Being a mom is hard enough for anyone, but if you have newborn, or multiple newborns, the workload and stress levels increase enormously. It’s one of the reasons that support groups where moms can get together to offer advice and lend a helping hand are so important.
Moms need all the assistance they can get, practically and emotionally, and it’s good to know you can call on women who understand what you’re going through when times are tough. For some women, there can be additional problems that make their life a constant struggle. If you’ve got a friend or know a mom who isn’t coping very well, see if there’s anything you can do to help.
1. Relationship problems
Having kids puts the most rock solid of relationships under strain, and if a mom isn’t getting the support she needs from her partner, she’ll find it hard to cope. If one of your fellow moms makes a comment that indicates she’s having relationship difficulties, or if she never mentions her partner, there could be trouble at home.
See if you can encourage her to open up about what’s going on. It could be a problem that needs a practical solution, like giving the couple a night off from the kids now and then; or having someone to talk to may be all your friend needs to clear her mind. Sometimes the problem is more serious, for example, domestic abuse. Many women are reluctant to admit this is an issue for them, and a lot of emotionally abused women aren’t even aware there’s a problem other than that they feel low.
If abuse is an issue, help your friend seek professional advice and support. Abusers don’t change, and your friend’s life will continue to be unhappy if she can’t be helped to make some changes of her own.
Some moms turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the stress of their lives, but although these might offer temporary relief, in the end, they’ll just make your friend feel worse. You might notice she’s taken to drinking regularly or see her health start to deteriorate. The sooner you can get her help for her addiction, the sooner she’ll recover and start feeling happier and healthier. For example, this option is one place to seek help. Make sure you’re supportive if substance abuse is the problem because being judgmental won’t help the situation at all.
3. Mental health
Postpartum depression is a condition that can affect any woman after she’s had a baby, so if your friend seems unduly down, negative, or perhaps stops coming out, it could well be due to postpartum depression. With treatment, the condition can be alleviated, so help your friend get medical advice and support from fellow sufferers if you can. Postpartum depression isn’t the only mental health condition new moms experience, and any warning signs like changes in behavior or appearance should sound alarm bells for you.
You can’t be expected to take on everyone else’s problems when you’re a mom yourself, but the help and support you give to someone in need could make all the difference to theirs and their family’s wellbeing.