Tips for New Moms: Three Steps for Sanity

In This Article:

How do moms prevent becoming depleted? How do we demand help from our spouses or accept the injustice that things are not going to change? How do we acknowledge the rage we feel without torching our marriages? Here are some of the conclusions that been-there-done-that moms have come to – bread crumbs for your first visit to this perilous forest.

Hurl Pots, and Then Make a Plan
When my sister and I, thirteen months apart, were both under the age of three, my mom took us to see the pediatrician, concerned about our wakefulness during the night and fussiness during the day. She told the kind doctor how frustrated and worried she was that something was amiss with our behavior.

The pediatrician prescribed two very sound treatment options: "First, install a gate outside of the girls' bedroom so they can't automatically bother you when they wake up. Secondly, go out to your garage once a week while the kids are asleep. Take the extra clay flowerpots you have around and one by one, hurl and smash the pots on the wall."

Hurl pots. That's what no one tells a new mom. Rage simply isn't among the traits we expect of cookie-baking, hand-holding mothers. Yet when asked, moms of every age admitted that rage was a defining characteristic of early motherhood.

Time-Outs for Mom
If the tempest erupts in the presence of your child, take a time out. In moments of fury, every parent realizes how capable he or she is becoming violent with a child. Be the best role model you can and show little fireball Devon how to count to ten, take deep breaths, or leave a situation till you can calm down.

If you're seething over your rights being trampled, try not to hiss and spew indiscriminately at your spouse. Ultimately, the paintball game in which you shoot splats of anger at him will only make him defend himself or run off. You won't change him and his loafing ways, unless you have a more strategic plan.

Start taking your livid self out of the house on a regular basis for cool-downs. This in itself will be progress, a decision to put yourself first, say, one night each week. Split a three-hour break in half, one part for pampering or exercise, one part for hard thinking. (If you decide to exercise, work out long or hard enough for endorphins to kick in. That sweet rush of adrenaline is darn near orgasmic for tight-wired moms.)

When you've de-stressed a bit, take some time to consider these valuable lessons from psychologist and author Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., in her book The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships:

  • Venting anger may not help. It tends to protect or solidify, rather than challenge, the existing rules or patterns of a relationship.

  • The only person we can truly change or control is our own self.

  • Blaming and fighting are often ineffective methods for exacting change, and ways to avoid the more threatening job of changing your self.

Next: Page 2 >>

excerpted from:

From What No One Tells the Mom by Marg Stark. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book, visit Amazon or click on the book cover.

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here


Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

© 2000-2015 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.