Ok, so I’ve only been a mom for 39 days, but I feel I have learned a lot quickly. It’s funny how you sort of just fall into the role of “mom” even though there’s not really a class to prepare you for it. I guess it’s just part of being a woman….it’s what we were meant to do! **The following “advice” is based on my personal experience and may not work for you. Every baby, mommy, and family are different!**
Do something productive when your baby sleeps
This might mean you sleep! It might mean you throw in a load of laundry, finish washing the dishes, throw dinner in the crock pot, or get in a workout. I have noticed more than a few times that I spend my “break” from caring for my son doing things that are not productive (like scrolling through Facebook, IG, eBay, or watching way too much daytime TV!) One morning I realized that after his early morning feeding (usually sometime between 5:30-6:30am) that he will fall back asleep for another hour-hour and a half. Since I will be cleared by my doctor this coming week I thought, this will be the best time for me to get in a workout! (For some moms going back to sleep for another hour+ might seem more attractive and that’s fine!)
Google is your friend…sometimes
As a new mom, you’ll spend tons of time looking up every little thing your baby does to make sure it’s “normal” behavior or if every little symptom is the start to a bigger problem. I admit, the first two weeks, I had a few freak outs looking up stuff trying to figure out what might be wrong with my son which lead to tears and anxiety. (Just like adults on webMd…the more time you spend looking up symptoms the more convinced you have some awful incurable disease!) But, there are also many times your mind will be put to ease when you find out everything is fine! And most likely your baby isn’t the only one experiencing those symptoms and you’ll read up on posts from other moms who write about what they did to work through the problem and it may help you too!
For the love of God, get out of the house…(just don’t forget the baby)
For weeks I was afraid to leave the house without my husband to go and do things with the baby. First it was because I was afraid to drive in the car alone with him, and second was because I was afraid he would have a meltdown and I wouldn’t know how to calm him down fast enough (without whipping out my boob in public to nurse him.) But, eventually I got over both issues. Every time we ended up going out somewhere (without my husband) he would surprise me by being very happy and content (or would just sleep the whole time.) Once I noticed that on the days we took him out for a walk at the park, those were the nights he was less fussy during those awful “witching hours” (6pm-9pm.) I realized that the stimulation must help, and of course that makes sense! When you are home sick for a few days or snowed in most people go stir crazy and need to get out of the house…even if it’s just to drive around the neighborhood in the car!
This one was hard for me at first, but once I realized I needed to be flexible with the events for the day, because what I planned for might not happen, or might not happen at the time or in the way I originally thought, I had less anxiety. Sometimes you have to do NOTHING for yourself and just hold and console your baby all day because they need you…they want you. One day they will be independent and won’t “need you” 24-7…until then enjoy looking at their angelic sleeping face as they lay on you and be happy for that time together because some people won’t get that opportunity even though they desperately want it.
This week I plan to start working on writing my workout plan that I will begin next week once I am cleared by the doctor…use Google to find fast and easy recipes for meals that will help me build back that muscle I lost during pregnancy…get out of the house for a mommy and baby get together with the ladies I met in prenatal yoga as well as a breastfeeding support group meeting later in the week…but of course, if none of that works out because my baby needs me…I will be flexible ;-)