A new mom survival guide is as important as rest when you’re a new mommy.
Being a new mom can be overwhelming and stressful when you go into this new life without help. There’s so much to learn and remember that, unfortunately, many books don’t touch on. It really isn’t their fault. Because mommy-hood is one of those milestones in life that you can master only after you’ve become a mom, it’s difficult to cover everything you need to know about in a book.
Sometimes a short new mom survival guide is one of the things you need to prepare yourself. Prepare yourself for what? For what is to come once your little bundle of joy arrives. Because we know your time is limited, with the new baby at home and all, we’ve listed the most important points we believe you need to know. Points you’ll want to keep on hand for reference. Something you can return to whenever you need a quick refresher. Let’s start with what you’re doing now by reading this – accepting a helping hand.
Accept help when it’s offered
When the new baby arrives, you will be offered the most help you’ll ever get offered during their life. Accept it. Being a new mom can be taxing, and you need all the help you can get. If someone you trust is offering to take care of your little one to give you a break, take it. Even if they are just offering to watch them for an hour or two so you can get some extra rest. Accept it!
When I gave birth to my son, the first few days were so exhausting that taking a shower seemed like a luxury, so cooking was way out of the question. Thankfully, family members prepared meals and sent or brought them to us for the first week. My mother spent a week with us helping to care for our newborn son. An aunt visited and offered to clean and cook.
Don’t be shy or feel embarrassed if you feel overwhelmed. You aren’t the first mother to want to tear her hair out. It’s kind of a requirement. Relieve some of that by saying yes to help. When someone offers to help in any way, accept.
Join Mommy and Me groups
Mommy and Me groups are perfect for two reasons. They help with socializing and speaking to mothers who are in the same exhaustive boat as you. And it allows you all to share tips and tricks you’ve learned so far. This will help another new mom to avoid making the same mistakes you made. Mommy and me groups were my way of speaking with mothers like me.
When I had my son, a lot of my friends were still childless and couldn’t care less about my struggles with breastfeeding. Being able to speak with women who cared about those discussions was a true blessing. Having a place to go to outside of the house can give you an opportunity and reason to get some fresh air, too. Fresh air and sun – no matter the season – are very necessary for keeping your mind clear and you maintaining an upbeat personality.
Look up mommy groups in your area and link up with like-minded women like yourself who are also new moms.
Taking care of a little human can cause us to lose sight of the other important person in our lives – ourselves. There’s nothing selfish about needing to pamper and, dare we say, baby yourself. Sometimes a mud mask is all we need to keep from bursting into tears from being so tired. A soak in the bathtub for an hour can make all the difference and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
It’s a great idea to create a box of treats, filled with aromatherapy and body care that you can tap into whenever you need to escape. Being able to practice self-care can make you a better mother. It gives you time to yourself to do something nice for yourself. And when we love ourselves, we can extend that love to others a lot easier than if we are continuously pouring ourselves into others and neglect ourselves.
Take a day trip once a week, alone
As a new mom, you’ll feel like most of your time is being spent being a mother. Everywhere you go, you have your little one because they are still too young to fend for themselves. Everything you do is kid-friendly, and sometimes you just need to get away and do adult things. This is where a day trip is in order.
Hire a sitter or arrange for your partner to watch your little one so you can go out alone for a day trip. Visit a museum, go shopping, or just grab lunch at a café around your home or in the town over. Do anything that will help you feel like your old self.
Sometimes just sitting in a coffee shop with the latest issue of your favorite magazine or a great book is all you need to reset. That’s the purpose of a day trip – to go out for an adventure and to reset so you return home fresh and renewed. And when you’re renewed, you’re willing and able to give the rest of your time and attention to your little one.
Sleep when the baby sleeps
This is really an oldie-but-goodie. Sleeping when the baby sleeps will ensure you get the adequate amount of rest you need. This is important so that you can perform at your best as a mom. Recent research done on athletes proved that when they were tired, they performed at lower levels than they’re normally able to.
Can you imagine what effects that has on a new mom? Getting the proper rest those first few weeks and months can make a world of difference. It can help with focus and ensuring that you perform at your best as a parent. You’ll think clearer and have a sharper mind when you have the right amount of rest. And the only way to get that is to get the rest whenever your little one is resting. Sleep is just as much of a survival tip as eating, and is more important than you may think.
Motherhood is a rewarding experience, but it can also be stressful. Like most things in life that are worth having, being a mother will be challenging. This survival guide should serve as a reference that you can return to for a quick reminder. A way to ensure that you are giving your all as a parent while remembering to love on yourself too.
Above all, your baby will benefit from a happy mother. Be sure to love on yourself while you are loving on your little one too. They’ll thank you for it in the long run.
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Samantha Greaves is a freelance writer based out of New York. When she isn’t contributing to parenting websites like Mommybites, she can be found chasing behind her 5-year old or sitting in front of her laptop with a cup of coffee at arm’s reach.