Your life changes drastically the second you lay eyes on your beautiful baby. You experience a variety of emotions—you’re happy, scared, overwhelmed, exhausted, and completely in love with your bundle of joy. Being a parent is a full-time job. You are dedicating every ounce of energy to your newborn. The thought of having “me” time may feel like a dream, but we are here to tell you this: It is important to allocate time for your mental health and wellbeing.
Moms, here are some manageable ways you can give yourselves a little “TLC.”
Sleep when your baby sleeps
We get it — you just put your baby down and you see the dishes in the sink, you haven’t showered, you have to clean the floors, water the flowers, and buy your sister’s birthday gift online. Instead of doing all of those things during nap time, sleep when the baby sleeps. It may be a while until you get eight hours of consistent sleep per night. Newborns sleep a lot, but in short intervals, so use your quiet time wisely.
It is important to increase your water intake, especially if you are breastfeeding. The average person should drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day. Breastfeeding mothers should drink an extra 32 ounces of water per day.
We know priorities shift as soon as you become a mom. Important tasks that were once a necessity now seem irrelevant. However, your nourishment should not be an after-thought. You need to keep a balanced diet. Newborns are exhausting, and you will need an abundance of energy to get through the long days and sleepless nights. Try eating five small meals throughout the day. Cooking may be a difficult task the first few months so having healthy grab-and-go snacks readily available, such as baby carrots, celery and peanut butter, a fruit salad, or a granola bar, will be a lifesaver.
Ask for help
We know you are a superwoman, but you only have two hands. Seek help when needed, whether that means asking for assistance with cleaning the house, having a few meals prepared for you, or babysitting so you can just have two hours to yourself to take a nap or attend a yoga class. Just ask! You are not being lazy, and you certainly are not a bad mother for not being able to do everything on your own. Communicate with your loved ones when you feel overwhelmed. They are there for you and want to help. Not to mention, having someone else take care of the house for a few weeks (or months) is a blessing.
Talk to new moms
The roller coaster of emotions you are experiencing is not out of the ordinary. You are not alone — so share your experiences with fellow moms! It is important that you talk about your feelings and express yourself. Who knows, you may meet a new friend that shares similar interests.
Make time for your favorite activities
Just because you are a new mom does not mean you have to give up the activities you love. Once you are settled into a routine and have established a support system, try reintroducing some of your favorite activities, such as yoga, tennis, or swimming. You will start to feel like yourself again.
Be kind to yourself
This is the most important tip of all. You created a human being. You are inspiring, beautiful, and strong. It took you months and months to grow your precious baby! Don’t expect everything to go back to normal instantaneously. Give it some time and love yourself in the meantime.
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