Nothing can really prepare you for parenthood. It’s a huge transition.
When you step into the role of mother or father while in recovery from an eating disorder, things can become even more complicated and complex. Infants and children are unpredictable, and this can not only increase feelings of stress and anxiety, it can also raise feelings of guilt and shame. If you begin to struggle with your self-care or show signs of a relapse, it’s incredibly important that you reach out to your recovery team, a mentor, or a close friend.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and guilty as a new parent, and isolating yourself will only perpetuate those negative feelings.
Start by scheduling in time for your self-care, and make this time a non-negotiable activity. Practice mindfulness when you are with your child, by staying out of your head and giving your child 100% of your attention. This is a great way to practice staying present in all areas of your life, not just when you are with your child. Allow your child to motivate and inspire you to stay in recovery.
When you become a parent, different situations may trigger your eating disorder, and it can be very easy to fall back into harmful behaviors as a way to deal with fear or uncomfortable feelings.
Remembering that your child is looking to you for love, guidance and support can help you stay grounded in your recovery, and even inspire you to move forward in your recovery.
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