During this physically and emotionally demanding time of caring for a new baby your wants and needs wont be met the way you used to. It can be so hard to keep yourself happy and healthy and easy to neglect yourself. I think this is where so many mothers get lost because they have to put themselves and their needs to the side to take care of their precious new baby that hey forget about caring for themselves entirely.
Loving yourself is the grounding to be the best mama you can be. When you fill your cup and treat yourself with kindness, you create space to hear your inner voice of unconditional love. That love overflows onto your children as they are learning about how to care for themselves, you are their teacher.
When you are in the trenches with a brand new baby, you might be feel like you don't have enough time to eat, sleep, shower, let alone poop. I hear you. Self-care habits seem impossible when it’s a struggle to brush your teeth. Right now it’s about basic care, rethinking what that looks like in new motherhood. Making small loving actions towards yourself will help so that you don’t get used to running on empty. It’s essential to do something everyday to put a bit of fuel in your tank. Set small goals for yourself daily that you could realistically accomplish with a little bit of effort.
Don’t overthink it; just set the intention to do whatever makes you feel somewhat normal. Maybe start with a list of three things max and anything else that is done is a bonus. Write down goals the night before for the next day. An example of some of goals for the list would be:
Take a shower
Write them down and cross them off as they happen . You are doing so much in those early days of new motherhood, but because you aren’t doing any of the things you normally do, your brain can hijack the rational part of your mind that knows keeping a baby alive is a full-time job. This little “checklist” can provide you with a sense of completion, accomplishment and remind you to take care of yourself too . Celebrate these accomplishments, no matter how small they seem.
It is so easy to get caught up in the running dialogue of life, so it’s important to take the time to connect with yourself, beyond the worries. Its not necessary to wait until you are alone to connect within. You can do this with your baby while they are nursing or sleeping in your arms. Put away your phone or other distractions, focus on your breath, and check-in with your emotions. Feel sad? Cry. Feeling grateful, say thank you. Feeling overwhelmed? Ask for guidance. This only takes a moment of your day, and you deserve it.
You may be feeling lost, confused or isolated, and doing endless google searches for answers. This covering up your vulnerability of wanting to know that you’re not alone. You're longing for connection to other mamas. Know you are NOT alone. Reaching out for support will help you feel seen, heard and nurtured as a new mother.
The phrase “sleep when the baby sleeps" is fairly impossible. I still wonder why nobody warns you that babies don’t actually sleep. Babies want to be where it’s familiar and cozy, with their mama’s All The Time. My oldest son would only sleep in my arms or on my chest for the first 6 month of his life, and so every time I heard that phrase I wanted to scream. What I learned was that you can do things for yourself while babywearing. My son pretty much lived in wraps or soft structured carriers and I would do things that would make me feel normal like brush my teeth, eat, go for a walk, or journal. It gave me a moment to breath without his crying.
Sometimes it can be hard to take care of yourself and how easy it can be to push your needs to the side, but you’ve just been born too mama and need to offer yourself grace. You need to nurture and care for the beautiful woman and mother you are.
Cheers to Wellness!