Every new mother knows it well. There is the BB life – Before Baby – where you could go to work, the cinema, the gym, for dinner, or hang out with friends and simply watch a box set.
Then there’s your AB – After Baby - life where you can’t remember your BB life at all! Sound familiar?
As a devoted mum your life is focused entirely on your little bundle of joy and their sleeping and eating routines with your partner coming second, for the moment, although they are still just as important in helping you to look after your new addition. However, with research from Dentinox, the experts in simple and effective baby medicines, revealing that a lack of ‘me’ time is one of the hardest aspects for new mums to come to terms with it needn’t be a scary experience when it comes to giving yourself a much-deserved break where you can focus on yourself.
I remember well the first time when I had a break from constant breastfeeding, nappy changing and nurturing my daughter after she was born. She had hardly slept more than two hours at a time and I had become part of her little world. I spent a day using a breast pump and teaching my husband to feed our baby with a bottle before I eventually made my first triumphant getaway to spend two hours in the cinema on Mother’s Day.
It felt like the Great Escape. Even though I loved the film my body was aching to hold my baby and the guilt started to seep in at going out without her. However, I needn’t have been so worried as my husband had cared for our baby with ease and I returned to home to find them both happy and relaxed in each other’s company.
It’s natural for you to feel worried about leaving your little one as in the first days, weeks and months your time is simply not your own and this becomes the norm. Most mothers need to focus on their baby and are a psychological ‘nursing couple’; the baby demands total adoration and support to survive and mothers too need support as they learn about their babies.
However, there are tips that can help when it comes to reintroducing your BB life into your AB:
- Take things slowly: Although it seems like an eternity, over time things begin to change and babies sleep longer, feed at wider intervals, and your body begins to feel like yours again. Slowly your world can open up. Be patient and you’ll know when the time is right.
- Don’t try to do too much too soon: That first swim alone, or visit to the hairdresser, or even a mundane trip to the supermarket can feel like climbing Everest but overtime you’ll adjust to your new life. Start with smaller sessions of ‘me’ time and work up until you feel comfortable at spending an afternoon or full evening out.
- Focus on the positives: Don’t expect things to go back to the way they were exactly BB. Half your mind will forever have a bit of it attached to your little one – even when s/he gets to 21! Embrace your new life. It will be different and testing, but it will be better and more rewarding.
- Have faith in your friends and family members: The people closest to you will want to do everything they can to support you and your baby. Trust in those you leave your baby with to look after them. There’s nothing wrong with checking in with them if you’re out for the day but try not to spend too much of your ‘me’ time texting for updates.
Overall, be patient and take your time. Get support and be gentle with yourself as you learn. Eventually your new AB life will emerge... and with it lots of wonderful times, now you’re a mum.
Psychologist Corinne Sweet has recently teamed up with Dentinox to launch its Kindness to New Mums campaign. For more information about Dentinox’s range of gentle solutions, which help to treat and soothe common baby ailments, please visit www.dentinox.co.uk
Corinne Sweet is a Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Broadcaster and Author of Birth Begins at Forty (Hodder, coming soon revised on Amazon) and The Anxiety Journal (Pan Macmillan). For more information please visit: www.corinnesweet.com
2018 Research by 3Gem and Dentinox of 500 UK new mums.
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