I am officially one month into being a first time mom. I absolutely love being a mom to my adorable, newborn baby, but I’m not going to lie, it has been difficult. Challenging it may be, it is still the most rewarding job. I truly believe God’s purpose for me is to be a mom. I am trying to fulfill my purpose with the best attitude possible. There have been several things that have helped me in staying positive as a new Mom. Now these things certainly don’t help me everyday. I still struggle with postpartum depression, anxiety, and just overall “baby blues” some days. However, when I put my mind to staying consistent in these things, I have found they make my days better. Here’s what has helped me:
1. Rest when Baby rests– definitely easier said then done. Especially when your newborn baby does not have a consistent sleep schedule, wakes up hungry often, and your mom instincts keep you awake. I will never take sleep for granted again! So if you nap during the day when your baby naps, don’t feel guilty about it! Naps are everything! Also, I started tracking my sleep with my Fitbit and came to find that I was actually getting more sleep than I thought.
2. Stay healthy– The first few days home from the hospital I spent all my time that I wasn’t feeding my baby or changing his diaper sitting on the couch eating ice cream, Donuts, brownies, sour candy… basically everything that had sugar in it. I realized my pregnancy cravings did not go away! All I could think about was SWEETS! I quickly decided this was not going to be good for me & decided to get back to being healthy. I began eating more fruits & veggies & drinking LOTS of water. Staying hydrated is so important especially if you are breastfeeding. Keep taking your prenatals or a multivitamin as well! Keeping my body healthy with what I was feeding myself did help me feel better.
3. Get outside– After just a few days of being at home by myself with the baby, I realized I had not seen the sunlight or felt fresh air in a while. This certainly contributed to feeling down in the dumps. Sitting outside for just a few minutes can make the world of a difference! I also began walking nightly with my husband, baby, and our dog once I was feeling better physically. Getting outside and getting a bit of exercise is so good for you physically & mentally.
4. Do something for yourself– I began looking in the mirror and not recognizing myself. This is when I knew I was not taking care of myself. I would spend all day in my pajamas and let time get away from me taking care of the baby. My husband would get home in the evening from work and I would realize it was 6:00 Pm and I still hadn’t changed clothes, showered, brushed my teeth or my hair, much less anything else. Now I’m not saying you have to get up every morning and put on a full face of makeup. But you should find a few minutes to at least get out of your Pj’s and brush your teeth. I also realized it had been quite some time since I pampered myself so I ordered some new makeup just to make myself feel better. Then, once I felt like leaving the house, I let my mom watch the baby & I went and got a manicure. Doing something small for yourself like even just taking a bath and lighting a candle can help improve your mood.
5. Use essential oils- I had started using oils prior to my pregnancy but I was never really serious about using them until after I had my baby. My friend talked me into ordering a starter kit & I looked into all the different benefits of oils for me and my baby. The main oils I use are lavender to promote sleep for me & my baby, DoTERRA’s OnGuard for immune support for my baby, DoTERRA’s DigestZen for my baby’s digestive issues, and YoungLiving’s Gentle Baby for emotional support for me & my baby. I noticed these oils have changed my life! Oils really do have so many great benefits for your physical, mental, & emotional health.
6. Ask for help– I thought I had to be Supermom just days after delivering. I realized real quick that I can’t do this alone. It’s okay to ask for help whether it’s having your husband change the diapers in the middle of the night, having a friend come over & hold the baby while you eat lunch, or asking your mom to spend a few hours at your house to help you catch up on laundry & chores while you take a nap. Help is good!
7. Spend time with God– Between my busy days & sleepless nights, I quickly found it was easy to lose sight in my faith. I had to remind myself that God is my strength and I am not alone. Setting aside some time each day in prayer & devotion really helped me. My relationship with God has always been important to me but I realized I need Him more now than I ever have before. I give Him all the glory for blessing me with my precious child & I need to spend more time giving thanks.
8. Slow down– It will be okay if not everything gets done in a day. You don’t have to be perfect. Take time to just slow down and enjoy the moments with your new little one. You don’t have to get right back to your daily hustle & bustle. And when it is time to get back to your routine, remember to take a few moments to slow down & live a little.
9. Stay positive– It is easy to let the exhaustion defeat you. I was getting very discouraged when it came to figuring all this new Mom stuff out. I had to remind myself there are a million new moms out there learning too & I am not the only one who is struggling. As hard as it is to stay positive, you have to give it a try and remember it will get easier.
10. Just hold your baby– Sometimes you gotta just hold your baby in your arms & admire how precious they truly are. I never thought I could love anything as much as I do my sweet baby boy. Just taking time to hold him and love on him makes everything worth it!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my postpartum journey & found some insight in my advice. Remember, you are a great mom & you are not alone!