Hello friends and I hope your 2021 is coming along good. On Facebook, I asked:
“What do new parents struggle with the most?”
And the responses I got from Kenyan moms were all those which I experienced myself. My sons are aged 7 and 9 years now, but I remember vividly the motions I went through as a new mom. I will list down what fellow moms commented, in the hope that future moms, expectant moms, and current new moms can know that they are not alone in what they are facing; that their experiences are not unique. And I would like to encourage them that that too, shall pass.
1. Sleep deprivation and the resultant fatigue. Lack of sleep was the topmost challenge cited by almost all moms who responded
2. Anxiety and panic –when you keep checking on baby all the time just to ensure they are still breathing
3. Breastfeeding challenges especially cracked nipples which come about when baby latches wrongly. Cracked nipples can be HORRENDOUSLY painful!!!
4. Colic… when the baby cries nonstop for hours yet they are not hungry or sleepy and you just don’t know what to do…
5. When you can no longer recognize your body as you feel all sorts of battered, bruised and sore in every area from the tip of your hair to the soles of your feet. Sometimes you can still look very heavily pregnant, yet baby came out long ago. New motherhood can seriously alter you physically, mentally and emotionally and you struggle to understand who exactly you are, what you are doing on this earth and if you’ll make a good mom
6. The feeling that your freedom is long gone as you are now confined indoors with baby. The frustration of not being in control anymore as every decision -the time you wake up, sleep, shower, eat, answer your phone, catch some fresh air… is totally controlled by the baby
7. As easy as it may appear, bathing and dressing a newborn can be VERY stressful
8. There’s just so much to handle as a new mom and this can cause overwhelming bouts of sadness that can either be baby blues or post-partum depression. Samoina battled depression as a new mom -you can read her story here.
9. The strain of a new baby in a relationship. A previously thriving relationship can begin turning sour because of the new roles and adjustments. Romance can simply vanish into thin air!
Moms, among those struggles I’ve mentioned above, which was your biggest struggle How did you cope? Share in the comments section down below so that we can all learn together.
So those are the 9 topmost challenges I gathered from moms. Dear new moms, I want to assure you that it gets better with time. You hear that thing of ‘babies grow so fast’? Believe me, it’s true.
But the most important thing I want you to take from this article is that if you feel overwhelmed, please seek help from neighbours, friends and relatives. Reach out. By the way, I have seen moms seek out help in the Kenyan mom Facebook groups I’m in, where fellow mothers seriously come through for them. There is a very supportive online community of Kenyan mums -at least in the groups that I’m in. So what I’m saying is this – don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. You’ll be surprised at the overwhelming love and support other moms have for you.
If you have a motherhood experience that you’d like to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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