For first time parents the transition to parenthood can be accompanied by unrealistic ideals, societal pressure to be perfect, as well as an intense loneliness when the reality of their new role as a parent finally sinks in. The saying “It takes a village to raise a child”, cannot be more true. We are told that having children is hard work, that we will be tired all the time, that our life as we know it will change forever, and that our children will challenge us in ways we didn't know were possible. However, the truth is, most parents are not prepared for just how challenging it can be.
It is normal to feel intense emotions after the birth of a baby. Often those emotions can surprise us as sometimes they don't fit into the expectations of what a new parent “should" be feeling. Some of the feelings experienced by new moms and dads can be alarming and even bring up feelings of shame. An example of this would be:
“Isn't this suppose to be the happiest time of my life? Why do I feel like crying all the time, I feel sad when I should be only feeling joy, what's wrong with me?”
Rest assured that these feelings are normal and do not mean that you are failing as a parent. Not everyone experiences a difficult time after the birth of a new baby, but for those that do, seeking help could be the first step towards feeling better about yourself as a parent.
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