Mental Health, Postpartum and Beyond

Not Mine

Last week I had a difficult thought. My body is not my own.

I wake up every day and I get my daughter dressed and ready for the day. I feed her, clean the house, and play with her. Generally I’m cleaning while holding her or trying to keep her busy. I hold her until she sleeps and some days while she sleeps. I get bit, scratched, and have my attention demanded for all day. Then, I bathe her and help her to bed.

Then, my husband comes home or he’s already home, and now he wants to cuddle, be sexual, or in general just have some sort of physical contact. In general, all of those things are great. After a long day of having to care for someone else, it can make my skin crawl to even think about more physical contact at the end of the day.

I feel terrible writing it out. I’m a mom now. If my daughter or house (as in any cleaning to be done) needs something then I take care of them first. It should be easy to take care of my daughter and house all day and not feel used up at the end of the day. It’s not though. It can be draining and even violating to be constantly touched and needed by someone all day.

This is a feeling and thought that should be discussed more. It should also be normalized. I know I’m a good mom. I know I try my best every day. The days when I feel gross when someone touches me makes me feel like I’m a failure, a bad mom, and a bad wife.

I’m none of those things and if you’ve felt similarly to me, neither are you. It’s normal to feel used up after taking care of someone else all day. It’s also normal to want to not feel like sex is being expected at the end of a long day like that. If we’re cuddling or hugging (specifically my husband and I), is the butt and/or boob grab necessary?

Well, it’s okay. It’s okay if you’re feeling like you want to be in a no touch bubble. It’s okay if you don’t want to have sex. It’s okay and you’re doing good.

Remember to vocalize to your partner how you’re doing. Vocalize to a friend or family that some days you just feel exhausted of being touched all the time. A chat with your partner can help put you on a track to where you will feel sexual again. It will at least stop the unwanted grabs that instantly turn you off at least. A chat with a friend/family will help you get everything off your chest. They may even be able to related to you so you’ll know that you’re not alone in feeling like this.

To the parents feeling like their body doesn’t belong to them, you’re not alone and it’s okay. Things will get better and until they do, do not feel like you’re not good enough.

Did anyone you know warn you that you may experience any of these feelings? During my pregnancy I don’t think anyone gave me that warning. It was all just “you’re never going to sleep again” comments and general “your life will be so different”.

As always, let me know what you think! Would telling an expecting parent that these feelings may come be helpful or just scare them?

Thank you for stopping by and I will see you next time!

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Postpartum and Beyond

The Dreaded Teething

Teething is the worst. There’s tears, frustration, confusion, and on top of that your baby is in pain and crying as well. Today, we are looking at some tips and tricks on getting through those teething times with your little one.

Take a Step Back

First, as frustrating as it is, and it is so frustrating, remember that they are so confused. They don’t get why their mouth hurts. Honestly, even if they did it would still suck. Mouth/teeth pain has got to be one of the most uncomfortable and unpleasant things. So, you just have to take a step back and remember that what they’re going through sucks. You can add some crying of your own if you like, however it’s not necessary.

Teething Rings

Get a bunch of different cooling teething rings and toys. There’s ones that are shaped like keys, that also double as pacifiers, ones shaped like animals, actual rings, and the list goes on and on. Pick a few different ones and get them nice and cool. Keep a couple of them warm and see if your baby just prefers that instead. If one teething item doesn’t work, maybe your little one prefers a different one.

Cold Washcloth

So, at one point my little one hated all of her teething rings. I don’t know what happened, they just weren’t doing it for her. I took a couple of her washcloths, got them wet, and I put one in the freezer and one in the fridge. Once they were both really cooled down I let her chew on those. The plus side to these were they stayed colder longer, but they were really cold on the hands and they got everything wet.

Frozen breast milk/formula/ice

You know those mesh food containers? You’re going to need one of those for this one. I, personally, made a bunch of formula ice cubes. Then, when my little one seemed to have a hard time eating because it hurt her, I put the formula cube into the mesh container and let her have it. It helped to ease her pain, plus she still kind of got some food. (Just to be clear I did not use that to replace a meal) If you breast feed you can also pump and freeze your breast milk. You can also simply grab some ice and see if they like that. I recommend using the mesh food container just to help protect against any potential choking and it has a handle to protect against cold fingers.

Distraction

Try to do things that your baby enjoys. Go outside for a walk, take a warm bath, sing a song, whatever your baby usually really enjoys just try that. You might be able to at least distract them for a little bit.

Pain Reliever

I never used any sort of ibuprofen, however, it is always an option if your child seems to be in a lot of pain.

Vanilla Extract

I’ve also never tried this one, however one of my friends swears by it. If I ever actually had vanilla extract in the house, I probably would have used it. The method behind this one is to put a dab of it on your finger and then to rub it on the gums.

Thoughts

I know I missed a fairly obvious one that a lot of people use which is teething gel. However, my pediatrician recommended not to use it. I also saw that the FDA had issued a recall on a lot of teething gels (sprays, etc) because there were more risks than benefits.

Honestly, the most important thing to get you through teething is patience and understanding. I know, it’s tough when you’ve got a screaming child that you can’t seem to calm down. Just remember you can get through this!

Let me know what you think! Do you have any tips and tricks on surviving teething? Don’t forget to share with your friends! Make sure everyone has some relief to get through teething.