The Balancing Act They Call Motherhood
I’ve been a mom for 7 weeks. That’s if you don’t count the nine months of torture that was pregnancy (read all about how grumpy I was here). So I don’t claim to be an expert in motherhood or anything but here is what I’ve discovered about keeping sane with a newborn baby.
- Accept help from who ever is willing to give it! I can’t emphasise the importance of this one. Many new mothers feel that they need to prove something to someone and show everyone just how capable they are. Bullshit. If someone wants to help you then let them. There is no shame in needing to sleep.
- Sleep as much as you can! I mean really. If the baby falls asleep on your chest then hunker down and get some shut eye. I know how hard it is to do this during the day when you have a million things to do but just do your best to sleep when you can. (Also, feel free to give very dirty looks to anyone who tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps… it’s really not always possible so just do your best to fit in sleep).
- Get a home food service delivery or have awesome friends and family. I was lucky enough to have both over the last few weeks. Awesome friends who contributed meals for two weeks and a fantastic friend who coordinated it all, as well as an incredible sister-in-law who arranged for Doorstep Chef to be delivered to us for a week. This week, we ordered it for ourselves. It was that worth not having to think about dinner or groceries or anything other than heating it up in the microwave.
- Don’t forget to eat! Even if you’re eating with your one free hand, make sure you put something of substance into your body because you will need it!
- Find time (by some miracle) for yourself to do things that you need to do. This is when it comes in handy to rely on other people. My husband is wonderful about giving me time off my motherly duties when I need to get a post out. Sometimes I struggle with accepting his offer (refer to point 1) but most of the time it’s great to get my own stuff done. It helps me to feel like a sane adult who is still part of the real world.
- Shower. I know a lot of new moms live in their pajamas but I’ve had fewer pajama days (yay working from home) since I’ve been a mom because I find that it helps my brain and my body feel prepared for the long and stressful day ahead.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from someone you trust. You can’t know everything and there is no shame in getting a second opinion but if it’s something medical, trust the Doctor the most and don’t be afraid to ignore helpful advice offered to you. You will get a lot of useless advice from people who think they know what’s best. Do what’s best for your child!
- Try not to judge yourself too harshly, it’s hard as hell being a new mom. You will get stuff wrong (I accidentally nipped my sons finger while trying to cut his talons for the first time – can anyone say mom guilt). You will make mistakes but you will also learn from them (hopefully) and become badass at mothering!
- Please stop speaking about dad “baby sitting”!! This is a pet peeve of mine. He’s not baby sitting if it’s his child. It’s okay to leave the baby with him (make sure he’s involved from the start) because it’s his child. He’s not doing you a favour but doing his duty as a parent. You didn’t make that baby on your own!
- Appreciate your baby! They grow so quickly. Ours has doubled in size and weight in the short time he’s been in the world and he’s already starting to acknowledge us and the world around him. Appreciate them before they stop being babies!
[bctt tweet=”Being a new mom isn’t easy. Accept all the help you need! “]
These points aren’t rocket science or anything but they’ve been rolling around in my head about how I manage to cope with the demands of being a new mom. It’s really important to me to find the time to do things I used to do (I’m talking specifically about my blog) but it’s also important to find time to just sleep. Figure out what’s important to you and make sure you don’t neglect that and end up feeling resentful about your new little person.