“It takes a village” have you heard that one before? It’s one of the many parent-isms that we hear on this journey through raising our kids. Support. It’s one of the first places I go with a new client in our first session because it’s THAT important. So many moms I work with tell me that they have trouble delegating or asking for help. Whether it is babysitting for a date night or that person you lean on for advice because she is a few years ahead of you in this parenting game, we all need the support of other people. There are 4 main categories for support and I think it’s important to start generating your list of people you can call on when you need it.
- Emotional: this category we think of when hear the word “support”. Who will listen to you vent? Who is someone who you trust that will be there and listen with no judgement?
- Instrumental: help or service. Who is the person that, in a pinch, will run over and watch your kids if you need it?
- Informational: advice, suggestions or information. Do you have that friend that seems to just know A LOT? Where are the best swim lessons? Any after school-care options in our area? Where is a great restaurant for date night? Does teething EVER end? These friends are in the know and we should use them to our full advantage. Ask away.
- Appraisal: has information that is useful for self-evaluation. Who is that person that will be honest with you and tell it like it is? Who will point out your strengths, but will let you know if something doesn’t seem like a good idea. Who’s the person who will tell you how your butt really looks in those jeans?
It is not easy to give up control and let other’s help you. We are supposed to be able to do it all and do it really well even if it is at the risk of burnout and compromising our mental and physical health. This may be a good time to take inventory of who is on your list of supports. Who has your back?
Hillary Pilotto, MA, LCPC is a licensed clinical therapist with New Dawn Wellness Group. She is trained in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She sees patients at both Oak Lawn and Orland Park location. www.NewDawnWellnessGroup.com
The moment we decide to have a baby (or get surprised by that positive pregnancy test), this is a question we will ask ourselves over and over again. It starts with the physical, ‘What was that pain? Is spotting normal? How many times should the baby move?’ These questions are all things your OB-GYN or midwife can help answer for you. But what about the other symptoms? The ones that are not so easily noticed? ‘Why am I not excited about this pregnancy? Why do I cry all the time? Why am I so angry and irritable?’ These questions even plague us before we get pregnant. Women who are struggling with infertility battle with this question too.
This question may seem harmless, but it has the potential to light the little anxiety fire within us all. Women who have never struggled with anxiety or depression will start to feel the symptoms of anxiety once they get pregnant (or struggle to get pregnant). This gnawing feeling will walk with us throughout our journey to get pregnant, during pregnancy and postpartum. It will pop-up at the most inconvenient times like at our baby shower or birth class, after we put our newborn down to sleep and try to sleep get some rest ourselves, or after being alone with our baby and he or she won’t stop crying.
So, is this normal? The answer is YES. A 100x yes. It is normal to feel this way. I work with women all day long. Most are moms, some want to become a mom, and some aren’t sure yet. I hear them talk about the fear and worry that consume them. The sadness that keeps them from enjoying their baby. Along with anxiety there is always a healthy dose of guilt thrown in because, you know, we aren’t struggling enough as is.
Okay, so it’s “normal” to feel this way. So many women struggle with these thoughts and feelings. But, is it healthy? Absolutely not. Anxiety and depression rob you from the happiness that you deserve. It clouds your thoughts and filters your outlook on your life, family, self. You do not have to keep feeling this way. There is help out there that will support you through this time. You will start feeling better.
Hillary Pilotto, MA, LCPC is a licensed clinical therapist with New Dawn Wellness Group. She is trained in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She sees patients at both Oak Lawn and Orland Park location.
New Dawn Wellness Group provides specialized care and support for women and their families coping with and improving reproductive and perinatal health.
I had such a refreshing and recharging weekend on a CRHP women’s retreat. Over and over I heard, “Let me get that for you.” What a gesture of love! If you can lend a hand, do so; if you need help, ask for it.
Sleep is so hard to come by, especially if you are taking care of a child overnight. To fall back asleep, focus on a color in your mind, count or practice the lyrics to a song to distract the mind from over-thinking.
Listen to yourself. If you are not interested or available, speak directly, firmly but politely to set your limits.
Today is World Mental Health Day. Let’s open up about how we feel and cope! https://www.facebook.com/WMHDAY1/