Becoming a parent is one of the most difficult and challenging things in life. On the other hand, it is also simple – you just become a parent. It’s what comes afterwards that’s actually challenging, and that’s making people (especially new moms) stressed. There’s so much to think about that you feel like your head is going to explode. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to deal with the stress of being a new mom, we’ve put together a list of things that could help you out.
Enforce strict rules
Even before your baby is born, you need to set some ground rules and stick to them. You don’t want people dropping by unannounced while you and your baby are trying to sleep and you certainly don’t want anyone around while you’re trying to learn to breastfeed. Make sure everyone knows they are welcome to visit you after you’ve explicitly said they could come. Don’t allow anyone to invade your space and your privacy because this can be incredibly stressful for both you and your baby, especially in the early days after the delivery. You want peace and quiet while you, your partner, and your baby are getting to know each other, and other people can join the picture later.
Call for help
That being said, you don’t have to isolate yourself from other people completely. On the contrary, you shouldn’t hesitate to call others and ask for their help, especially if you’re a first-time mom. Have your mom or your mother-in-law drop by and do your laundry while you’re taking a nap, or call one of your friends and ask them to bring you some food or perhaps do the dishes while you’re giving your baby a bath. It’s wonderful to be able to rely on someone and knowing that you have people you can call and ask for help will do wonders for your psyche. All they have to do is listen to you and not overstep their welcome.
Rely on your partner
Knowing that you and your baby have a special bond can truly warm your soul and melt your heart, but you should also involve your partner as much as you can. In the beginning, you can bathe your baby together, and later on, you can take turns. They can also get up in the middle of the night and bring you your baby when it’s time for them to eat. Another thing they could try is taking the baby for a walk while you try to get some sleep. Not only will these things help you relax, but it’s also a wonderful way for the two of them to bond. It might not seem like much, but you will be surprised how much lighter the “burden of parenthood” is when you are able to share it with your partner.
Join a playgroup
In order for your child to be happy and healthy, you should allow them to socialize with other children. You should find a playgroup program in your area that would be suitable for your child, and enroll them. There are playgroups that accept children who are under a year old, and it’s a wonderful way to get a little bit of time for you and your baby, allow them to socialize, and prepare them for the learning journey that lies ahead. There are activities that will help your child develop physically, and their cognitive abilities will be enhanced at the same time.
Brace yourself for emotional turmoil
Being stressed out means that you’ll be getting even less sleep than usual, and when you add the stress of worrying over your newborn, you will probably feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster. You’ll probably feel like you’ve experienced the entire span of human emotions in a minute, and it can leave you feeling drained. Don’t worry – this is perfectly normal for new moms, and you’re definitely not a freak of nature. There are moms that start feeling the effects of baby blues as early as 3-5 days after giving birth. Fortunately, these feelings often stop by the 10th day after childbirth, but it can also happen that they last longer. If they’re lasting longer than two weeks and start getting worse, it might be a sign that you’re suffering from postpartum depression in which case you should consult your health provider.
Sleep as much as you can
In the beginning, it’s going to be very difficult for you to relax enough to fall asleep no matter how tired you are. New moms find it hard to relax even when exhausted; they keep checking to see if the baby is breathing and if everything is fine. Getting plenty of rest should be imperative in your life, so rest as often as you can and wherever you can. As soon as the baby falls asleep, you sleep too, even if it means just a quick nap in the passenger seat while you’re in a car or on a sofa while the dishwasher is working. Work together with your partner to develop a feeding schedule which is going to give you both a chance to get some rest while still caring for the baby.
Forget about perfection
Even if they are aware that there’s no such thing as perfection, new moms tend to work hard in order to make their life exactly that. A perfect parent exists only in fiction and in our minds, as do perfect children, and the sooner you understand this, the better for you. It’s going to be impossible to keep a perfectly clean house, and there is no chance that your baby won’t get cranky without reason. Still, the more you work, the better you’ll be at cleaning the house, preparing the meals, and soothing your crying baby. Forget about the details and focus your attention on the experience instead. You can enjoy cuddling your baby even if your kitchen is a mess.
As different as they are, new moms have one thing in common – they are all stressed out beyond words. Instead of risking their physical and mental health due to stress, new moms should try to relax and enjoy the earliest days of motherhood so they can fondly look back on this period. Both moms and babies will be happier if moms find a way to deal with the inevitable stress.