Finding Calm in The Chaos

“The only constant in life is change” – Heraclitus

As a new mom, I find myself at a milestone in life where everything around me is undergoing change. From my body and career to my home and relationships with my husband, family, and friends, it’s all transforming. This change has also brought about a sense of chaos, as change often does.

In the first three months, my days were a blur. My house resembled a place where a tornado of diapers, wipes, and onesies had gone through, until I found someone to assist with the chores. It took until the second month for my body to start feeling like my own again. The rollercoaster of hormone changes proved challenging as the steady dose of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy sharply decreased after giving birth.

During the first month, my home had been abuzz with family, conversations, and laughter. However, by the second month, our home grew quiet as family and guests returned to their lives, leaving my husband and I to navigate the changes in our new life with our little one.

Adapting to the changes in our relationship hadn’t been easy either. We no longer had the luxury of spending quality time – cuddling up and watching a full movie as we did in the past. Now, we consider ourselves lucky if we can find five minutes to sit together and relax. Exhausted from our days, we would take turns soothing our baby during the ‘witching hour’ from early evening until midnight, when he would fuss a lot.

My friendships have also experienced significant changes. Finding time to hang out became nearly impossible, and returning calls would often take me a couple of days – although, in my mind, those two days felt like a condensed half-day. Phone conversations were cut short, and sometimes I couldn’t even return calls due to tending to the baby.

Keeping up with work became like a marathon during those precious quiet moments when the baby slept for longer periods. It wasn’t easy to maintain focus on technical tasks with limited hours of sleep. Additionally, figuring out how to pump when away or at work presented its own set of challenges.

Pregnancy was challenging, but I’ve discovered that the postpartum period can be even more difficult. If you have a friend who is a new mom, be sure to check in on her. If she doesn’t answer the phone, understand that she likely doesn’t have a moment to spare, even though she would love to talk.

The hormonal changes and the transition into life after birth contribute to postpartum blues or depression. This term encompasses the feelings of sadness, overwhelm, exhaustion, and frustration that a new mom experiences while caring for a newborn while adjusting to the changes happening within and around her.

Personally, I didn’t feel the weight of postpartum depression until my third week – then it hit me. I was overwhelmed by a mix of emotions, and tears were never far behind. If I could go back in time and talk to myself, I would reassure myself that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and happiness and joy will soon return.

Throughout this journey, what has helped me the most, and continues to do so, is having a strong support system. Having my mom and family, as well as feeling valued and supported at work, have been crucial in finding a sense of calm amidst the current chaos in my life. 

It is also extremely important to have a sense of ‘me-time’. In those moments where I would get someone who would watch the baby, listening to a bit of mediation or reading a short article on a topic that interests me always helped. Planned date nights with my husband, outings to reconnect with friends and making space to keep up with my hobbies even though I would do all of them less frequently has been revitalizing for me.

If you find yourself seeking calm during times of change, my advice is to find your anchors – the things that hold you steady as life’s waves crash around you. It could be your family, your work, or your passion. My anchor amidst these turbulent waves has been my family, my work and of course my son – a true blessing and gift from God. His sweet face has the power to melt away all exhaustion and frustration in one miraculous sweep, reminding me of my strength and the miracle of his existence.

Written by: Helina Abye

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