There are so many emotions after your baby finally makes his or her entrance into the world. Most of the time they are positive and overwhelmingly pleasurable. And sometimes they are just overwhelming. And confusing. Within reason these are all fine emotions to have. You are readjusting to a new life - for most of us quite different from the one BB (before baby). Below are some tips to help navigate these new unchartered waters. Some of these helped me, others I wish I had thought of when I was a new mum. I always say that you have to do what you feel is right for you – every family and person is different. Just remember that.
- Looking after yourself is as important as looking after your baby. Eat well – feed your body with the nutrients it needs to feed your baby and keep you active.
- Find 5 minutes to mediate at least once per day – it is so easy. Download the smiling mind app and use their guided 2-5 minute meditations to just take time out.
- Accept the unexpected and relinquish some of the old control. Trying to retro fit your old life into this new one won’t work – just try and work out a new routine for the new life.
- Go for a walk at least once per day – 30 minutes or more.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps – seriously – stuff the housework. Just sleep. The more you sleep the better you will feel.
- Find little moments of pleasure - get yourself some gorgeous body care products and when you put them on feel like a million dollars e.g. the Aurora body oil is exquisite. Amazing after a shower. Put time in the diary to go out and have a mani/pedi and your hair done. Hint to friends and family that a Spa voucher might be a great baby shower present!
- There is nothing wrong in finding help where you can and making life run a bit smoother. Convenience is not a dirty word. And do not be shy about asking for help. Talk to the family and friends who offer about how they can help – e.g. if they offer to make you dinner – say yes please; if they offer to sit one night while you go out for a quick dinner, say yes please; if they offer to mow the lawn, say yes please. And if they ask what they can do, tell them.
- If you are reading a “parenting” book and it is making you feel uncomfortable or bad in some way – I implore you to put it down and find a different one. It’s not you, it’s just that your principles don’t line up with the authors and that’s ok. Give yourself permission to do things your way.
- Have a routine. It’s not just about sleep, it’s about having some structure to help you as well. Having a routine around play, sleep and bathing gives you both the structure that we are all quite used to. It means that you have free hands when you need them, together time which you both need and you both know what’s coming up. There is good reason why schools, work and life in general works on a schedule - most of the time, we need it.
- Make time every day to spend together - just playing. And make time for baby to play independently. Both are equally important.
- Keep a little journal or baby moment’s journal – I like the Kikki K sentence a day journals as you don’t feel like you have to write reams of words – who has time??? Or try an online version with images and then in a year you can create a keepsake.
I always say, listen to everyone as everyone has a slightly different experience, but ultimately do what you feel is the right thing for you and your family. The fact that everyone has conflicting information should give you the confidence to go your own way, not make you feel more uncertain. Trust your instincts.