Didn’t expect this when you were expecting?

[Continuing the Your life back on track article series from Jessica Kasevich of JK Therapy…]

Mother’s Fatigue

JK Therapy Expecting Hoboken NJ Your Life Back on Track Jessica KasevichBy Jessica Kasevich (with Sophia Shaikh)

She was exhausted.

She quietly stole a moment for herself as she rested her head on a throw pillow. She reminisced about the carefree and happy memory of picking out the pillow when they bought their first piece of furniture together, a year after they met. As she laid there she realized she was experiencing the same feeling of fatigue she did when she was the top Real Estate agent in Hoboken.

This time the fatigue was from caring for her beautiful new born baby boy Matthew, who became colicky the minute they arrived home from the hospital.

What not to Expect when Becoming a Mother

She had always wanted to be a mother. This desire became stronger when she met her husband. She saw that he was a family man and together they could make this dream of hers come true. She loved the way he took care of his parents, checking in on them daily, doing their grocery shopping when needed and driving them to their doctor’s appointments. She respected him tremendously for putting the needs of his parents first and knew that their family together would be his priority.

When she found out she was pregnant she felt so blessed with the feeling that she had it all; a great career, loving relationship with her husband and now a child on the way. She dreamed of quiet feedings in the rocking chair her grandmother left her, short cat naps while her baby took his, and lunch dates with her girlfriends and their babies. She was glad to finally be in “the mommy club” and looked forward to sharing the challenges of motherhood with her girlfriends, as well as embracing the rewarding moments of being a mother.

Promise to Self

What to expect when expecting in Hoboken NJ mother sadnessShe had promised herself early on in the pregnancy that she would strive to maintain a balance in her life remembering not to lose her sense of self while still being a caring friend, wife, and mother. This promise became difficult when she had to meet the needs of her colicky child. She did not have nearby family to offer support and her parents were presently in their 70’s living in a nursing home.

She began to isolate herself in her home as the stares in the grocery store and bank from fellow patrons became too much for her to handle, making her question her ability to mother her child: “Why can’t I make him comfortable? What am I doing wrong? Maybe I do not know how to be a mom?”

She felt emotionally and physically spent, and frustrated because she could not meet her child’s needs. She hated to say this because she loved her husband and her child with all of her heart but this was not what she expected when she found out she was expecting. She desired adult conversation and some time to herself.

She missed the daily hour of yoga that centered her before she became a mother. She could not remember the last time she wore makeup or dressed up for a dinner out, because it truly felt that all twenty-four hours of the day were dedicated to her son.

Although her husband provided as much support as he was able she found it was not enough to prevent her overwhelming feelings of sadness. These feelings of sadness were nothing she could have prepared for. She never expected to feel depressed as a new mother. She felt ashamed of her depression and the reason it evolved. She could not tell her husband after all, being married to him and having a child together was all she every wanted. She wondered if she would ever feel “normal” again.

Balance of Roles

How do we maintain a balance of being a wife, mother, and friend while caring for our own needs when the needs of our family take precedent?

When can we as mothers tell ourselves that we are doing our best and our best is just that? How can we recognize that these feelings of being overwhelmed, out of control, or depressed are signals that we must care for ourselves to enable our own psyche to be healthy; fueling a healthy mindset toward our little ones? Whether we are parents or not we all have the struggle of maintaining or own identity in the different roles we subscribe to. Is it wrong to want a balance in our lives as mothers?

When relationships and roles begin to take over your own inner identity causing sadness, we must understand that this is normal and it is perfectly okay to ask for help.

6 Responses

  1. joey maxim says:

    well versed article..60+ years ago many moms were not real estate agents and delt with
    pregnancy ,took care of the house apt or what ever and endured the trials and tribulations
    of rasing a family asking no rewards ..No nannys no house keepers no dog walkers and put a meal on the table..sent kids off to school etc..one mom could raise 5 but r could not
    tend to one mother…the old saying goes you had fun making them now u take care of them…Yoga kobala class ? give me a break…new era new world..one either has kids and
    dosent bitch or not..Nannys never raised kids 60+ years ago..new era times change but
    that article is wowwwwwwwwwwwwww. :roll:

    • JKTherapy says:

      What I am saying in this article is… whatever roles and responsibilities we strive to excel at (employee, boyfriend, stepfather, and friend) we may become frustrated over not being able to achieve our own expectations. This may create fatigue, anxiety and depression and is normal. Do we really just want to “suck it up” and “manage” the relationships we have, or do we want to push through the challenge and strive to be our best selves in order to cultivate and nurture our relationships, whether that is with a new born child or a long time friend? [quote comment=”221687″]well versed article..60+ years ago many moms were not real estate agents and delt withpregnancy ,took care of the house apt or what ever and endured the trials and tribulationsof rasing a family asking no rewards ..No nannys no house keepers no dog walkers and put a meal on the table..sent kids off to school etc..one mom could raise 5 but r could nottend to one mother…the old saying goes you had fun making them now u take care of them…Yoga kobala class ? give me a break…new era new world..one either has kids anddosent bitch or not..Nannys never raised kids 60+ years ago..new era times change butthat article is wowwwwwwwwwwwwww. [/quote]

  2. john14 says:

    Maybe this therapist should have told the whiny mom that if she cares more about yoga and hanging out with friends, she was not fit to be a mother of a baby child. People want everything these days without sacrifice. Does she not know the immense amount of responsibility having a kid is today? Or ever? In fact, I wouldn’t even call giving up yoga and happy hour much of a sacrifice compared to the beauty of raising a child in a loving home.

  3. hokimbokenwitz says:

    You guys seriously- a bunch of insensitive pricks. I’m a soon-to-be dad living in Hoboken with my wife of 3 years. Yes, everyone wants the ideal child but it doesn’t always happen. What’s happening to you Jessica, is presently happening to my wife’s first cousin and best friend. Having a difficult baby is just that difficult. She’s not saying she needs all of these things in her life, it would just be nice to have. Post-partum depression is a very real thing and affects so many young moms. Things were very different back in the day. Women weren’t expected to maintain a career- they were housewives. Now the roles have reversed. Many men are even stay at home dad’s and the wives work. Sign of the times.This woman is trying her best to maintain her dignity and enjoy a little bit of life while trying to enjoy her child. Give her a FREAKING BREAK- she’s having a rough go at it. The last thing she wants someone to say is boo freaking hoo- show some support- she was brave enough to tell a very real story that happens to so many women. At least she feels like she has an outlet to vent- many internalize and spiral deeper into that depression. Good for you Jessica! I’m sure you’ve heard it- it will pass -but it doesn’t make it easier. Stay strong.

    My only hope and wish for my wife is that she doesn’t go through this as well- but if she does – I’ll do my best to be the best damn support and lifeline I can possibly be.
    Thanks for sharing- hopefully that’s the last of the trash talk and you receive a lot of positive recognition for doing everything you can and hanging in there. Just keep doing the best you can and in time- things WILL get better.

    • JKTherapy says:

      Congratulations to you and your wife! Though this story is not about me, I do like to write from a position that seems as if it is from my own personal experience. I do this in order to draw in the reader so they can truly understand the message I am trying to convey, as you have. You hit the nail on the head!
      I have seen the struggles of so many woman and men who come to my office trying to achieve the balance of the different roles they have, trying to decrease the stress they put on themselves to be the best they can in every role. I do not believe this is possible. I believe we are better at home sometimes then we are at work, vice versa. We are better friends sometimes then employees, the pendulum swings back and forth and this is normal. It is hard to accept, especially when one first become parents that is normal. For example, some of my clients struggle to be the best provider while knowing they have to leave the office early in the afternoon to make their child’s little league game. (Remember rushing for the sonograms). Though trying to fulfill one’s roles is challenging enough, adding the responsibility of caring for the needs of an ill or developmentally delayed child can be overwhelming. Why don’t other readers think its ok to say “I am overwhelmed and need help or time for myself to rejuvenate? We ask our bosses to meet the same needs but phrase it differently “I need a personal day, a break, a vacation?”
      Post partum depression is real and can make caring for any child difficult. If one has ever felt depressed they have experienced difficulty caring for their own needs, (not wanting to get out of bed, interact with others) couple that with caring for new born babies’ need, extremely difficult. No one believes as new parents that they are going to have to struggle to meet their babies needs, Happy and Healthy baby is what everyone envisions right? When the challenge of parenting and playing all of our roles become overwhelming it’s courageous to ask for help and rejuvenate ourselves to be our best selves for our children. All the best to you and your new family !
      [quote comment=”221692″]You guys seriously- a bunch of insensitive pricks. I’m a soon-to-be dad living in Hoboken with my wife of 3 years. Yes, everyone wants the ideal child but it doesn’t always happen. What’s happening to you Jessica, is presently happening to my wife’s first cousin and best friend. Having a difficult baby is just that difficult. She’s not saying she needs all of these things in her life, it would just be nice to have. Post-partum depression is a very real thing and affects so many young moms. Things were very different back in the day. Women weren’t expected to maintain a career- they were housewives. Now the roles have reversed. Many men are even stay at home dad’s and the wives work. Sign of the times.This woman is trying her best to maintain her dignity and enjoy a little bit of life while trying to enjoy her child. Give her a FREAKING BREAK- she’s having a rough go at it. The last thing she wants someone to say is boo freaking hoo- show some support- she was brave enough to tell a very real story that happens to so many women. At least she feels like she has an outlet to vent- many internalize and spiral deeper into that depression. Good for you Jessica! I’m sure you’ve heard it- it will pass -but it doesn’t make it easier. Stay strong.My only hope and wish for my wife is that she doesn’t go through this as well- but if she does – I’ll do my best to be the best damn support and lifeline I can possibly be.Thanks for sharing- hopefully that’s the last of the trash talk and you receive a lot of positive recognition for doing everything you can and hanging in there. Just keep doing the best you can and in time- things WILL get better.[/quote]

    • JKTherapy says:

      Thanks for the support in saying no more trash talk. Having roles and responsibilities to others and one’s self is extremely difficult, coupling that with a special needs baby and life does become more difficult to manage. I like to refer to couples as “teams” because this is the approach that gets most through the difficult times, whether the difficulty in the relationship stems from a special needs child, loss of income, caring for elder parents and the struggle needs to be managed together with open communication. If you “sucking it up,” as the other writer stated, resentment builds and the situation never gets resolved. A healthy “team” should want each party to be happy with the situation they are in and work toward fulfilling that goal for the other and for themselves. Once these wants and needs are communicated it is up to the team to decide how they are going to execute the next plays to resolve the challenge. People who “suck things up,” are saying, I am ok with what is really happening in my life and I accept that. (Examples: underpaid job, relationship, lack of good relationship, abusive relationships). Growth can only happen in one’s life through the courageous move of changing one’s mindset and acting on the shift.

      Yes post partum depression is real. Mothers who have two kids and never experienced post partum depression before can have it after their third child. Many different variables in one’s life impact the likelihood of post partum depression surfacing. The best advice I tell my clients after they deliver, is to monitor symptoms for depression. If symptoms do persist then they need to call their MD to discuss these symptoms. Most depression I see with woman who come to me after they give birth is having a difficult time adjusting to being a new mother (balancing roles). Though post partum depression is real, it is important to distinguish between the difficulty adjusting and post partum depression. Usually post partum depression presents with no triggers. Depression or difficulty adjusting may present for mothers because they may feel they are not doing the best she can as a mother, feeling that one is being pulled in different directions.
      Thank you for responding to the article. You team will do great in this new chapter! Congratulations to both you and your wife. JK
      [quote comment=”221692″]You guys seriously- a bunch of insensitive pricks. I’m a soon-to-be dad living in Hoboken with my wife of 3 years. Yes, everyone wants the ideal child but it doesn’t always happen. What’s happening to you Jessica, is presently happening to my wife’s first cousin and best friend. Having a difficult baby is just that difficult. She’s not saying she needs all of these things in her life, it would just be nice to have. Post-partum depression is a very real thing and affects so many young moms. Things were very different back in the day. Women weren’t expected to maintain a career- they were housewives. Now the roles have reversed. Many men are even stay at home dad’s and the wives work. Sign of the times.This woman is trying her best to maintain her dignity and enjoy a little bit of life while trying to enjoy her child. Give her a FREAKING BREAK- she’s having a rough go at it. The last thing she wants someone to say is boo freaking hoo- show some support- she was brave enough to tell a very real story that happens to so many women. At least she feels like she has an outlet to vent- many internalize and spiral deeper into that depression. Good for you Jessica! I’m sure you’ve heard it- it will pass -but it doesn’t make it easier. Stay strong.My only hope and wish for my wife is that she doesn’t go through this as well- but if she does – I’ll do my best to be the best damn support and lifeline I can possibly be.Thanks for sharing- hopefully that’s the last of the trash talk and you receive a lot of positive recognition for doing everything you can and hanging in there. Just keep doing the best you can and in time- things WILL get better.[/quote]

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