Have you been feeling additional stress with your new little one being
born or currently on the way? The beginning of motherhood can be challenging as you begin the adjustment period of an additional family member. According to studies, long-term stress can lead to problematic parenting!
How do mother’s develop stress?
Stress is typically caused by factors such as:
Time Demand– Lack of time to get everything done such as household chores, time to spend playing with kids, time to one’s self, etc.
Finances– The inability to adequately provide all of the basic necessities for your child.
Relationship Demand– When a mother invests the necessary time into their relationship with their children, often other relationships are being neglected, especially when children are young and require undivided attention.
Protective Instincts– Aside from any potential danger a child might face, mothers worry about their children’s behaviour and social development which makes every new stage of growth a challenge.
Self- Doubt– Mothers commonly face a similar fear of not providing enough for their child. They are constantly re-evaluating what they are doing, looking for new insights and trying to stay one step ahead of their child at all times.
Time Alone– Mothers find it difficult to make time and save their energy to care for themselves.
How to manage these stress factors:
- Establishing a parental plan: It is important to assign roles to each person in the family to relieve the stress of only one parent taking on the full responsibility.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps: Once the child has been put to sleep, take this opportunity to sleep yourselves! This can be implemented during the night by organizing a plan with your partner. When one person is sleeping, the other is getting up to attend to the child and then switch roles on the next night.
- Exercise: Exercise is very well known to reduce stress levels in new mothers. An excellent tip is to spread your workout throughout the day in shorter intervals opposed to longer workouts in one sitting. This has proven to show that mothers will stick with the routine much longer.
- Spending time with your significant other: It is important to maintain good communication as you are a team working together. Ensure that time is being put aside to spend with one another, whether that is having alone time while the child is sleeping (and keeping the baby talk to a minimum) or going for walks with the child in the stroller.
- Reach out to support within your community: If you are ever feeling alone or isolated, reach out to friends and/or family for assistance. Additional support can also come from your community by finding local sites that may help provide resources and other important information.
Written by York University Nursing Students,
Andrea and Julia