Becoming a parent is the most challenging and rewarding thing you’ll ever accomplish. The infinite love you feel for your child is like nothing you’ll experience. But, with all the reward comes a lot of stress too – and it’s okay to acknowledge that. While it’s essential to maintain your confidence as a mother through learning new things, becoming more patient, and recognizing that you can’t be Wonder Woman every day, there are things you can do to take care of yourself and, in turn, lighten the load. Let’s look at some easy things to incorporate into your lifestyle to take care of yourself as a new mother, whether you’re having your first baby or your fourth.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
When you’re pregnant for the first time, you’ll likely hear the advice “sleep when the baby sleeps.” But, you will also quickly realize that doing this means a lot of things around your household, or your critical self-care falls by the wayside. While it may not be possible to take multiple naps a day while your newborn does, you can ensure you’re getting enough sleep during the night. Thankfully, by the time your child is a few months old, they will likely be sleeping long enough stretches that six to seven hours a night is achievable for you. And, unless you’re a single parent, share a load of night-wakings between you so that at least half the week, you are getting a full night’s rest.
Nourish Your (Second) Brain
They say that the gut is indeed the second brain in our body. Over the last decade, we’ve all learned how significant the health of our gut is and how it impacts not only our overall physical well-being but our emotional well-being too. Simply adding probiotic pills is one way to make sure you’re balancing your gut health. Incorporating healthy foods beneficial to your gut health like kimchi and krauts is another way to nourish your second brain.
Taking A Time Out
When you’re a new mother, you may feel like you want to have your eyes and hands on your baby. While this is normal, it’s essential to step away and recharge by taking a time out. What you choose to do in your alone time is up to you, but ideally, it’s something that grounds you and refocuses you. Naps, meditation, exercise, and even shopping are great ways to clear your mind and focus on yourself, even if it’s only for an hour.
Many people put off having a child until later in life because they’re focused on their careers and want to make sure they can afford a child. Children are indeed expensive, and budgets may become tighter, but it’s also true that denying yourself a bit of retail therapy isn’t great for your mental health either. Please feel more comfortable in leggings and an oversized t-shirt for the first year they’re born, but buy it if you’ve been lusting after a new handbag! Maybe treating yourself looks more like a massage and a facial. Whatever it is that would make you feel good by splurging a little, go ahead and do it; it’s excellent for your mental health!
Lean On Your Village
You’ve likely heard “it takes a village,” and it does! Rely and lean in on your village – no one expects you to be able to do it all alone. Additionally, trying to do it alone will only burn you out quickly, and you can set yourself up for challenges like Postpartum Depression and feelings of intense anxiety. Make sure you ask your partner, your family, and trusted friends for help when you need it – and if you feel your mental health slipping, talk to your doctor sooner than later.
Having a new baby is a challenge, but it pays for itself in spades and for a lifetime. While nothing can prepare you for the love and joy, you’ll feel, nothing can prepare you for the fatigue and stress too. So, use the ways mentioned earlier of taking care of yourself as soon as your bundle of joy arrives. And remember, you got this!