iStock_000072976509_SmallBy Jordan Holland, MFT Intern

As a mom of an almost 1 year old, I get caught up in all the changes that have happened in my life over the past year. It seems like you can’t prepare enough for the new blessing that is about to come into your life. Even when well-meaning friends, family members, and Pinterest posts do their best to prepare you, it seems like the majority of my experience within the first few months of having my daughter were wrought with the question: “Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?” Now that I have had times to think on this, I think it is because no new mom’s experience is the same. This might seem like Captain Obvious has come knocking on the door, but I think this is an important statement. It is not meant to isolate it is meant to validate. Too often we as moms try and share our experience, and instead of just being listened too, we get cut off as someone tells us that they “went through the exact same thing.” There is definitely a time and a place for these comments, but I think they get thrown out too often, and honestly it’s difficult to tell if the person sharing is trying to be supportive, or if they are caught up in their own reminiscence that they cease to really be engaged in what the new mom is saying. I have even caught myself doing this with some of my pregnant friends. Honestly, there can be so much power is sitting with a new mom (this includes moms who are welcoming a new baby no matter how many kids they already have) and really hearing their experience. This is a time where there is so much going on, and there will be growing pains no matter what, because finding a new normal is not easy!


In my own journey of finding a new normal, I have realized how much I need to be listened to, and through that I have a heightened sensitivity to the fact that so much in parenthood is not talked about. I am not just talking about Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, but even this subject has a huge gap: either you are thinking about hurting yourself and your baby, or you “just have the baby blues.” Maybe it’s just me, but the emotions of a Postpartum life are more complex than being written off as “just the baby blues,” when people confirm that you are not a danger to yourself or your baby. You are not sleeping, you have the weight of being solely responsible of a brand new human, and your emotions are thrown out of whack due to surging hormones. For me there were days where I looked outside and just burst into tears, and I didn’t know why. While those early days are a blur of nursing, no sleep and watching a lot of Fixer Upper, one thing that vividly stands out is feeling fear. I was afraid to tell people that I was struggling with my emotions, and I like to think of myself as having a pretty good handle on emotional regulation. I was afraid of judgement, of being seen as a bad mom, or of being dismissed, because either someone experienced the “exact same thing,” (this should have been obvious to me considering the fact that I am not an individual with my own experiences, and emotions, duh). I think my biggest fear in dismissal was the opposite though, I was terrified of being dismissed, because what I was going through might have been different than someone else, and instead of trying to hear and understand what I was saying, they would write me off as exaggerating.


Here’s the thing, I am writing this post, not to lament my experience, but to share it and use it as a tool for support for others. Whatever women may be experiencing post baby it is their experience, and they deserve to be heard, not constantly berated with stories, advice or thoughtless questions. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to have that first person be willing to sit, and hear me. I believed I was able to walk forward into motherhood with more confidence when I knew I had the ear and support of someone who wanted to know my thoughts and feelings about being a new mother, and let their need to “share” take a backseat for a second, and every new mom deserves this! Whether you are a new mom because you have had your first, adding a new addition to your family, or a new step-mother or adopted mom you deserve the opportunity for support while you find your new normal. Here are a few thoughts and general guidelines for working through this:


  1. The statement: “It takes a village” could not be more true! Find your people to help you adjust without judgement. This means listening to you, letting you cry in front of them, or knowing when to let you have space without making you feel guilty for “being too stingy with your new baby.”
  2. Find a way to process this surge of emotions, this can mean journaling, talking or doing something relaxing. This might seem like a crazy suggestion, because really, who has time to journal after a new baby, but sometimes things need to get out. Sometimes we can be so full of emotions and difficult thoughts that it impedes our rest. We all know how essential rest is with a new baby, so find a way to constructively process.
  3. Talk to someone, you are not meant to go through this alone! I cannot stress this enough, and you deserve to have someone who is willing to sit with you during the highs and lows of finding a new normal. You deserve someone who will laugh with you, and cry with you; not because they are trying to take your experience, but because they value you enough to partner with you during this difficult season.
  4. Celebrate where you are and what you are doing. You are the best possible mom for your children, because of the simple fact that YOU are their mother. This is huge, and worth celebrating! Even when the insecurities of finding this new normal seem overwhelming, try to remind yourself that you are doing exactly what you need to be doing by caring for your children, and when it comes to them specifically, no one can do it better than you!




My bookshelf is loaded with them:

Save your marriage
Rekindle the Romance
Couples on the Fault Line
Couples Guide to Communication
Relationship Rescue
Couple’s Survival Workbook
Too Good to Leave, too bad to Stay

Books, books and more books… all about trying to save your marriage. With nearly 50% of all marriages ending in divorce (66% for those who lived together prior to marriage), the publishing industry is making a KILLING selling these self-help books to couples that are trying anything to avoid becoming one of the statistics. The problem is, typically there is only one member of the couple reading the book and reaching out for help. For many couples, by the time they take the risk to seek help, it is already too late.

It’s kind of crazy when you think about it. People are investing tens of thousands of dollars on their weddings these days. Tens of thousands of dollars invested in something with a 50% chance of not surviving more than a few years! That’s crazy, right? The answer to this problem isn’t to avoid marriage. Research shows us that cohabitation is actually less stable and more damaging to the relationship. The answer to the problem of the high divorce rate is to be better PREPARED for marriage.

The ONLY thing that has proven to increase your chances of having a successful marriage by 30%??? Premarital counseling. I don’t care if you have dated for 10 years or lived together for 3… none of these things increase your chances of success as much as premarital counseling.

Let’s look at it this way: Let’s pretend you need to buy a new car. You decide that your best option is to buy a quality used car. You do your research and come up with a make and model that you like and then you go searching for the best deal. You find a car you like. It looks good, it drives well and so you pay the money and take it home. A few months later it breaks down. You take it in to the mechanic and discover that this car has some MAJOR mechanical issues. Your mechanic says, “Why didn’t you bring it in for me to look at it before you bought it? I could have told you this engine was a mess!” You curse yourself for buying the car so quickly based only on appearance and drive, but now you are stuck paying the bill to get your car back in shape.

Making a decision for marriage is MORE important than a decision for a car, but rarely do we evaluate much beyond appearances and “drivability”. We resist looking into deeper issues that may become significant months or even years into the marriage. We resist against building up our tools and learning to communicate better, manage conflict, and achieve intimacy because we argue that we get along just fine! The truth is, marriages typically break down at 2-5 years due to high conflict or at 10-12 years due to loss of intimacy. If you haven’t learned together how to “fight well” and how to stay connected to one another, you may become one of the statistics.

Before you say “I Do”, please consider making one of the most important investments into your marriage and getting some premarital counseling. I know the idea of counseling may be intimidating, but we promise we will try and make it as fun as we can and that you may feel closer and more confident about your relationship when you complete our course.

Call us today to get started ASAP!

Mention this bog post when you call and get $20 off our premarital package!