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  • Parenting can be a lonely job. What helps is having a community who cheers and listens without judgment. And that's what our "Real Parenting" section is for: a space where parents can share the joys, pain and the mess that is parenthood.
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    If there’s one word that can describe what I’m going through as a first-time mom, it’s this: overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed with love for my little bundle of joy. I wonder how it’s possible that something so small can occupy a big space in my heart.

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    But I am also overwhelmed with many things. There’s stress — why am I not producing more milk? Should I pump now or later? Am I correctly feeding my baby based on her needs?

    Motherhood is overwhelming. Especially with my duties as the breadwinner, mother, and wife, all at the same time, I end up neglecting my health, wellness, sanity and happiness in the process.

    I am constantly anxious

    I feel guilt. I had returned to work right after my maternity leave and every time I leave my baby, whether she’s sleeping or awake, my heart breaks. It makes me not want to go to work.

    Is my baby okay? Is someone taking good care of her? What will happen to her future? Am I good enough for her? Am I doing the right thing for her?

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    As a new mom, there are so many responsibilities. I can’t be selfish and only think of myself. Every decision I make now includes her and her well-being. Even me-time is compromised by her time table.

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    I am overwhelmed with fatigue

    I am overwhelmed with bills. Before having a baby, I only thought of what I’d like to buy for myself, but now, I have to think of her vaccines, diapers, clothes, and other necessary baby things.

    Sleep? What sleep? I haven’t had a proper sleep in a comfortable position since my third trimester. My mind is a constant blur of worries, anxiety, and questions and it has not stopped ever since she came.

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    I am overcome with sadness

    Nowadays, the pressure of social media, being under the scrutiny of other moms, with their shaming and constant comparisons of whether my baby is developing according to her age and milestones is not helpful at all. I constantly feel ashamed because I see new moms losing weight with breastfeeding but not me. I am gaining weight even more than when I was pregnant.

    I feel alone in this phase of my life, especially during the late nights when I talk to my baby, feeling whole with her by my side but still feeling empty. I think I have lost myself, that I am not the same as before.

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    But even when I am overwhelmed with all these things, I look to the future and prepare to burst with positivity.

    I want to be filled with understanding that sometimes I can no longer do the same things I did before I became a mother.

    I want to experience patience from the people around me who realize that my family, especially my baby, have taken the first priority of my time and energy.

    I want to be overwhelmed with love. The kind of love that encompasses all, a love that will inevitably show itself at times of struggle and sadness.

    I am hopeful that I will experience less stress, and I will be acknowledged or regarded for doing the right thing. I am far from perfect and continually learning.

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    I want to be overcome with respect, especially from my baby’s grandparents. We may have different views on parenting, but I still have the final say since she is my daughter. They say that parents discipline their children while grandparents and others spoil them.

    I want to be forgiven, and I want to forgive myself. I may have done something not-so-nice as a mother or had bad moments with my baby, but that does not mean that I am a terrible parent. Accidents happen. I want to have the grace to be less critical of myself.

    Lastly, I want to be overwhelmed with faith. In this journey, let me be reminded that God is always in control and that He will always deliver. He is ready to provide comfort and protection for me, my family, and especially my baby.

    I am a new mom, and I am overwhelmed. But this, too, shall pass.

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    This piece was submitted by Smart Parenting reader Graciela M. Rescober-Rosacia, PTRP. She works full-time as a physical therapist while raising her 7-month-old daughter, Lara Abigail, together with her husband, Harold. Graciela loves writing, singing songs, and playing with her baby.

    Want to get something off your chest? Or share a slice of your parenting journey with fellow moms? Send it to our Facebook Messenger or email at smartparenting2013@gmail.com with the subject "Real Parenting." Join us at the Smart Parenting Village here.

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