Finding Balance as a New Working Mom

Michelle, a new mom, writes about Finding Balance as a New Working Mom on the Kelty Mental Health website blog. After returning to work, she tries to establish routines, but finds that life is not predictable. When her husband comes down with the flu and she has to pick up his share of the childcare routines it was a real challenge. The experience makes Michelle value the support systems she has. She particularly credits her co-workers, who leaven the stresses of everyday life with “advice, solutions or a little comic relief!” She made a list ofother little ways that I make time for connecting – songs in the car with my son; a text message to a friend from the bus; FaceTime with our parents after dinner; takeout with our neighbors on Friday night. These are all examples of little connections that can add up to make a big difference in creating balance in a busy schedule.”

Two resources for new moms experiencing a significant level of distress are Anxiety BC for Mothers and BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services

The Anxiety BC website offers stories of real life experiences of mothers during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The website is produced by four mothers who are also mental health professionals. Each has faced her own worries during pregnancy and “that rollercoaster first year with a newborn”. They started the website after finding a lack of online resources on how to manage anxiety during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Sections on the website include Feeling Anxious?, Taking Care, Flexible Thinking, Facing Fears and For the Family. They recommend taking it slow and trying one thing at a time for at least a few weeks, bearing in mind that some strategies take repeated practice and don’t really ‘kick in’ for a little while. They stress that the material is provided for educational purposes only and that it should not be used for diagnostic purposes. They stress the need to seek professional help if you experience worrying symptoms.

The BC Mental Health & Substance Use Issues page has sections on Pre-Pregnancy, Pregnancy, Postpartum, Pregnancy Loss, Infertility and PMS. The Pregnancy section contains links to their Perinatal Depression Treatment Options Factsheet and their cognitive behavior therapy-based self-management guide for women and healthcare providers Coping with Anxiety during Pregnancy and following the Birth. Module 1: Introduction. The Postpartum section contains links to the Perinatal Depression Treatment Options Factsheet and the Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression Factsheet.

The website stresses that, “If you are concerned at all about your mental health before pregnancy, during pregnancy or after the baby is born, talk to your healthcare provider about how you are feeling. It is not a normal part of pregnancy to feel emotionally unwell for long periods of time.”