Having a newborn is an awe-inspiring experience. Sometimes, you just catch yourself looking at them. Watching them do absolutely nothing. How can one tiny little bundle hold so much love and joy in your heart?
How can they also cry so much? And always want to eat? And wake up right when you fall asleep?
Along with the joy and love comes stress and sleepless nights, but trust us when we say it is all worth it. Of course, in the meantime, it can be really hard! Here’s how to deal with the stress of being a new mom.
Understand that you can’t do it all
Working a full-time or part-time job, taking care of a newborn, handling other responsibilities, and trying to maintain your gym routine? We’d love to make it all happen, but there are only so many hours in the day and there is only so much you can do. Keep it simple and identify the non-negotiable things that are most necessary and focus on those. Start with a list of three – not thirty! – for the day. Give yourself a pass on being ‘perfect’. You wouldn’t judge your friends that way, so don’t be so hard on yourself.
Ask for help
Ask your loved ones to help you so that you can do the things that bring you joy (and the things that just need to get done, period!). Maybe that means your partner takes care of the baby’s breakfast so that you can go to the gym first thing in the morning. Maybe that means you drop the baby off at your parent’s house for an hour so that you can go grocery shopping alone. And take advantage of all that WE have to offer. Sometimes you need to talk it out, and sometimes you need something more tangible – either way, we’re always here (live chat available: pdhc.org).
Understand that things have changed, and adjust your expectations
Your life looks way different now. Gone are the freedoms of being childless, and here is a tiny human that looks like you, has your DNA, and loves you so much (despite the cries that might make you think otherwise). Everyone runs into challenges with a new addition to the family, but understanding that your life has taken this turn means that you can prepare for it. Don’t put the same pressures on yourself that you did when you were childless, as you have entered into a new phase of life and it’s time to restructure your thinking around that.
Having a newborn isn’t easy, but that is your child – having grown inside of you for nine (almost 10!) months and now breathing the same air that you breathe and smiling when they see your face hovering above their crib. So congrats, momma! You’re amazing for taking such great care of them.
Practice self-care, even in small doses
You may just not feel like yourself these days, and we get it. Your role as a caretaker of this helpless little one can leave very little ‘me time’. That’s normal, but remember to be intentional about taking even 5 minute breaks JUST FOR YOU! Start with baby steps, like listening to a favorite song and doing nothing else, leave that multitasking for later! Do some yoga stretches, watch a funny cat video, try a new nail color…just breathe! Follow our social media for weekly ideas on self-care and remember these little moments help you maintain your sense of self, and sanity. Soon you’ll be able to carve out bigger chunks of time for yourself as you develop a schedule. But for now, steal away even a few moments at a time, just for you.
If you need help providing that care for your child, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer parenting classes and can provide resources if you are in need. Call or text us anytime! 614.444.4411