Most of us tend to be hard on ourselves at one time or another. But for women who are going through postpartum depression or anxiety, the impulse to judge oneself harshly is intensely magnified. Decisions feel impossible to make and then, once made, women often beat themselves up with constant rumination and guilt. Did I do the right thing? What if such and such happens? Was was I thinking? Why didn't I do it this way instead? What is wrong with me?! The list is endless. Women who are biologically and psychologically vulnerable and feeling the pangs of inadequacy during the postpartum period are only too familiar with this extremely loud inner critic.
Postpartum women need to give themselves permission to turn the volume down on this internal voice and begin to let things be. Things are going to be unpredictable for awhile. That's a given. Chaos comes with the territory. Learning to tolerate higher levels of stress and change (not easy!) will help ease the pressure to be perfect and in control right now. Self-help books can help. Mindfulness exercises or CDs can help. Therapy can help.