In some ways, it feels like you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
Many clients will go through very many hardships to conceive a baby, and if not conceiving, then adopting, which is usually a process in and of itself. And then the question becomes, what happens when the baby comes home? Many clients are often surprised by their own reactions to the first child and even the children that follow afterwards.
Many first-time parents report that they were unprepared for the amount of stress that the initial baby brings to their lives.
I always warn my clients that the worst year of any relationship is the first year after the first baby. And although I have often been accused of being melodramatic, and clients will indicate that they are fully prepared; inevitably they come back in and tell me that it was an understatement. Many first-time parents report that they were unprepared for the amount of stress that the initial baby brings to their lives. Feelings of postpartum depression and anxiety are quite common for many mothers and parents, feelings of being overwhelmed and underprepared occur quite frequently, and feelings of inadequacy are quite normal.
Many parents often feel quite shocked by their own reactions as well.
For example, clients will often report feeling guilt or shame when they do require a break from their baby. Many clients feel guilty and remorseful for even suggesting that they need a break, or time away from baby. More than one client has even described having the baby in the house as having a stranger in the house, one that they are not equipped to fully understand or to deal with all the time.
As I have frequently discussed in other blogs, there is nothing more powerful than our ability to fantasy bond. Many clients fantasy bond with their idea for the future, and what having a baby will look like. When that future is very different than what they expect, they often run into the most difficulties. Parents aren’t sleeping as well, they are more stressed, more argumentative with each other, and unable to connect as well as they did prior to the monumental changes that having a baby brings. Clients must then grieve the fantasy of what they thought having a child would look like, and start to accept the realities for what having a baby really does look like, all while trying to accept and navigate very complex emotions.
These emotions are very commonplace, perfectly normal, and are likely to be experienced by every parent to a certain degree at some point.
Our children are going to challenge us, they’re going to force us to grow and learn in ways that we never thought imaginable, and they will definitely teach us the meaning of patience. However, I would suggest to let go of the feelings of guilt and shame, even when we need a break. After all, it takes a village.
Growing up on the farm, you can ask any rancher and they will always tell you that calving season is among the most difficult. It is an insanely busy time, a stressful time, and it
always brings unique challenges every season.However, it also brings the most rewards, can bring the most accomplishments, and can bring the biggest feelings of pride and joy.
Come heal, grow and create together
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