Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
Life as a new mum is a whole roller coaster of an adventure. As a new mum, it is normal that you might struggle to acclimatize. Well, experience is always the best teacher but you can also pick up a thing or two from other mums and experts. Talking of some pointers, here are some pro tips to help you navigate your new life as a mum.
Get enough sleep
There is that phrase that has been coined a lot, ‘sleep when the baby sleeps. This is the one piece of advice that cannot be stated enough. As a new mom, you cannot bank on a peaceful night’s rest. The baby may not realize that nighttime is sleep time and it can take a toll on you. A lack of sleep can get you very exhausted meaning you will feel very edgy and moody.
The best way to get yourself enough sleep is to nap when the baby naps. Babies tend to take some 1–2-hour naps throughout the day. Try to avoid the temptation to clean around, cook, or get some work done when your baby falls asleep. Getting some rest will help you be more refreshed to take care of everything more competently. A bonus of sleeping when your baby sleeps is that you get to bond with your little one as you snuggle.
Have a Routine
One way to make things less stressful is to have a routine. A proper routine as a mom will help get some control in your new life where everything feels overwhelming. Your child will be less anxious when they know what comes next in the course of their day. And as for you, you will find some order in the chaos too. Routines provide stability for both the mother and the baby. The sooner you come up with a routine, the better. Both you and your baby will thrive on the routine. It is a win-win.
Ask for help
Taking care of a baby can be very overwhelming. A screaming or stubborn baby can quickly get your emotions all over the place. There will always be times when you need a little breather. The beauty is that these days, you can get lots of baby tips online. That said, ensure you only source your info and help on parenting from reputable channels. Well, it does not mean that you are incapable of taking care of your child. It just means that you are human! A human who is prone to get tired from time to time. Never be ashamed to ask or pay for help if you are in a position to. Do not hesitate to take help when offered by friends and family. Having a few things taken off your plate will free you up and make your life a little easier.
We live in the era of social media where it can be hard to not compare your baby, home, or life to that of others. But this is a sure way to be miserable. You will likely feel bad about yourself if you think that you are not doing as well as other mums in real life or online. Remember that we cannot all be the same. Everyone’s journey is unique.
Know that all that matters is that you are doing the best for your family. It shouldn’t matter that other kids are solving mathematical equations at 6 months and yours isn’t! Do not beat yourself up if your child does not reach important milestones as quickly as your friend’s kids. Be sure that your child will not crawl into college. They will always catch up and follow their dream with proper parenting. Just relax, take a deep breath and remember Theodore Roosevelt’s words ‘comparison is the thief of joy’.
Independent play is beneficial to both you and your child. It encourages your child to be creative, improves their problem-solving skills, and builds their patience. These are important life skills that will come in handy throughout their life. You can use the few minutes when your child is playing alone to do things around the house like prepare meals.
Tidy up often
Having a lot of clutter in your house can make you feel paralyzed. That is why you need to tidy space to improve your mood. You may wonder where to get the time for cleaning. Well, here is a trick; set a timer for ten minutes every day to tidy up. This ensures that things do not go out of control.
When you let things pile up before cleaning or organizing them, the mountain of tasks will get overwhelming. A few minutes each day will help you be on top of things. You could also purpose to declutter every couple of months to get rid of things that your baby no longer uses. Try to invest in storage bins to organize things like toys and clothes. This will significantly save you a lot of time!
This too shall pass
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Every challenging stage that you go through will eventually pass. Your child will not cry throughout the night forever. They will not wake up in the middle of the night for the rest of their lives. Any stage in your child’s development, as overwhelming as it may be, is only temporary. It may seem like you are in an endless cycle of sleep deprivation or unending tantrums but remember to always be patient with the difficult times because they are not there to stay.
It is okay to trust your gut
As a new mum, you are bound to receive advice; solicited or not. Everyone will have an opinion on how best to raise your child. It is laughable that the pieces of advice you receive may contradict each other. While it is valuable to form your opinions based on other’s perspectives and experiences, you shouldn’t be afraid to ignore advice that does not work for you. You are best placed to decide what is best for you and your family. Make sure to always trust your gut because, at the end of the day, you know your situation better than anyone else.
Do not judge yourself too harshly
Like many new mums, you are not an expert in taking care of children. And even if you’ve taken care of babies before, no two babies are the same. Every baby is unique and what works for one child may not work for another. Try to be kind to yourself on those days that you feel like you are not doing the best. Who cares that your toddler had yogurt for dinner! That does not make you a bad parent. Also, remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup so you need to take care of yourself too.
In a nutshell, being a mother is a journey with ups and downs but it is also one of the best things ever. On the days that you fail, get back up. Do not be discouraged when things do not go the way that you expected them to. Don’t forget to have fun!