Self Care as a New Momma
” Self-care” and “new mom” are words that aren’t often in the same sentence. Most new moms forget to take care of their selves as soon as that cute little baby comes into the world. Life is centered around that precious new human, as it should be. But we have to remember to take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally.
I have always been someone that worries a lot and that only got worse when I became a mom. Now I not only had myself and my family to worry about but I had this new precious little girl. I was constantly wondering, “if she ate enough,” “did she get a long enough nap,” “is she having enough dirty diapers,” and so on. I knew if I didn’t at some point turn off “mom-mode” and take care of myself I would drive myself, and possibly Eric, crazy.
- Get some sleep! At the beginning, I didn’t obsess about housework like I did pre-baby. If Olivia napped, so did I. Now that she is on a schedule and sleeps well during the night I don’t nap during the day. Sometimes this part of self-care just means that Eric feeds her in the morning or in the middle of the night on the weekend. Doesn’t every mom want a little bit of extra sleep?
- Choose one thing you did pre-baby, that you loved, and keep doing it. For me, this was running. Of course, I couldn’t run until I was cleared by the doctor, so instead, I went on walks. Even though I was pushing a stroller, I was still running and that’s all that mattered.
- Establish a routine. At the beginning, I went hardcore on trying to get Olivia into a routine like the one recommended in BabyWise. This was stressing me out more than it was worth and it just wasn’t for us. So, I dropped the BabyWise routine… but we still had a routine. I knew that we were on an eat, wake, sleep schedule. We had planned walks to get out of the house, there was always a time when I planned on exercising. For some moms, they might have a stricter schedule than others – do what works for your little one and your lifestyle.
- Find your tribe. I got extremely lucky in this area and had a group of mom friends that welcomed me in. Of course, Olivia wasn’t old enough for the true play-dates that their little-ones were enjoying. It was more about joining for my sanity at this point – once Olivia is big enough she will enjoy the benefits as well. I knew I could count on these ladies for advice, to vent, to tell me I wasn’t crazy, or just simply relax together. If you don’t know any moms to help build your tribe join a mom group. There are so many groups out there from exercising together, learning about your little one, or coffee dates. Choose one that fits you and jump right in.
- Ask for help. When we brought Olivia home from the hospital so many people offered to bring by freezer meals and drop off dinners. Accept these offerings! This was such a huge help at the beginning, and even have the freezer meals built up for those rough days. People are willing to help in so many ways, whether it’s from family helping watch your little one so you can clean up (or sleep), to you watching the baby as they do your chores. Accept the help, people are more than willing to help during this new change in your life.
There are so many things to do as a new mom to take care of yourself. These are the 5 easiest things that worked for me. Think about what you need to stay sane and do it. If you are not taking care of yourself how can you take care of your baby?
Do you have any advice for new moms and how they can care for themselves? If so please share it!