Being a new parent can feel overwhelming

Overwhelmed mother with baby

There is nothing quite as life-changing as becoming a parent. As a childless person you may have imagined what it would be like to become a parent. Maybe you pictured yourself rocking a sweet, sleeping baby; having fun picking out cute clothes; kicking a ball around with a three-year-old; laughing together.

“They” say nothing truly prepares you for parenthood. A friend likened it to when two people first move in together. You suddenly need to compromise and consider the other person’s needs. You find there are things you love about living with your partner, and yet there are other things that you don’t love. There can be disagreements and many moments that are not quite the picture of domestic bliss you had imagined. You might even find yourself at times grieving for the life you once had. This does not mean that you don’t love your partner, but things are now very different for you.

No matter how badly you wanted to become a parent, you may feel frustrated, anxious, alone, sad or even angry at times. Adjusting to life with a new baby can be a very overwhelming time for parents. If feelings of anxiety, sadness or anger persist for several weeks, you may be experiencing a perinatal mood disorder.

A definition from Mother Reach website:

You are not alone. It’s not your fault. Help is available.

Share how you are feeling with your family doctor, midwife or other health professional.

Check out the many resources for parents dealing with perinatal mood disorders in Halton Region.

Try to take good care of yourself by getting enough sleep and rest; eating healthier foods; and by being active. Consider attending a local peer support group to speak with other new parents who have also been affected by perinatal mood disorders. Other parents struggle too, and talking about these feelings together can help you feel less alone and give you tips for coping.

Below is a video showing women honestly sharing their struggles with perinatal mood disorder:

For help in Halton for perinatal mood disorders, or to share your experience, there are many ways you can connect with us directly:

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About Andrea Scott RN

I’m a public health nurse with the HaltonParents team – you'll find me on Facebook, Twitter and on this blog, writing about all things parenting. I’ve been working for the Halton Region Health Department since 2006 and my focus has been on supporting parents with babies and little kids. I have two little ones myself, “Pumpkin” and “Monkey” who give me plenty to write about! :)
This entry was posted in Babies, Depression & Anxiety After Birth, Depression & Anxiety During Pregnancy, Parenting, Parenting Your Baby, Pregnancy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Being a new parent can feel overwhelming

  1. Janet Sivenrs says:

    Andrea, you are so right to say that nothing truly prepares you for motherhood. it is a wonderful, exhausting, and overwhelming adventure. With time and support most of us do very well. Thank you for drawing attention to perinatal mood disorders and letting families know there are support groups in Halton and public health nurses always willing to listen!

  2. Andrea Scott says:

    Thanks for your comment, Janet! 🙂


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