Dear Therapist: Being a new mum is making me anxious

Making sense of the world we inhabit

By Prateeksha Shetty

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Published: Thu 21 Apr 2022, 9:32 PM

I’m a new mother and I am having a lot of anxiety about failing at parenting. I have this fear that I will not be able to do justice in raising my beautiful daughter and she deserves the world. To think this way really shatters me and unfortunately, parenting doesn’t come with a manual. I feel alone in my concern as I’m scared if I share this with my family they will judge me for it. — Name withheld

Dear Writer, it’s very possible that you are suffering from Postpartum Anxiety. Your anxiety on parenting is more common than you think and only by opening up to other mothers and family members, can you get the help that you need! You are not alone and you may find support groups or required help at your nearest mental health clinic or via tele-health services these days. This is definitely not a sign of weakness and is one of the common conditions that go undetected by healthcare professionals.

Remember, only when you are well can you do the best for your daughter! One of the things I recommend for you is learning to delegate duties and responsibilities related to childcare or house chores; if you can hire help, go ahead as that will open up more time and space for yourself and bonding time. Raising your daughter is not your sole responsibility; working on this inflated sense of responsibility will be your next priority. Simultaneously, incorporate rituals of self-care in whatever form it comes. This can be a power nap, a long shower, an evening walk or a cup of tea with friends. I would also recommend that you learn relaxation strategies to facilitate a sense of calm and control in your daily life. As weeks and months pass, you will adapt to motherhood and learn to juggle your new role. However, if your anxiety continues to cripple you, it is best not to delay any further and seek help from a psychotherapist in addition to a consulting with your gynaecologist.

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