Ten tips to help new moms stop crying in their coffee: Having a baby? How can you “get” what having and caring for a baby is like, until it happens? You really can’t. I found the transition from working full-time, having an active social life, a bit of fun money and a lot of free me time …to being a mom, earthquaking, crying into my coffee, hard!
I wrote these ten helpful tips to help other women who are struggling with their new job title, “superwoman” aka Mom. It is really hard to go from being a professional person who has routines and coffee breaks to being a 24/7 human feeding machine!
Once I had finally created a nice mommy routine, my twelve weeks of maternity leave were up! Finding daycare was one of the hardest projects I ever accomplished. How could I find someone that would care for my son the way I needed him to be cared for? And then once I returned to work, how would I be able to manage my job, baby, home, and social life. Who was I kidding?
No one can describe well enough what being a Mom is like, you just have to get through it. Good luck. It’s the best ride in the park!
1. Get Organized
You know what I’m talking about, girls. Ideally, this happens before you bring home your bundle of joy from the hospital. I’m hoping that your nesting instinct took over and you realized this was the last time you would be completely alone to get your home organized. Or rather, as I like to call it, motivated by intense fear that you will never get anything done after the baby comes. If not, no worries, you can still do it.
Clean out your closets, kitchen cabinets, and drawers, and donate or trash what you don’t need, don’t wear, and don’t use. You can’t take it with you. The less you have, the less you will have to reorganize later. Designate a place for everything, and make sure your husband/partner is aware of where that place is. Label it if you have to. Take pictures of the inside of your cabinets so your husband knows where things should go, I’m not kidding! Choose a spot, such as, soap goes in the basket in the linen closet, diapers in the baby’s closet, then you will always know what you need and where to put it. Babies don’t need much, and if your house is small like mine, less truly is more.
2. Get Over It
I’m talking about your pregnancy and your birth experience. When people come to visit you and see your new precious baby, don’t spend too much time on the labor pain you experienced or the sleep deprivation. Is sharing that kind of information refreshing you? No, and its bringing down the rest of the room too! Talk about your baby, and the amazing attachment you have for him or her. If you need help or are feeling stressed (maybe you are experiencing a little post-partum depression) ask for help, ask for what you need. Ask for diapers, or a meal, or help with the laundry or a few hours of babysitting so you can catch your breath. People can’t read your mind you have to ask for what you need.
3. Get a Routine
I mean like the routine you “had” before the baby. You would get up, go for a jog, take a long (ahh) leisurely shower, get dressed in something cute and fashionable, do your hair and makeup, grab your nonfat vanilla latte from Starbucks, and be on your way to work. Those were good days, weren’t they?
First step in creating a new routine, is giving up your old one. Letting go of the past is big. Your baby didn’t ask to be brought into this world, you brought him here, so don’t resent him for interrupting your sleep, sex life, waistline, bank account, etc. Take a deep breath and remember that all this baby needs is love. Change is hard for some, and even harder for others.
When your little one has some sort of schedule like up at 6:30 a.m. and then back down at 9 a.m., try and create a routine: get up, feed baby, put baby in bouncy seat, get dressed and tidy up the house. Try to go for a walk or go to the grocery store early in the day when you have a bit of energy. Make to-do lists, and try and just cross off one item each day. Create a morning routine and an evening routine.
4. Get Dressed … All the Way to Your Shoes
Flylady.net has taught a ton of women that getting dressed is just not good enough. You have to get dressed all the way to your shoes. There’s just something empowering about having shoes on, you move faster and get more done. That, and you will probably find yourself going for a walk, which is soo good for you and your little one.
5. Get Moving
I know how hard it is to not sit down and just watch the boob tube once your little person has finally gone down for the count, but get up, make a to-do list, start laundry, make your bed, sweep and vacuum, take a shower, dust, write thank-you notes. Pick any of the above! The more you try, the easier it will be for you to get a ton done while your baby rests. Also, try and see how fast you can move … safely! I try and make it a game to see how fast I can move while my son sleeps!
At some point, you need to start exercising again. If you didn’t have an exercise routine before the baby was born, that’s okay … just try and go for a walk three to five times a week. Lifting your baby is a great arm and abdomen exercise. The more exercise you get in, the better you will feel when you get naked!
6. Get Naked
I know it seems like a million years, but not long ago you shared a passionate night with your partner and created that screaming child in the next room. The one thing that you share with your partner and no one else is sex. It is so important to have that intimate relationship with your husband. When you feel up to it, pop open a bottle of wine, take a long, hot shower, and light some candles. Read a romance novel to get in the mood, whatever it takes. Start by kissing and see where it leads.
7. Get Out
I know it is hard, especially if your baby is a fussy face like mine son was, but you need to get out of your house every single day! Even if it is just outside your front door, you need to get your clothes on, put a little make-up on and go to the store or just for a walk. Take a look around, give those sleep-deprived eyes something other to look at than the same four walls! It will be good for you and for your little one. Reconnect with the world!
8. Get Social
It is very important to meet with other parents. I turned to my friends countless times who had older babies. They were so incredibly helpful with questions about nursing, teething, sleeping, diarrhea, crying, colds, etc. I also learned through my friends that babies do eventually sleep through the night, eat better, and become more independent. It does get easier … hang in there!
9. Get Help
If you don’t have family or friends to call on then look in the yellow pages for a list of church’s near you. From time to time you need to get out, on your own, for a few hours. A good friend of mine told me this once, “Babies won’t die from crying.” She was right. My son was a colicky little guy. He cried before and after every feeding. He wasn’t easy to put down for a nap or even bathe. I needed my husband, mom, neighbor … absolutely anyone who was willing to give me an hour to regroup … so I could get back in there and care for my baby.
10. Get Happy
Remember how you used to love going to the movies, or you loved going to yoga twice a week? It is really important to indulge yourself and feed your spirit. I love to read. I can get lost in a book, and it is a wonderful way to alter my reality, even just for twenty minutes. Try and ask for help from your partner and family so you are able to find some you time. When you go away for a couple of hours to do something you love, you will come back with twice the energy you went away with. Your baby needs you to be happy ... so please try and indulge yourself for even just twenty minutes.
Web sites that ROCK!
Fly Lady: Routines, routines, routines! This is the place to learn how to stick to a routine and also get loving, nurturing support. I LOVE FLYLADY!)
Baby Center: Join your birth month group. It is a great place to talk to other Mom’s with babies the same age as yours.