It is known that being a mother is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever have to do, yet the rewards far outweigh the struggle.
If you are a new mother, perhaps you have yet to experience the reward part of motherhood. Don’t worry, it will come.
Let’s be honest for a moment, the first few weeks of motherhood are gruelling!
You may have been so diligent at your prenatal classes, read all the books on early childhood development, you may even have a natural affinity for babies. The truth is – nothing can prepare you for when it finally happens. Nothing!
Please know this – you are not alone! It does get better and you do get stronger.
I would like to share some things with you to help you through those awful first six weeks. Not many people talk about it or even admit how hard it is. I am putting myself out there to say that I struggled. I felt guilty and lonely and often invisible and guiltier because of it.
Here are some tips to get you through the first few weeks of being a new mom.
1. Lower your expectations
It is totally ok to wear your pyjamas all day and only brush your hair once a week; never mind putting on make-up and shaving. That can wait. Your baby will take up all your time, especially if you are/can breastfeed. The house doesn’t need to be cleaned all the time and it’s ok to let the washing pile up a bit.
I had a rule with anyone who wanted to visit. They were not allowed to play with the baby unless they either helped to clean the house, put a load of washing on or brought a meal for myself and my husband. Do the same for your friends with babies!
People usually don’t take this seriously enough. My mom always told me not to be a martyr. It doesn’t do anyone any good. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, happy mommy – happy baby. Rest is the only way you can recover from giving birth. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Don’t be tempted to tidy up or have people over; that can wait.
3. Drink a lot
– of water especially. Dehydration can make you feel even more lethargic and exhausted than you already are. If you are breastfeeding, feeling thirsty will be a normal sensation for you. If water gets a bit boring, try jungle juice. You can download the recipe here.
4. Ask for help
It’s ok not to have all the answers.
5. Buy second-hand
Babies are only expensive when you want them to be, (unless they are ill).
6. Read reviews on products
This will give you real insight. Also, help a mother out and give reviews on products you’ve used.
7. Take time for your partner, but not now
Set up a date once a month to start. Pick the time of day that’s the easiest with the baby. Just go out for breakfast or lunch, or a short walk and catch up with each other.
8. Eat well
Now is not the time for fancy diets and fads, especially if you’re breastfeeding. You need wholesome, fresh foods and a variety of foods. Rule of thumb – don’t eat anything your gran doesn’t recognise.
Your doctor will generally recommend supplements like Calcium, vitamin D and Iron. Everybody is different. If you are unsure, go for a blood test to see where you are deficient.
10. Don’t read too much
Trust your instinct first!