If Postpartum Feels Like Groundhog Day, You’re Not Alone

by Brood

Balancing the complex needs, desires, and emotions of the full spectrum of reproductive health can quickly turn the days into weeks and months. The feeling of overwhelm, burnout, and loss runs deep and the isolating nature of early parenthood or infertility can compound things further. If you’ve taken time out from your career or job to care for your baby, the days may feel like they’ll never end. Don’t forget: the sun always rises again. 

Fears, anxieties, and realizations may come into view, leaving you with a less-than-perfect sense of parenthood. If you zoom out and look at all you’ve gone through – even in the most joyful experiences – it might be surprising that you don’t feel more adrift though. Pregnancy, birth, and parenting is transformative – your cells literally change! – and it takes time to recalibrate, expand, and find your rhythm. As your hormones change, your emotions might change, and as your baby grows and develops, each waking brings with it new discoveries, curiosites, and challenges. This is normal—but if those feelings are all-encompassing, it might be a sign to seek more support and check in with your care provider. 

Finding parents in your community that you can tether to during this time of unpredictability and overwhelm is crucial. Sharing in similar parenting styles and values can deepen kinship, and make riding out any roller coaster moments less isolating. As you affirm each other in your experiences and feelings, the potential to be seen, held, and validated are bountiful. This can include your online communities, as well as in-person ones!

Pausing and taking care of yourself in moments of hardship will at the very least give you a moment to recoup, and at best provide more scaffolding to return to in the later challenges of parenthood.

This could look like:

Taking a hot, salty, oily, bath and listening to your favorite audio (podcast, meditations, songs, friends’ voices).

Having a standing session with your therapist that you attend solo while your baby is being cared for, or that you bring your baby to. See if your therapist can do virtual visits, or phone calls if walking and talking would feel nourishing to you.

Taking a moment in nature and calling your best friend, or soaking in the sights around you.

Making and/or enjoying a meal alone in the kitchen.

Sitting in bed and doing whatever comes to you: stare at the ceiling, scroll endlessly. Lie down and take as long as you need.

Discovering the kind of parenting you want to engage in will help you navigate some of the sticky periods to come. Take a pause, and consider some of the prompts below:

How do you want to parent in moments of delight and ease?

How do you want to parent in moments of clunky vulnerability, or moments of not being resourced?

What do you want your parenthood journey to look and feel like?

How do you want your child to feel, as a part of your family? How can you go about achieving that?

Parenthood is an adventure that requires constant recalibration and a gentle acceptance of the ebbs and flows that come with it. The feelings of overwhelm and isolation are real, but so is the support that can be found in both solo reflection and in community. By prioritizing self-care and connecting with others who share your values and experiences, you create a network of support that can help carry you through the tough times. As you reflect on your parenting journey, consider how you want to show up for yourself and your child, embracing the moments of joy and acknowledging the challenges with as much grace as possible. Parenthood is not about perfection but about presence, love, and the willingness to grow and adapt. So take a deep breath, lean into your support systems, and trust in your ability to navigate this complex time.

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We work and live on the unceded and occupied territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Since time immemorial, the original peoples of these lands have cared for their families and communities. We are committed to honouring their teachings, legacy and their sovereignty.


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