When you first become a mum, you can easily forget about yourself as all your focus turns to your new bundle of joy. The reality is, if you don’t look after yourself too, your baby will suffer as they won’t be getting the best of you. That’s why it’s important to put a few small things in place to make sure you don’t lose yourself in the throes of being a new parent.
Do something alone every day
I used to wait until my partner got home to take a shower by myself as I wanted just ten minutes where I didn’t have to multi-task and keep an eye on by daughter while I was bathing. Too many times she cried or needed something while I was in the shower which caused me to abandon it and I felt robbed of that precious time I used to enjoy. You might choose something else- you may prefer to sit out in the garden for ten minutes or go for a short walk. Whatever you decide on- it can have a huge impact on your mood.
Do something for YOU every day
If you like to read- read just one page, if you enjoy writing- write just a few lines, if your passion lies in drawing- sketch something small. I am well aware that you no longer have as much time to dedicate to your passions as you once did- but a little bit of something you love to do will work wonders as you will appreciate it all the more.
Let people help
If people offer to give you a helping hand- let them! Any opportunity you can get to catch up on sleep while an auntie or uncle babysits, throw in a load of washing while your friend watches your baby or hand your baba to a parent just to give your arms a rest is one you should never let pass you by.
Talk about something other than babies
If you’re not careful your conversation can turn into 100% baby, which is understandable- you are learning every day, consumed by parenthood in the early stages and need to offload if you are feeling overwhelmed. With all that said- choose a different topic of conversation in the day, even if its just for a few minutes to give you another focus.
Spend time with other mums
One of the best ways to make you feel more comfortable about the ups and downs of being responsible for a little person is spending it with other people who understand what you are going through. People who don’t have kids can often say things flippantly that you may react to because they are in a different place to you. If you invest time with people who can show you genuine empathy, you don’t feel so alone.
Avoid making everything baby oriented
You may be tempted to watch every available programme about raising children you can find, every movie on Netflix that’s about families or read books, blogs and magazines that teach you how to wean, help your baby sleep and stay on top of their emotional development. But there comes a point when information overload happens. You might read contradictory information which will only make you worry more or see something on TV that you aren’t doing and believe you should be or vice versa. There is an overwhelming amount of information out there on how to be the best parent you can be and sometimes you need to decide on one source of information so that you don’t get confused. It’s also important to acknowledge that every baby is unique, and you don’t need to emulate everything someone else does if your baby needs a fresh approach.
Try and get out every day
Although it can feel scary initially to go out with your baby in the car for the first time, take them for a walk or sit in a café alone with your child- it’s vital that you do. Each new experience will boost your confidence, so you don’t feel trapped in your own house and give you the encouragement to try the next milestone. The more competent you feel as a parent when you are by yourself, the faster you will realise that you are doing great.