Postpartum and Beyond

No Motivation

How about YOU make ME some food?

It’s Monday (or whatever day, parenting don’t stop for the weekend) you’re feeling drained and you want to just take some extra time for yourself. What happens? All of a sudden your baby is up early and demanding attention. Unfortunately, you can’t call in sick. You also can’t just ignore the crying and hope it stops. So, here are some tips for when you just can’t seem to get going as a parent.

1. Breathe

Of course. Take a deep breath in, inhale some positivity and big old breath out, get rid of those negative thoughts. Repeat a couple more times.

2. Just do it

Just like how you drag yourself into work or that family gathering that you really didn’t want to go to, just get up and go. You are a parent and you are a good one. So, let’s get up and take care of that baby. You love that baby and they love you. So let’s go.

3. Take a break during the day

So, you’re up and convincing yourself to keep going, that’s great. Now take some time to yourself when you can. Baby is asleep? Sweet, set up your baby monitor or just put Baby in the same room as you. Take some time to take care of yourself. Paint your nails, play a video game (probably a bit on the quieter side so you don’t spoil your you time), take a bath. Whatever it is that makes you feel better, do it.
If you can have someone else watch Baby for a little while, this works even better. Get out of the house by yourself. Feels weird right? Enjoy your you time.

4. Take Baby outside

Nature is great, it really is. If you let it it can really help mellow you out and feel better. Get Baby ready and take a walk around the block. Walking around seem like too much? Sit outside. It’s too cold, too hot, or maybe you just don’t have enough in you to even make it outside. That’s fine. Open up those blinds. Show you and Baby stuff out in the world. Where do you think that car is going little one? Oh, there goes our loud neighbor again. You can make it fun and silly. Baby will like it and congrats, you weren’t beating yourself up about something that needed to be done but you weren’t doing.

5. Prioritize

I’m sure there’s something that needs to be done. Dishes, laundry, whatever. Relax. If you’re struggling just to take care of Baby then do the bare minimum. Maybe just take care of the dishes right now (you and Baby need something to use to eat). Are the clean clothes really bothering you that much? Then, put away what you can, but don’t freak out if you can’t get to all of it. If you have a washer and dryer, dirty clothes are easiest to take care of. You can leave clean clothes in the drier, just get around to putting it away eventually.

6. Remind yourself you’re doing it

There’s no way this is the first time you’ve felt a little burnt out or struggled to get your day going. It’s not going to be your last. One day I felt so burnt out, felt fine the next day, and then my motivation left me again the day after. It’s frustrating, it’s annoying, but it’s okay. Don’t bring yourself down because you didn’t get everything you wanted done and definitely don’t bring yourself down because you’re having a hard time getting motivated.
Remind yourself that you are doing it. You’ve gotten through times in your life before when you had no motivation and you’re going to get through this one. Be kind to yourself. You don’t need anyone bringing you down right now. Be a friend to yourself.

7. Tackle as a team

If you are lucky enough to be raising Baby with a partner ask them to take care of the baby. There have been a few times where I just couldn’t get up at that exact moment (five more minutes, please child), I poked my husband and said, “Can you please take her?” He would take her, feed her and change her and put her back to bed. This gave me those precious extra minutes that I needed to prepare myself for the day.
If you’re a solo parent, then see if you can get someone to come over for a little bit so you can (tip three) take time to yourself.

Some thoughts

If you frequently: have trouble getting motivated, feel down, think about harming self, Baby, or other loved ones, or have extreme anxiety then talk to someone. If possible, go into a doctor’s office and let them know how you’re feeling. If not possible (money should be the main reason here), then call a friend or a family member. Let someone know how you’re feeling.
A new baby can bring on a bunch of overwhelming feelings for both mom and dad. Don’t put on a brave face and just ignore what’s happening to you. You are not weak or a lesser person if you need a little extra help.
Remember, be kind to yourself but stay strong. You’re an adult so you still have responsibilities, but if it takes you a little bit longer to get to some stuff, don’t sweat it.

Let me know what you think! Do you have any ways that help keep you going when you just can’t seem to parent?

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