“It’s the hormones!” becomes a normal phrase in a new mama’s life.
While some people don’t like to admit they are overly emotional or on-edge about something when postpartum sets in, other moms are absolutely fine facing this reality. At the time of those extreme meltdowns or tearful moments, nothing is funny and everything seems frustrating. There usually is no talking someone out of that funk when the hormones kick into full gear and if her partner or close friend tries to soothe her, she may snap at them – or cry more.
This is absolutely normal and it is okay to admit you have experienced this rollercoaster before.
Ann Dunnewold, psychologist and author, says “Some of your hormones go from the highest they ever will be to the lowest, just before delivery to just after.”
Many people come to terms with how pregnancy alters their hormones, but forget how postpartum will also impact them. Being prepared for the emotional whirlwind that may be encountered during those postpartum weeks and months is just as important as preparing during pregnancy.
Even though hormones impact new moms in ways they may not see as laughable at first, when the time comes, looking back and laughing at those moments is crucial. It can be tough laughing at yourself when it doesn’t seem like the timing is right. Give yourself time, breathe, and look back at the moments when your emotions were at an all-time high. Most of the time, those moments will be the most hilarious, ridiculous of memories.
20 “Whenever We Hear It, It Turns Me Into A Sobbing Mess.”
Music can truly play with a person’s emotions – especially if this person is a mom. Songs with powerful lyrics can often stand out more when you are a parent because of relatable experiences you have had with your little ones.
“Last year, in school, she had learned the ‘Fight Song’ in music class. So now, all it takes is her singing it in the car or wherever we hear it and it turns me into a sobbing mess,” explains mama of three, Bree Hudson. “She’s had some tough times that she has had to go through already in her short life.”
19 Silly Arguments With Your Partner
“Any argument Tim and I would have ended up with me ugly crying in our room,” says mom of one, Meghan Moran.
“It ended up being comical and we would laugh as soon as it started with the waterworks. It made me realize that the arguments were so stupid.”
Sometimes you just can’t help it when the waterworks start flowing – especially if it is from an “argument” with your significant other. When strong hormones are in the picture, the teeniest tiff between you and your partner can bring a mama to her breaking point. Of course, when you can see the big picture with more clarity again, that moment becomes one heck of a hilarious memory.
18 That “Monthly Friend” Has Returned
“For women who breastfeed – or formula-feed – our monthly visitor can take from weeks to months to resume. Women who breastfeed exclusively get even more time off: It’s normal not to menstruate for six months or longer,” says Dr. Amina White, M.D., clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology. “Women who don’t breastfeed typically find that their period returns four-to-eight weeks after their childbirth.”
No matter the circumstance, most moms are not thrilled when their period returns. Sometimes they are unsure if it is their actual period or just more of the nonsense that comes with postpartum-hood. However, one this is for sure, it often isn’t a pleasant surprise – and for a hormonal mama, the surprise can cause unexpected tears.
17 “I Couldn’t Find Pre-Soaked Witch Hazel Pads.”
Whether it be a natural delivery or C-section, a mom’s “area” is often sore, uncomfortable, and just plain weird. Many hospitals recommend different remedies to help diminish the discomfort and when you find something that works – you stick with it.
Well, unless you can’t find any more of those go-to remedies – then your hormones take over.
“I couldn’t find pre-soaked witch hazel pads like the hospital had,” says mom of one, Heidi Mercado, of a time when her hormones took over, crying right in the store. For moms who relied on chilled or pre-soaked witch hazel pads to help after delivery, you may relate to this hormonal horror.
16 When The Breastfeeding Journey Ends
“I honestly just cried for about ten minutes because I am now completely done with breastfeeding my youngest,” admits Bree Hudson. However, with hormones come even more reasons behind the tears. “But that’s not why I was crying. I was crying because now that that ‘journey’ is over, my boobs are uneven.”
When the actual truth hits you, those hormones can get all kinds of wacky. Many women have a tough time facing their postpartum body. Over time, some moms can laugh about the new lopsided and uneven aspects of their life, but it can be emotional to face at first.
15 Those Pre-Pregnancy Pants Fit Again
The physical changes that come with postpartum-hood can bring a mom on an emotional rollercoaster. Between leakage and lopsided-ness, new moms go through quite a lot – and quite a lot of clothes during the pregnancy adventure.
So when she is able to fit into those pre-pregnancy pants again, the waterworks may start.
It’s often an exciting moment when a mom can fit back into those pants again that she hasn’t comfortable slipped into in months. When this happens, tears of joy can often occur. Even though moms tend to blame hormones on the excitement, sometimes it’s simply mom being proud.
14 Those Pre-Pregnancy Pants Don’t Fit
According to Parents Magazine, “many women attribute their mysterious [...] bloating to being a busy mom. But if you’re doing all the right things (exercising regularly, eating right, and getting plenty of sleep) and still can’t fit into your clothes, see your doctor to determine if a medical condition could be sabotaging your ability to stay [healthy].”
That information is enough for a hormonal, new mom to start getting teary-eyed – especially if she has yet to fit back into her pre-pregnancy clothes.
It can be mentally straining for a new mother when she doesn’t see the pregnancy changes reverse. It can be even more frustrating when she starts seeing the postpartum impacts on her physical health. Hormones do impact a woman’s weight, but it can also be due to impacted by lifestyle changes, water retention, or other factors that a medical professional can provide help with.
13 Not Comprehending Directions
“One night I was trying to make pudding because it sounded delicious, but for some reason, I could not for the life of me figure out how to make something as simple as pudding,” explains mom of two, Cari Roraback. “And reading the directions wasn’t any help. My husband secretly recording it all and it still cracks me up.”
When you later realize the hilarity behind a moment that didn’t seem all that hilarious at the time, it brings you back to reality. Motherhood is a serious job, but it can’t always be taken oh-so-seriously. There will be times when those hormones impact you in strange ways and when you can laugh at those moments, it makes you a more down-to-earth person in the end.
12 “I Read Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree To My Son.”
Shel Silverstein has been a talented, world-renowned children’s author for decades. His creativity and imagination have been admired by many parents because they hope that imagination can rub off on their little ones. Silverstein’s stories were also included in many childhood memories current parents, so passing those stories along is a great tradition to continue.
“I read Shel Silverstein’s ‘The Giving Tree’ to my infant son and ended up crying my eyes out,” admits mom of one, Kira Literalee. “It’s a sad story, but I was sobbing and couldn’t finish reading.”
When you read something that pulls at personal heartstrings and a child is also involved, those hormones are likely to make an appearance.
11 Not Being Able To Put On Compression Socks
During the first few postpartum weeks, my ankles were more swollen than they had been during pregnancy. I couldn’t fit my feet in any shoes or boots and whenever I was resting, they had to be up on a pillow. When my sister, who is a physical therapist, came to visit, she brought some compression socks to help with the water retention and circulation. When I couldn’t put the socks on myself, it was her turn to try. When she was having a tough time squeezing them over my ankles, my mom jumped in to help as well to help.
When you look down at your feet and see your sister and your mother desperately trying to put socks on your "sausage feet," the tears start flowing.
10 The Pantry Shelf Breaking (And All The Cans Falling Out)
When you’re hormonal, hungry, and tired, anything and everything may bring you to your breaking point. Appetites and eating habits become one of those weird topics for moms during pregnancy into postpartum. So, when you go to open your cupboard to find something to ease your “hangry” nerves, you hope to see boxes or cans of food lined up perfectly for your choosing, right?
Well, when you open a cupboard and, instead, see cans and boxes falling out onto the floor bu your feel along with the shelf – there’s more than enough reason to hit that breaking point.
9 “The Actual Tiny-Infant-Stage Is So Short.”
“I cried when he couldn’t fit into some of his first clothes anymore,” says Michelle Eisele, mom of one. “The actual tiny-infant stage is so short.” This truth hits many new moms smack in the face when the time comes to switch to a new size of clothes.
Even though getting into a groove during the newborn and infant phase can be tough, it is also short and missed once passed.
Ashley Hopkins VanHusen’s hormones hit a high note during this stage as well. Being a new mom of one, she couldn’t handle the change and her hormones stepped in to help. “When she outgrew her first outfit I cried,” she admits of the emotional time.
8 Waking Up At Night (Or Having To Wake Up In General)
Moms need sleep. However, sleep becomes quite an issue once a newborn is in the picture. According to Baby Center, “newborns sleep a lot – typically up to 16 to 17 hours a day. But most babies don’t stay asleep more than two-to-four hours at a time. The result? Lots of sleep for your baby and a very irregular – and tiring – schedule for you.”
Adjusting to the new routine of motherhood is tough and takes time. Well, it often takes a lifetime before sleep becomes anything close to “normal” for a parent. If you are someone who loves to sleep in and take naps, the new sleep schedule your little one puts you on could definitely bring feisty, frustrated hormones to the surface.
7 Those Darn Homeless Animal Commercials
“I ugly cried at a commercial about a homeless dog,” admits mom of one, Kira Literalee. Many people fall into the same realm as Kira when it comes to commercials about pets and rescue animals. Sometimes, people who “ugly cry” with these commercials are not pregnant or new mothers and don’t even have those intense hormones running through them. However, when you do, you get emotional - and fast.
Animals have a special place in many people's hearts. When babies come into the picture, pets often take a step off that "first priority podium" and that can be hard on a person. So when these commercials come on, Moms may run to their pet and hug them tight or run out to a shelter and adopt the first animal they see.
6 Not Being Able To Lift My Legs Off The Floor (After C-Section)
When that six-week postpartum mark hit, I was ready to jump back into exercise. However, even though I was mentally ready, my body physically was not. When I went to lay flat on the ground to try and do leg-lifts – absolutely nothing happened. This devastated me and, yes, I cried.
“Pregnancy is hard on your core, to begin with, but C-sections are a very real surgery,” explains Shape Magazine.
Emily Prouse, M.D., of Metropolitan OBGYN in Denver recommends about six-to-eight weeks of recovery time. “After the six-week mark, you can increase the intensity of exercise and start lifting a little weight.”
5 “I Never Used To Cry At Mother-Son Dances At Weddings.”
Weddings are usually emotional events. They are either emotional because you are so happy for the couple or they are emotional because you are bored out of your mind (hopefully the reason is the first). For some, becoming teary at a wedding is absolutely normal. However, for others, those tears are rooted from new hormones and emotions.
“I never used to cry at the mother-son dances at weddings,” explains Meghan Moran.
“Now I sob thinking about the day Mason will be dancing with me. We’ve been to six weddings this year and I can’t handle myself.”
When you step back and bring your family dynamic into the picture, emotional connections are likely to occur.
4 “I Cry About The Littlest Things When It Involves Them.”
“I have never been a big crier either up until I had kids. Now, I cry about the littlest things when it involves them,” says Bree Hudson. Hormones change right along with the big life change that motherhood is. It is normal for many to become sobbing messes because the smallest incident triggered a memory of your child.
Again, when you start thinking about your little one and how normal, everyday events will be impacted because of them, unexpected emotions can surface. The cliché is true that the love of a mother and her child is the strongest, most emotional bond there is. Because of this, it makes absolute sense of those hormones to go a bit crazy when picturing your child in certain situations.
3 When “The Words You See In Front Of You Aren’t Registering”
“Have you ever tried reading something, but the words you see in front of you aren’t registering in your brain as anything comprehensible?” asks mom, Cari Roraback. This question is one that many moms can answer ‘yes’ to because they have experienced it.
“You may as well be reading a foreign language. That’s what hormones and ‘pregnancy brain’ did to me.”
It’s a weird feeling when you look down at a book or your phone and you simply cannot decipher what you are looking at. Sometimes this is because you are exhausted or under the weather. For some moms, like Cari, it just comes with the territory – and the excessive hormones.
2 “I Was Sobbing On My Way To Work With Self-Empowerment.”
Hormones can play many tricks on a mom’s mind when venturing through that postpartum journey. Some women are faced with postpartum depression or “Baby Blues” and have a tough time fighting off the demons that come with the territory. When dealing with those struggles, a random song may help lift your spirits and open the tear-gates to help you feel a little bit better.
“I knew I was in for a rollercoaster of emotions when Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ came on,” says Alyssa Kurtzworth, mom of one. “I was sobbing on my way to work with self-empowerment like, ‘Yeah! I was born this way!’”
Sometimes all it takes is a little Lady Gaga to feel that much better about yourself – hormones or not.
1 The Not-So-Complicated, But Complicated, Measuring Of Formula
I am not a math person. I cried through every single math class from elementary school through college – and this was before there were pregnancy and postpartum hormones to worry about. Simple addition often brings tears to my eyes and I’m terrified of the math my daughters will face even in first grade.
So when it came time to measure out ounces of formula, let’s just say it was definitely not my thing.
I cried. A lot. I had a very tough time figuring out how many scoops made up the ounces we wanted – even though it said it right on the can. Most of the tears were due to hormones, but some hormones were also due to my severe dislike of numbers and fractions. Looking back, I laugh. However, when in the moment, it was torture.
References: Statements from “real-life” moms who gave consent to use direct quotes (via Momhood Mayhem on Facebook and the.write.mama on Instagram), Ann Dunneworld/Today’s Parent, Amina White (M.D.)/Parents Magazine, Baby Center, Shape Magazine/Emily Prouse (M.D.)