"It is very important to make sure you have the emotional energy to raise your baby in a way that establishes a secure attachment. This means taking concrete steps to deal with depression, marital discord, and [anything else] that may cause you to be distracted from being truly "present" with your baby. It also means looking for help from every available source."
- Linda Acredolo, Ph.D, & Susan Goodwyn, Ph.D, authors of Baby Hearts: A Guide to Giving Your Child an Emotional Head Start (2005)
Is this you? You have recently had a baby and are feeling anxious and overwhelmed by your new role and responsibilities. You find yourself worrying about everything and sometimes find it difficult to enjoy your baby.
Is this you? You and your partner seem to have lost the lustre in your relationship. The transition from being a couple to becoming parents has taken its toll: you argue more than you would like to and are often too tired to attend to your own needs, let alone your partner’s. You feel misunderstood and underappreciated at times, and intimacy has become a struggle.
Is this you? You love your child and cherish your role as a parent. But something still feels missing in your life. You think you may need more balance to feel more fulfilled, but have no idea how to go about getting it, and aren’t even sure what you can do realistically to change things.
Parenting is an incredible journey. Along with the wonder and love come transitions and challenges that can feel discouraging, scary, and frustrating. Processing these feelings and learning how to cope with all of the changes that parenthood brings can be difficult when you are sleep deprived and just trying to do your best to manage the day ahead.
If you are struggling in any way, you are not alone. Support is essential to building confidence and helping you balance being a parent with being yourself.
Elana Sures has a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia and is a member of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. She has had extensive experience counselling adults, couples and families, and has a deep familiarity with issues involving infants, children and parenting.