Motherhood | Handling the Stresses of New Motherhood
As a new mum, you get a myriad of tips and tricks on how to care for your newborn. Everyone who is anyone seems hellbent on sharing their two cents with you and it can get overwhelming. While I don’t remember being told about the stresses of having a baby, I do remember being told that it’s not a bed of roses but it does get easier with time and this was the best advice that I was given with regards to motherhood.
This post isn’t meant to scare any new or future mothers. I decided to write down 6 ways that I know (because I have tried them and still practice all of them even with my 3 and a half year old) about handling the stresses of new motherhood mostly because people hardly ever talk about how hard motherhood can be. It isn’t considered good to talk about it because once you have your child, you should be grateful and happy all.of.the.time. But the reality is that even with this gratitude and joy at having a new life in your world, you still get stressed. You get overwhelmed. Yes, all these “negative” feelings somehow melt when you have a good day and baby sleeps and eats without being fussy and you even get a toothless grin. It’s the best feeling in the world! But what about those days when you don’t even have a minute to brush your teeth or shower, when you don’t sleep at night because your baby is ill or if you have nobody to help you out? How do you handle such situations? Keep on reading for my tried and tested tips and tricks.
1. Get enough sleep.
I get so cranky and short-tempered when I’m sleep deprived. The best thing you can do for yourself as a mum is to get enough rest. With a newborn, catch up on sleep when your baby is sleeping. If you find that you have not had enough sleep for two or more consecutive nights, ensure to catch up on that sleep. You can even take a nap during the day. Whatever you do, always, always, get enough sleep, no matter how old your child is. This will ensure that you are fresh enough for all sorts of baby-related activities.
2. Eat healthy.
I once read that eating a lot of junk food makes you sluggish. Avoid alcohol and too much caffeine too. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water to keep your bodily functions running at optimum.
Depending on what your doctor recommends you can start with a walk to which you can take your baby. As time goes by you can proceed to more challenging exercises like yoga or cardio. If you can’t sign up to a gym, YouTube is full of exercise routines to get you started.
4. Take a break.
Personal time is so important. Practice self care and do those things that uplift your spirit. Do your nails and hair, get a facial, shop, declutter, read, watch a movie, dance, go out with friends. A few hours every once in a while (if you can manage once a week that’s great!) will do you good and recharge your batteries.
5. Ask for help.
I used to feel like I needed to be supermum and do everything when it came to caring for my baby. I would feel so guilty whenever I was unable to meet my own unrealistic standards. But you shouldn’t beat yourself up for needing a little help. Having someone watch your baby for a couple of hours so you can run your errands or just have some me time or even so you can catch up on sleep, will help release some of the tension that comes with the feeling of not having any time for yourself.
6. Accept the unpredictability of having a new baby.
One thing all new mums need to know is that all babies are different. They all react differently to different things and they all grow at different paces. Your life too will hardly ever be the same from one day to the next. Learn to go with the flow. Don’t be too rigid with yourself. Establish a routine because we all need routines for the sake of sanity, but if something happens out of your routine, be ready to take it in your stride and move on. One of my main intentions every single day is to make sure that I have a good day. Having this thought at the back of my mind helps me not to let the challenges of each day put me down.
Are you a new or more experienced mum? How have you handled the stresses that come with new motherhood? Do share in the comments below.
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