Being a mom is tough-and being a first time mom, is even harder. But everything is the first time you try. It’s easy to get bogged down with any new thing, but motherhood is definitely something that every woman has her “moments” with. So what do you do to keep yourself sane in times of chaos, depression, and sheer terror? This is what I encourage new (and not-so-new) moms to remember, when parenting and adjusting to a new baby, becomes difficult….
5: Stay Centered
Sometimes easier said than done, but it’s important to keep your composure as much as possible. Find your center and return to it when things become stressful. Return to it as many times as it takes… some days it will be often. Some days, not so much…Use meditation, breathing exercises, even walk away for a few moments if you must-whatever it takes to bring you back to a good state.
4: Multitask With Distractions
What I mean by this is, if you find yourself stuck on the couch with a hungry baby who can’t get enough milk, making feeding time longer – or you have to stay in the room so little one will nap peacefully in the pack & play (whenever they do pass out), use the time to keep your mind occupied without totally giving away your attention to your child. Read a book, browse Pinterest for anything that interests you, join a Facebook Mommy group…before you know it, baby will be full, asleep, and you won’t have noticed how much time has passed (and you won’t be bored out of your mind, or worse-thinking about anything anxious or depressing, like the laundry you didn’t get to today)
3: Find Your Tribe
Speaking of Facebook Mommy groups (although that’s not the only place you can reach out), it’s important to seek out a tribe of your own- fellow mommies who either enjoy the same things you do, parent the same way, or even just have one thing in common. It’s natural to find yourself stuck at home a lot, with little or no adult interaction the majority of the time. Use your social media tools to engage conversations with other Moms. You’ll learn new things, have a place to go when seeking advice, or even just to chat. Because we all need real interaction, especially at such a new (and sometimes difficult) time in life. And there’s literally a group for everyone! After you’ve found your “Starbucks and Tattoos” Mom Club, you’ll thank me…
2: Take A Break
This kinda goes back to #5, but it deserves a place of it’s own. You will need an occasional break. It’s not a failure on your part as a parent. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy, or uncaring. You will need, be it a few weeks or months, or even days into being a mom, a legitimate break. It doesn’t have to be for long, but take one. Have your partner, or your own parent, friend or babysitter, take over with your child and Break. Run errands alone without the diaper bag in tow. Take a nap! Or a long bath. Even if it has to be a cigarette and glass of wine-no judgement-do whatever it takes to turn your mind off (temporarily) and reset. You’ll relax better with whatever it is you’re doing, knowing that the baby is safe and secure with someone else. And you will benefit in the long run from much needed detachment, even if only for a little while.
1: Remember, this too shall pass…
It sounds depressing, but it’s the truth. There will come a time that the sleepless nights, inconsolable screaming, and tedious baby-walking-around-the-house, will come to an end. It’s hard to remember in the thick of it, but he will stop teething at some point. She will start sleeping through the night, and they will get off your boobs one day. Nothing lasts forever, and while we sometimes want it to, this does apply to infancy. They get older every day…and you never know when the last screaming, angry fit, will be the last. It might seem like you’ll never sleep again-but you will. You might think you’re doomed to warm bottles forever, but you won’t. Before you know it, you’ll have a toddler…and then a kid! And you’ll miss all those little things that seemed so frustrating at the time. So don’t worry Mama, you’ll get through it, with time. And, lot’s of coffee.
Jasmine Hewitt is a first time mom to a sweet little boy, and a wife to an amazing husband. She’s a baby wearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, tattooed lover of wine and Netflix. And she blogs!
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