to keep in mind when you find yourself in those moments:
1. Keep yourself open to love
We all need alone time (especiallyyyyy as moms), and while having time to yourself is healthy, it’s important that you don’t isolate yourself and bear those struggles all on your own. Keep yourself open to love from friends and family who offer positive and uplifting support. It sounds cheesy, we know, but you can never underestimate the power of love.
2. Make a commitment to communication
Talking about our struggles is scary. But they definitely don’t do you any favors circling around inside your own head. Sure, there are definitely things you can process and handle on your own, but those fears and frets and perceived failures are often better out than in.
We know you know the importance of communication in relationships, but if you’re having a hard time it’s so important that you make your partner, or trusted friends, or close family aware of where you’re at, because, chances are they may not know. While they might not be able to solve things, reinforcing that communication line will deepen those relationships, which is an incredibly important resource in helping you through any struggle.
3. Find comforting moments
You know those comforting, wonderful things in life that make you feel safe… kind of like a childhood blanket? Find those things, and utilize them. It sounds simple but small comforts can make a difference. Revisit books you’ve loved reading, movies that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, Spotify playlists that make you smile, or a cup of coffee in the quiet of the morning. Whatever it is, feed your soul with what comforts it.
4. Know that asking for help is showing strength, not weakness
Sometimes we need to talk with people outside of our personal relationships. Reaching out to professionals who can support you through emotionally challenging times is always an option (and a good one at that). You don’t need to have a diagnosed mental health condition to get a little help tending to your mental health. Therapy services can help you sort through your feelings and teach you new effective ways to cope with your struggles. There’s absolutely no shame in getting help — it is a sign of strength, and it might be what’s best for you and your baby.
If you’re not doing OK and think it might be more than just feeling down every now and then, you may be suffering from a maternal mental health condition.
You deserve to wake up feeling good in the morning, like your best and healthiest self, and you are worthy of happiness — so if you’re not feeling like that more days than not, recognize that something isn’t right. Please read this post that dives into the difference between baby blues and postpartum depression for resources and information that may be of support to you.