While there are many surprises and challenges that await you in motherhood, one of the biggest shocks may be time management, or the feeling of being overwhelmed. No matter how happy and fulfilled you may be as a new mom, if you don’t take time out of your busy day to take care of yourself, you’re not giving your precious baby your best self. Ensuring that you practice self-care might seem like the lowest of your priorities, but being rested and cared for yourself is an essential part of being a mom. Remember, an empty cup cannot give water.
While it will be challenging, it’s not impossible to make sure you take care of you. Below are some pointers that can help.
Get Your Sleep
While sleeping for a solid chunk of time may be a pipe dream for some, sleeping when your baby sleeps will allow you to get that much needed rest. If you’re worried that you won’t wake to baby’s cries, keep a baby monitor on your nightstand or bring the crib into your bedroom. Ignore the temptation to do chores while your baby sleeps, because it’s vital that you get your rest.
Stay Well Dressed
While it’s tempting to wear your maternity clothes out of convenience and to save money, it will help you feel your best to have comfortable clothes that fit. Get a couple of outfits in your size to wear until you get back to your pre-baby weight.
Make Time to Shower
If you neglect the simple routine of taking a shower, it will take a toll on your mental health. To make sure you shower regularly, try taking a shower when someone is home. You can also bring your baby in the bathroom with you, or take a quick shower while the baby is napping.
Regardless if you’re single or have a partner, trying to go it alone in caring for your baby is a big mistake. You may hate to ask for or accept help, but raising a baby is a lot of work. By recruiting help, you can make sure you have enough time to not only take care of the baby, but to take care of yourself. To try and do it all yourself does nothing but put unrealistic expectations on you, giving you feelings of guilt when you’re unable to accomplish the impossible. It’s important to ask for and accept help.
Make sure your partner is making an equal effort when it comes to baby’s care, and enlist the help of family and friends. If you have a friend that loves to cook, see if they’ll cook you an occasional meal. You might also ask for help with laundry, running errands, or babysitting (even if it’s just half an hour so you can take a long hot shower.)
Are you a new mom looking for parenting support and guidance? A licensed professional therapist can help. Call my office at your earliest convenience, and let’s schedule an appointment to talk.