How New Moms Can Avoid Postpartum Depression and Stay Happy in the World of Social Media

New Moms Can Avoid Postpartum Depression

Shanon is a mother of a 2 year old. Being a working professional, she was not much active on social media earlier, but the last phase of pregnancy made her addicted to it. She had not much to do and hence, most of her time was spent either on Facebook or Instagram. Earlier, she used to stalk new mothers and how they were spending their time. However, gradually stalking became a habit. The situation aggravated when she delivered. The more she checked out other people having fun on Facebook, the more she felt bad about her situation. She started thinking that she would be left out of fun if she is not able to match her steps with the world. This made her a prey of postpartum depression. Not only she, but also her daughter faced the consequences.

Earlier, pregnancy and delivery was not quite taxing. With many families staying together, new mothers had lots of mental support. They could vent their feelings to other mothers, who in turn explained their phase and the hardships they faced during motherhood. Moreover, new mothers did not even get much time to rest due to the burden of work. This made pregnancy and delivery just a part and parcel of regular life. The most required thing that new mothers need is attention, not just physically but even socially. This thing is missing in today’s life, when most of the people get busy with social media, the moment they have some time in hand. Hence, postpartum depression has become a reality.

In this world of social media, how can a new mother stay away from negativity and hurt? Here are some revelations and ways that will help you cope better.

1. Think About the ‘Real Picture’

If you are asked to post a picture of your baby on ‘Facebook’, what would be the post about? Probably, it would be about her ‘first smile’, her ‘first step’ or how she winks. Will you post the pictures wherein she pooped while you held the camera? Without a second thought, no. Then, how can you expect other mothers to post about sad things. Social media has the idealized versions of real people. There is nothing bad it seems when we see their pictures. They are roaming around the world with the baby; their baby seems to be eating everything that the hotel has to offer and many such good things. However, while scrolling the accounts of these ‘happy mothers’, new mothers are not aware about their lives and the hardships they might have faced. Here, I do not mean that you start finding faults in their lifestyles. It is just a reminder that life is not perfect and comparison steals away precious moments of the present.

2. Too Much Exposure is a Bad Thing Too

Do you know everyone personally on your social media account? Most probably, you do not. However, you are aware of everything that is happening in their lives. You might have just bumped into that pregnant lady while travelling in a train. You befriended her on Facebook because you two had something in common. After this, you ‘friends’ never met again. In spite of this, you know everything that she does or eats or watches. At times, too much information about somebody too poses a problem. You should not delve deeper into the lives of others. Keep your scrolling to minimum. But the main advice is ‘not’ to befriend anyone or everyone you know, on Facebook. The limited friends will not fill your life with extra information, giving you extra time with your baby.

3. Expectations is the Root Cause of Misery

Your best friend is a new mother, just like you. The other day she posted a pic of the celebrations of first monthly birthday of her baby. Her husband surprised her with cake and they all had fun (or that’s what it seemed from the pictures). This incident made you expect the same from your husband. On your son’s first ‘monthly’ birthday, you waited for your husband to surprise you with a cake. Nothing of this happened. And this was the root cause of misery and sadness. Such incidents could lead you to postpartum depression. I know the other side of the story. The friend who shared a picture of cake with her one-month old daughter had herself ordered a cake, but described the picture as a ‘surprise’. What say? I remember the climax of ‘The Necklace’ story by Guy de Maupassant. Do not go by the ‘descriptions’ or the ‘happy pictures’ on the social media. You are not aware of the other side of their lives.

4. ‘Unfriend’ those Who Demean You

‘You look so fat in the pictures with your baby’ or ‘Ah! You got acne post-delivery!’ or ‘Your baby doesn’t look as beautiful as you’. Such comments are so common when you post pictures of your baby. While your ‘friends’ will say good things in the comments below the picture, they will personally message you to give you ‘honest’ reviews. Firstly, it is common that mothers put on weight post pregnancy. Many celebrity mothers have too. Do not feel bogged down by weight issues. When you deliver a baby, your skin, hair, nails, and overall health face issues on one level or the other. And initially babies do not look picture perfect. They are like a bud that is blossoming at its own pace. A bud cannot be termed ‘beautiful’ or ‘ugly’. So, do not pay heed to what other people have to say about you or your baby. All this is a trap to make you fall into postpartum depression.

5. Self-care is More ‘Important’ Now

This precious time will never return. You will not be able to hug your baby as much as you do now. Indulging too much social media drains away your time and energy. Invest this time instead in your baby and self-care. Social media is quite addictive. If you plan to spend just 15 minutes, it turns into a pretty half an hour, without you realizing it. Stop staring at that small screen and grab some essential oils and massage your hair. Next day, warm some water and soak your feet. You could do so many things if you chuck social media on some days. If you do not want to indulge in taking care of your beauty, just sleep close to your baby. You will love this time. It even minimizes your anxiety and keeps you miles away from depression.

In the end

I am not asking you to chuck social media all together. But, I am advising you to do it consciously. Keep a tap on your feelings. Do not get over-excited or over-hurt by others’ posts. Remember that social media is ephemeral. If you really like the picture of your friend’s baby, call her and enquire about her health. Plan a rendezvous and talk about your babies. There is nothing like face-to-face chats. Happiness is just a call away. You can be the support system you expect from others. Be the ‘happy mother’ you always desired to be.

What are your thoughts on this? Let’s discuss it on the comments section.

Practical Guide: How to Save Time in the Morning

Save Time in the Morning

Save Time in the Morning
Niya, a mom of two, has as many as 5 late marks at the office. She wakes up early in the morning to save time. However, with one or the other emergency cropping up, she has failed to minimize her late marks. She even tried skipping workouts and breakfasts but this took a toll on her health. Will she have to quit her dream job now or learn how to save time in the morning?

Are you able to relate with Niya? In fact, you would have already worn her shoes and your thinking cap to help her stick to her dream job. Mornings are hated by many, with all the work it brings. Even the morning personalities fail at time when it comes to managing kids, kitchen and clutter, all at once. Being a mother of a toddler and a husband who finds it difficult to reach office on time, I can definitely relate with Niya.

To help her, I thought of things that could be done a night before to save time in the morning. Also, there are many things that need not be done in the morning at all. All these things gave me some ‘me-time’ in the morning and definitely, my crankiness reduced. Let’s see how this works out.

1. A Night Before

This is the most important time to have a serene and peaceful morning. While lying down on the bed, I prepare a list of all the things that needs to be done in the morning. I also decide the order in which the things are to be done.

For starters, I soak some dry-fruits overnight for a quick snack in the morning. All the members of the house need to stack away the toys, newspapers, used utensils and arrange the place before hitting the bed. This helps me move around the house in the morning. Or else, half of my time is spent in hopping and skipping above the things. A clean house at night and a list of work to be done in morning gives me a good night’s sleep.

2. Laundry

Laundry is one of the biggest loads that I have on my mind. Many keep this work for the weekends. But, I am not able to see the pile rising and hence, have designed a way out.

Hence, the moment I step down from the bed, I take the laundry and load the machine. Then, I head off to other work. Let the washing machine do the work till I finish the others. The moment I am done, the machine-work is also done and the clothes are ready to be unfurled on the stand.

3. Lunch

Most of the times, not everyone in the family agree on the same breakfast or lunch. To avoid the mayhem at the time of breakfast, I prepare the set of choices a night before. For lunch, the fare is decided a week before.

I even keep the ingredients stocked so that there are no last minute problems. When I wake up in the morning, I just need to prepare the stuff rather than think how to begin.

4. Outfit

I like to dress up. However, at times, picking up the right dress and matching it with accessories consumes my precious morning hours. Hence, what I do is decide what to wear before I go to sleep. Everything is set for everyone – my kid, husband and daughter. The pairs are arranged along with matching accessories – tie, handkerchief, watch, earrings for me etal.

I create a walk-in wardrobe sort of situation wherein we just need to walk out of the bathroom and walk in the clothes to be all set for our offices and school.

5. Workout

I agree with you that it is hard to choose between sleep and workout. But, workout is very necessary to stay fit. To make workout easy, I have bought nightwear that doubles up as workout gear. Also, I prepare a sling bag that contains water bottle, tiny towel and watch, a night before. So, I am ready to wear my shoes as soon as I wake up in the morning. I grab the sling bag and just move out of the house for a walk or jog.

6. Not-to-Miss Bag

When I return from the office in the evening, I am so tired that I just throw away my bag and keys in whichever direction that deems fit to me. This habit of mine has taken a toll on my morning hours. Either I keep searching for the keys or I entirely forget them and rush back to home and waste my time in searching.

If you have the same habit as mine, just make sure that all the essentials are placed together in one place. This includes bag, wallet, keys, office files, belt, etc. When I head out of the door, I repeat the list of valuables in mind – keys, wallet and phone. And make sure that I am carrying them. This has inspired my two-year old to keep her valuables (read toys) in place as well.

7. How to End the Day

For a great morning, all the things are done a night before. Hence, it is necessary that your evening is power packed. However, I make sure that I spend quality time with my loved ones when I return after a hectic day at office.

I plan evening pot-lucks that not only give me some time with my friends and family but I also get to gorge on delicious meals. I will also suggest making minimalist use of gadgets. This will give you more time on hand. At times, we do not realize that we have wasted just an hour to load an app that was not required in the first place.

Keep weekends for catching up on sleep and TV shows or movies that you missed during the week. Pre-plan even your weekends to make the most of them.

I seriously hope that Niya reads this post of mine and does not even think of quitting her dream job.

Do you think you will be able to save time in the morning after reading this article? Leave a comment below with your ideas.

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