Unlike the past where we have the support of a big family, today's mums have to manage almost entirely on their own. There is no doubt that the baby is precious but if the mum completely dedicates all the time she has to the baby, there will be times when the mum feels troubled, frustrated and occasionally, depressed. There are many mums today who have no one to turn to for support during such times and have to bear the burden by themselves.
Internet and books may be important sources of information but communication with someone is still the best. Always remember that you can talk to the people around you, including your family, friends, family doctor or parenting counselling centres.
There are no mums who are perfect right from the start. Do not try to do everything by yourself. Get all the help and support you need.
Try to talk to someone whom you trust about how you are feeling. Experienced mums and professionals can provide reliable support. You'll be surprised how much better you'll feel just by speaking to someone.
Babies are very sensitive to the feelings of their mums. When you look depressed, your baby will also feel unhappy. When you are smiling, your baby will feel happy too. Take some time off from housework occasionally to rest, relax and play with your baby.
A newborn baby can see things from as far as 30cm. When you change your baby's diapers, look into his eyes, smile and talk to him. When your baby can sense and feel much love, he will feel assured and be at ease.
"Darling, you have peed. That's wonderful!" "Sweetheart, you pooed a lot. Well done!" When the baby is praised by the mum, he feels relaxed. Mum's earnest efforts to clean your baby are effectively communicated to your baby.
Massage your baby's legs in a circular motion after changing his diapers. When your baby learns how to kick his legs, talk to him saying: "Wow, you can move your legs a lot now" or "Your legs are so strong now". Communicate with your baby and enjoy the diaper-changing moments. Babies love physical contact. Furthermore, physical contact can help the mum to relax. Try to spend every diaper-changing session together with tenderness and love.
Parenting, including changing diapers, does not always go smoothly according to our wishes. Even though you may not be able to do everything perfectly, it is okay. It is more important to be optimistic, to tell yourself that you'll do better the next time. It is alright to feel inadequate because everything is new to you. You do not have to be able to handle everything all at once. Improving step by step means you are making good progress.
Finding joy in the little things that you manage to do for your baby will go a long way in bringing you the joy of parenting.