The Momma Interviews is a new blog series by Catherine O'Brien, LMFT highlighting the thoughts, experiences and wisdom of a unique real-world mom each week, to normalize and validate the struggles and triumphs that are a part of the universally human experience of motherhood for women everywhere.
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This week we are hearing from a first time momma, who is seven months in and struggling with a feeling of yearning for her "old life" again. Postpartum depression is very real and she is certainly not the only momma feeling this way. So, without further ado, I'd like you to meet Aradhna Sharma.
Here's her interview:
How do you balance the mom, work, and relationship roles?
I am only 7 months into this motherhood thing so I don't quite have the balancing act down yet.
Most moms I speak to say there are moments when they are ready to throw in the towel. Can you describe a time you felt this way? What got you through it?
One of my lowest moments was before I was diagnosed with PPD. I knew something was wrong, I could feel it, but I really just felt like it was due to exhaustion. My baby was not in a good mood, my in-laws (who I don't get along with) were living with us, we had just moved into our new house so there were boxes everywhere and contractors in and outside of the house making a ton of noise. and my husband was at work. I just wanted the baby to stop crying, my in-laws to disappear and the dog to stop barking. I needed silence and time to just cry. My parents happened to call at the right time and came to help me. It didn't make everything better just knowing there was someone here just for me made a world of difference in that moment.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed, overstretched, or less than?
My saving grace has been my family and close friends that are continuously checking in on me and helping me get through my rough times.
I've had parents tell me that one of the hardest things about being a parent is the comparisons and judgements from other parents. How do you personally cope with that?
Every person has their strengths and weaknesses. I have to constantly remind myself that no one is perfect. While one parent may be judging my parenting style, I am sure they have their struggles as well so it is important for me to not take it personally.
What is the great lesson you've learned as a mom?
It is okay to not be perfect. Your body, your house, your relationships will all have hard moments and that is OK. It is important to look at the big picture.
What is your favorite quote that inspires you as a mom?
Not the best quote but I've heard it a million times, "You do you."
What is the one piece of advice you'd like to give to other moms?
Being a mother is hard. You do not have to have it together all the time and it's ok if everything isn't perfect. You're doing your best.
What do you feel is your greatest personal struggle with the experience of motherhood?
I have been struggling with learning to balance and adjust to my new life. Being a mother is absolutely amazing but at times, I feel so selfish in wishing I had my "old life" back. This is something I am still working on.
How has your relationship with your partner changed? How has it stayed the same?
There has been quite a bit of tension between my husband and I. However, I think a lot of that is due to other stressors in our lives that are not related to us having a baby.
How has your relationship with your friends, family or support system changed? How has it stayed the same?
I have learned to love and appreciate my parents even more. I have such a great respect for everything they have done to give us the lives we have and to continue to support us even through adulthood. Many of my friends do not yet have children so I am finding it harder to connect with them these days.
What is something that has surprised you about being a mom (i.e. something you didn't realize you'd enjoy, something you didn't know babies/kids did, something you didn't know could bring so much joy)?
His smile gets me every single time.
How many children do you have? (Include the special make-up of your family steps, adopted, guardianships, halves- or no details at all- up to you!)
Share your relationship status.
If you'd like to participate in "The Momma Interviews" blog series, you can sign up and submit your answers here.