When you are sleep deprived and exhausted both physically and mentally, it can be difficult to look on the bright side of parenting. So, if you are a new mother and struggling to stay hopeful, here are some things that helped me to find some light in the darkness.
Keep telling yourself it’s not forever: You WILL get a good night’s sleep, you WILL feel well rested again and you WILL be able to get back to some kind of a normal routine eventually. I know how badly you want it here and now, but things will get better. Hang onto this hope to get you through. This is a temporary phase in your life, I promise!
Surround yourself with optimistic mums: Mums both old and new who make you laugh and see the funny side of the interrupted nights, the projectile vomiting episodes and the exploding poopy nappies. If you don’t laugh, you will cry so share stories, discover the humour in the situation you find yourself in and seek out someone who will make you chuckle at least once a day. The woe is me, Negative Nelly mamas can wait till you’ve had a solid eight hours sleep- you will be better prepared to handle them then!
Read books that will make you laugh (silently of course so you don’t wake the baby!): I can’t recommend Dummy by Matt Coyne highly enough if you want to read along with someone who has experienced every up and down of parenting you will encounter. Read it with your partner once your baby goes to bed and you will fall asleep with a smile on your face.
Watch shows about people just like you: Motherland, Catastrophe and Breeders are all hilarious examples of families just trying to get through each day when faced with all the typical obstacles life throws at you. If you’re feeling blue, watch just one episode a day (you’ll probably fall asleep if you watch anymore) to give yourself and your partner a boost.
WARNING: Contains strong language
Watch baby friendly shows that have a little something for the mums too: Bedtime stories read by Tom Hardy on CBeebies… need I say more?!
Follow other mums on social media: Tired 'n Tested is a personal favourite of mine as she is not afraid to poke fun at herself and you are bound to find some common ground in the topics she talks about. There are plenty of mums out there who are making us laugh with their all too real offerings of motherhood. Watching just one video a day while your baby naps is guaranteed to make you feel better.
Watch a comedy show about parenting: Type ‘parenting comedy stand up’ into YouTube and you will find a whole host of comedians talking about the topic of raising little ones from the likes of Michael McIntyre, Sindhu Vee and Romesh Raganathan. The videos aren’t long, so you can squeeze one in before bed or at baby’s nap time for a little lift.
Laughter is certainly the best medicine when you’re a new parent so get it where you can find it!
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