12 reminders for new mums who are ‘drowning’

Until you become a mother for the first time, nothing can truly prepare you for how incredibly overwhelming and exhausting it can be. Unfortunately, in today’s Western society, it’s completely normal and common to feel like you’re drowning in all the responsibilities and demands that come with new parenthood.

It’s unimaginably hard to stay on top of everything, and it can feel like an impossible feat when you’re juggling the day-to-day tasks of managing the house, caring for other children, keeping the baby entertained and fed, taking care of yourself, and trying to maintain relationships.

This feeling can be exacerbated by the fact that there is no ‘manual’ for parenting – every baby is different, and every mother has to figure out what works best for them. Caring for a baby is a 24/7 job that can be physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing. It’s hard to get used to the lack of sleep, constant feedings, and the need to be constantly alert for the baby’s needs.

It’s too much to handle for anyone. That’s why we’ve put together 12 reminders for you for when you feel like you’re drowning in motherhood. You’re not alone.

12 reminders for new mums who are ‘drowning’

  1. It doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong – it just means you’re human.
  2. Even if you don’t feel like you are, you’re doing an amazing job, and your baby is lucky to have you as their mum.
  3. You were never meant to do this alone. Humans in many societies, like the predominant Australia culture, are becoming more isolated and geographically distanced from extended family, with fewer people to turn to for support.
  4. It can be helpful to talk to other first-time mums in similar situations. Seeing that you’re not alone and that other mums feel the same way can be a huge comfort.
  5. It’s okay to need a break sometimes. Take a few minutes to yourself to do something you enjoy, or just to relax and take a few deep breaths. You don’t have to do everything in one day, take it one step at a time and focus on what you can do.
  6. It’s okay to ask for help and accept help when it’s offered. Even if you feel like you need to do it all, it’s okay to lean on others. Ask family and friends for help with errands, meals, and childcare (this might help you with choosing the right childcare option for your baby).
  7. Find time for self-care. It’s easy to put your own needs last when you’re a new mum, but self-care is essential. Make sure you’re eating well and getting enough rest when you can. If possible, find time for activities that help you relax and unwind, like yoga or reading. Read our article Self-care doesn’t have to be so complicated for ideas.
  8. Expect a rollercoaster of emotions. Your hormones are all over the place, you’re sleep-deprived, and experiencing matrescence (which is the massive transformation your brain undergoes), so be kind to yourself.
  9. You’re not home to do the housework. You’re home to care for your baby and recover from the birth. If you have a partner who works outside the home, their second job starts the moment they walk in the door and they share 50% of the responsibility. Here’s some tips on how to share the parenting responsibilities after baby is born.
  10. Never feel guilty for wanting time for yourself. It can help you to recharge, stay connected to your own identity, and can improve your overall wellbeing. It’s a necessity, not a luxury! Here are 5 things you can stop feeling guilty about.
  11. Don’t wait until you have a breakdown. Seek professional help if needed. It’s awful to feel overwhelmed and struggling with the transition to motherhood, but there is help out there. Here is a great resource on the available free professional advice and supports for new parents.
  12. Take it one day at a time. The parenting journey is a steep learning curve, so mistakes will be made…but tomorrow is another day to try again. Celebrate the wins, big or small! Here are just some of the new mumma milestones to be proud of.


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