Guest Post By Angele Lauzon from peaceoutnegativity.com
I’m excited to present to you my first guest post by Angele Lauzon from peaceoutnegativity.com! She is a Canadian blogger who loves to talk all things mental health and personal growth. Angele is full of wisdom and has many beneficial tips to share with new moms and moms in general! Hope you enjoy! -Marie
Being a new mom is one of the coolest feelings in the world! You’re the mother of the most beautiful baby in the world, and everything is perfect! Wait a second, we’re forgetting about something. Self-care. Self-care for moms isn’t the easiest thing.
While you’re dealing with adjusting to your new family situation, taking care of yourself as a new mom can be challenging. It can be hard to strike a balance between providing for the baby and taking some time to yourself.
Feeling guilty is normal. YOU are normal.
I’m here to help! As a self-proclaimed self-care expert, I used my own experiences and those of the women around me to make this guide just for you. Motherhood is rough, y’all, so buckle up!
This article contains:
- Self-care for sleeping
- Moving your body for self-care
- Dealing with loneliness as a new mom
- Self-care to preserve mental health
Self-Care When Sleeping as a New Mom
HUGE DISCLAIMER: Gone are the days that you’ll be getting uninterrupted sleep for 10 hours. Your little one is like a college student right now and needs to eat every few hours!
However, getting some semblance of quality sleep as a new mom is really important. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, you know the feeling of struggling to keep your eyes open. It sucks.
So, here are some quick tips you can implement in your routine to get some higher quality sleep!
Sleep when your baby does.
This is actually a controversial piece of advice, but hear me out: sleep is a hot commodity. You will not be getting any medals for struggling to stay awake when your little one is sleeping soundly.
You will only be productive when you have get some rest, so it’s okay to take a nap!
Some things to expect:
- Your house will be messy. It’s okay to prioritize sleep over a clean house.
- You might also be hungry. Grab a quick snack and eat it before your nap.
- It probably won’t be a long nap, but try to at least relax while you close your eyes.
I recommend listening to some relaxing ASMR videos or a guided meditation if you’re having a hard time sleeping! Sometimes, our bodies are too tense to fall asleep easily.
Take turns to wake up with your partner.
If you have a partner, it’s only fair that you each take turns caring for the baby at night! That way, one person won’t be more drastically sleep deprived than the other.
The way you two choose to do this depends on if your partner is on leave or has to work. This is something that should be discussed as a couple.
HOWEVER (and this is a huge however),
Just because you aren’t at work right now doesn’t mean that you should have the full responsibility of waking up at night.
Remember: it takes two to make a baby, and two to care for a baby!
Moving Your Body for Self-Care as a New Mom
If you gave birth to your baby, you might want to wait a bit until you start moving around a lot again.
After that healing process is over, moving your body as a new mom is such a good way for you to get that self-care that you need.
Don’t believe me? Here are some benefits of exercising:
- It increases your energy;
- It tones your abdominal muscles
- Exercising might help you sleep better.
- It’s a great stress-reliever.
Even if you’re not usually an active person, getting outside might be just what you need. Here are a few ways you can start doing that.
Go for family walks.
This one is great because you get to spend quality time with your baby and/or partner, and it’s free!
Enjoying the scenery around you and getting some cardio will work wonders for any stress you might have, which is why I highly recommend it for stress management.
Sign up for mommy and me classes.
I used to take swimming lessons as a toddler with my dad, and I still have memories of that!
Again, you’re killing two birds with one stone: You’re spending quality time with your baby, and you’re getting some exercise in. I call that a win!
Dealing with Loneliness as a New Mom
Dealing with motherhood, even though billions have done it before, can still be an isolating experience. The feeling of not being good enough, feeling overwhelmed and feeling like no one understands are all common things.
Feeling lonely sucks. Here are a few tips to handle that feeling.
Accept help when you need it.
If you’re anything like me, you love to figure things out on your own and being independent.
Have you ever heard people say that it takes a village to raise a child?
Cliché, I know, but it’s true.
A lot of the people who offer to help have been new parents themselves, and know what it’s like! So, take the help if you need it. You’ll have someone to talk to!
Reach out online to mommy groups.
When feeling lonely, it’s important to remind ourselves that there are others who are in the same position as we are!
If you’re on social media, here is an awesome list of 20 mom groups worth joining on Facebook. You can also check if you have any local mommy groups that meet up to share parenting experiences as well!
Self-Care to Preserve Mental Health
If you take any advice from this post, this section is it. Mental health is extremely sensitive after welcoming a new member of your family.
There is no shame in admitting that you need a bit of help in the mental health department. So many moms do!
Get checked for postpartum depression.
Depression is surprisingly common for pregnant women and new mothers. While your doctor might usually check for signs of PPD after you give birth, it might be useful if you ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel like you can’t do this whole motherhood thing?
- Do you feel guilty about the way you’re handling being a new mom, like you should be doing better?
- Are you resentful of your baby, or enraged?
- Do you feel numb to every emotion?
- Do you have a hard time bonding with your baby?
- Is something wrong?
If that’s sounding like you, you might be experiencing some symptoms of postpartum depression. This is something you can chat about with your doctor, and get the tools necessary to get you feeling better!
Realize that motherhood is messy.
You are doing your best. Even if you feel like you’re not good enough, you are doing the best you can.
A lot of times, we see celebrities recovering quickly after childbirth or stories of how amazing being a new mom is.
It’s okay if that’s not you yet.
You will make mistakes, but you will also learn along the way. Babies don’t come with instruction manuals, and even if they did, no one would read them.
Take it day by day, mama. You’ve got this.