Becoming a mother is one of lifeâ€™s most wonderful gifts, but almost nothing can prepare you for the way your life will change after your little bundle of joy enters the world! Once youâ€™ve finally gotten a handle on caring for a new baby and losing more than a little sleep, you may take a good, hard look in the mirror and realize that you forgot to care for yourself. Sound familiar?
Thankfully, you donâ€™t have to lose your sanity as a new mother learning to bond with your baby. Here are few important tips to remember as you learn to balance your life as a parent:
- Realize that emotions are normal. For some reason, most experienced mothers leave out the fact that they struggled with the â€œbaby bluesâ€ just a few weeks after giving birth. When youâ€™ve just had a baby, itâ€™s supposed to be the most wonderful time of your life full of joy, happiness, and peace, right?
Well, even though you may be experiencing extreme happiness as you get to know your new son or daughter, youâ€™ll also likely deal with a roller coaster of emotions caused by hormones and big changes in your life. Relax, take a deep breath, take a bath, and drink some wine. Itâ€™s perfectly normal and will pass.
- Take your time. If youâ€™ve spent any time at all reading parenting websites or baby boards on the Internet, then you probably feel a sense of competition. All of the other moms have babies who are sleeping through the night, rolling over early, or learning to speak a new language.
But remember to take your time and go at your own pace. This isnâ€™t the Parenting Olympics! All babies are different, so give you and your child permission to take it slow, if necessary.
- Give back to yourself. You will spend the first few months of your babyâ€™s life giving to him unconditionally, but you do need to give back to yourself when you can – without feeling guilty about it.
Even something like a short walk around the block, reading a good book, or meeting a friend for coffee will help you to get back in touch with your true self. This will give you the energy you need to continue to care for your family without feeling like youâ€™re being pulled from all sides.
- Give up lofty expectations. So what if you canâ€™t get your baby to enjoy bath time? So what if you canâ€™t keep your house perfectly clean in between changing diapers? Itâ€™s time to let go of expectations placed on you to be a super mom and come to grips with reality.
You donâ€™t have to juggle everything all at once. Your priority is to care for your new baby and to care for yourself, and soon the balance will come between family, chores, work, and outside relationships.
Bethany Ramos is a full-time freelance writer that co-owns her own e-commerce website, The Coffee Bump. The Coffee Bump specializes in a wide variety of Bunn coffee makers and assorted coffee and espresso products.