Fiona, please accept my heartfelt greetings. What should I do now that I’ve had a baby and am feeling out of my depth?
“I’ve always thought of myself as a capable, well-organized businesswoman who can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. I had a successful career and was always well-liked because I was in charge of my company’s foreign divisions. Even though I was unwell with morning sickness, I worked throughout my pregnancy and only stopped two weeks before my baby was delivered.
“I’d never understood why women made such a big deal about having a baby, taking time off, and complained about being exhausted. It’s only a small person, so how much effort does it require? I used to think that most mothers were wimps, but here I am, three months later, so tired, drained, and fatigued that I don’t get dressed until late in the afternoon on some days! I spend a lot of time crying, and if I do manage to leave the house, it takes me almost an hour to get out the front door.
“I’m afraid of forgetting something vital because there’s so much to remember. I feel as if I’ll never be able to cope with it all, and if my coworkers could see me now, they’d be astounded. I’m feeling bleak, and I’m afraid my spouse may lose patience with me if I don’t get myself together.”
“You’re not hopeless; you’re simply a typical new mother!”
“Around 75% of mums reading this will understand exactly how you feel, despite the fact that they won’t all have had such high-flying professions before delivering a baby. Babies may be small humans, but they’re engineered to increase our anxiety levels — it’s how they survive, by keeping us on the lookout for their every need.
“I’m sure you’re used to office-like routines with people in your immediate vicinity taking charge of their own tasks. As you’ve discovered, babies aren’t like that. However, I’m disturbed by the fact that you say you’re in tears a lot of the time, and while your experience with a new infant is natural, (This is a brief piece.)