Why Early Parenthood Is So Hard (Hint: It’s Not Your Fault)


Resources > Why Early Parenthood Is So Hard (Hint: It’s Not Your Fault)



February 22, 2024


Image of mom with a newborn and toddler son

Rumor has it that parenthood is one of life’s greatest joys. And it truly can be joyful much of the time. But what about those early days, weeks, and years, when exhaustion is often the prevailing reality? Why is it so difficult to find that joy at times? The answers to why early parenthood is so hard are plentiful! But one thing is certain: it’s not your fault.

The Jewell Chiropractic team deeply understands the challenges of early parenthood as many of us have experienced it first-hand. Our Portland, OR, clinic supports people in all stages of life through chiropractic care, massage therapy, and community education. Feel free to peruse our options and then schedule your next appointment or sign up for a class.

Top Reasons Why Early Parenthood Is So Hard

When we set aside carefully curated social media photos of blissful parents with young children, we can glimpse the parenting reality most of us face: those early years are tough! If you find yourself struggling during the first months and years of parenthood, you’re not alone. And it’s not because you’re doing something wrong. 

Here are three reasons why early parenthood can be so difficult.

1. Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is a major answer to why early parenthood is so hard.

One of the most significant challenges new parents face is the severe lack of sleep. Babies have erratic sleep patterns, and their needs override any semblance of a consistent sleep schedule for the adults who care for them. Even beyond the newborn weeks, your child’s sleep can be tricky to navigate. 

The resulting sleep deprivation can lead to mood swings, decreased cognitive function, and overall exhaustion. It’s crucial to recognize that this is a physiological response, not a personal failing. Lack of sleep is no small matter, and it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed when you hit this level of fatigue.

As hard as it can be to follow the advice to sleep when your baby sleeps, it does help take the edge off of your exhaustion. At the very least, allow yourself to sit still and enjoy some downtime when your little one is sleeping. You might get 10 minutes, or you might get two hours. Either way, any level of rest is your right, not something you have to earn.

2. Enormous Lifestyle Adjustment

Image of a sleepy dad holding his newborn baby.

Parenthood brings about a significant lifestyle change, especially after having your first child. Suddenly, your time is no longer your own, and most decisions revolve around the needs of your child. No matter how thrilled you are to welcome your baby, this adjustment period can be jarring. It can leave you feeling overwhelmed and slightly out of control. 

It takes time to adapt to this new way of life, and it’s entirely normal to struggle during the transition. Feeling frustrated and even resentful doesn’t mean something is wrong, and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent.

3. Lack of Support

In an ideal world, new parents would have a robust support system in place to help them navigate the challenges of early parenthood. However, this is often not the case in the United States. 

Many new parents find themselves feeling isolated and alone, lacking the support they desperately need. Without adequate physical and emotional help, early parenthood is so hard. It’s not impossible, but it’s hard. And it’s not your fault. Hormonal shifts and the aforementioned lack of sleep make it all even more difficult.

Image of new mom holding her newborn baby.

If you don’t have family or friends nearby to help, a postpartum doula might be a great solution. Doulas provide tremendous support in those early days and weeks after having a baby. 

Jewell Chiropractic Is On Your Side

Early parenthood is undeniably hard, but it’s not your fault. The challenges you might be facing are not a reflection of your parenting abilities. They are a common part of the journey in those early years. 

At Jewell Chiropractic, our team of providers and educators is here to offer the support you deserve. With support groups, classes, massage therapy, and chiropractic care on site, we are ready to help. You can use our online portal to schedule an appointment or register for a group or class. We look forward to seeing you in the clinic.

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