The 4-6 month “blur” is something that isn’t really talked about during pregnancy but when mothers get talking about their feelings they realise that they shared the same experience as other mothers and in hindsight they weren’t alone. Unfortunately, mothers probably only start talking about it after the blur has passed because during the time of experiencing such heightened emotions, “fight or flight” keeps kicking in and all she can think of is surviving the day in her PJ’s.
I’ve seen this blur occur in new mothers as well as “experienced” mothers. I’m not sure if fathers go through this blur too, though credit where it’s due, they do have to deal with their wife being “not her usual self” and I’ve seen a few good men out there who take on the extra duties of looking after the baby so their wife can relax/de-stress/”do whatever is needed to go back to normal”.
So what is this “blur”? It’s more of a feeling of being alone (even if there are a million and one people around you), being on high alert in case something goes wrong with the baby whilst he/she is in your care, not knowing what day you’re on because all you can think of is when to feed the baby/nappy change/help baby to sleep, realising after a long day that you didn’t brush your hair in the morning and you’ve stayed in your pyjamas not out of choice but out of forgetfulness, feeling like you can’t cope, and being so overwhelmed by all the new information that you don’t know where to start.
It seems for the first 4-6 months of mothering a new baby the mother experiences this blur and then after this period of time she “finds herself” again. Some mothers have it really bad and others plough through it. So here’s me telling all mothers out there with a new gift in their life to accept the blur, embrace it and know that you’re normal!
Give yourself (and your relationship with your husband) 4-6 months leeway and don’t be hard on yourself (or your husband) during this time. It’s a passing moment. You will find “normality” at the end of it. For now you are figuring out your baby (and your baby is figuring you out) and a routine takes time (and never really works in the beginning three months if you’re baby led breastfeeding). Try to enjoy each day and don’t pressurise yourself to feel like you got to be superwoman doing everything! If you need something doing then ask those near and dear to you; otherwise write it down, decide if it’s a task that can wait for another moment, and do it when you’re ready.
For anyone witnessing a family member/friend go through the blur: reassure them that they’ll be okay, offer them plenty of warmth (ie hugs/hold their hand) and help out where you can. Motherhood isn’t an easy process and can be lonely at times. I do feel the quicker people can accept this and see the mother as a separate entity rather than look at the baby all the time; the quicker the mother will feel like she’s appreciated and loved by those around her.