Last month, I shared about ‘A Support Team Every New Mom Needs’ and included preparation tips to make life easier for a new mom. However, as much as preparations can help, it is impossible to be 100% prepared for what is to come. For instance, my baby has generalized eczema and I find myself struggling to cope with the itch, scratching, rashes and lack of rest and sleep. Having gone through a difficult first year with my baby, below are some emotional support tips for moms!
Hang on to those who love you.
Your husband is on your side – when a child needs special care, a new mom may feel responsible and think that only she can do all the difficult tasks. That is not true. Fathers can be as good and even better nurturers to a child. Your husband loves you and will help if offered the chance. If you’ve been praying and doing devotional, hang on to them. Family and friends will not be devoting themselves to your child like you do, but they can certainly help a little with the chores, the meals or helping with certain errands.
Don’t neglect your emotional health.
Chill time is important. It is good for the family to have a happy mom. Moreover stress can be passed from a mother to her baby, and certainly we don’t want to subject our baby to chronic stress from birth! Similar to couples having a date-night that may not work out, a mom may not feel that her precious break is truly relaxing. It often takes a few attempts before alternative caregiving arrangements work out, keep trying, don’t neglect your emotional health and show gratitude to those who help.
Don’t neglect your physical health.
Sleep, exercise and eating proper meals are important for one’s sanity and having the energy to carry out duties for the day. It is easy to skip exercise to have more time, but exercise helps to keep us healthy and elevate our energy level. Eating breakfast (think less refined carbohydrates, more protein) helps to keep our metabolism up.
Nip negative feelings in the bud.
Don’t allow feelings such as guilt, resentment, blame to occupy your mind and rob you of the joy of being a mom. Each family situation is different. A baby may have special needs, or the family may be undergoing under challenges such as a new job, a new house or an ill family member. Whatever the situation, work out negative feelings and don’t let them manifest.
It is OK not to be perfect.
Sometimes feeding our baby a pre-made food (instead of homemade) or occupying the baby with 30 minutes of TV is acceptable. Calling in pizzas as a family meal when the day has been difficult is also ok. I aimed to do everything including a three-course meal for my husband and on hindsight; I ought to have called for pizzas take-outs more often!
Any other suggestions for new moms? Please share them!
Photo: “Mother and Her Newborn Baby” by David Castillo (freedigitalphotos.net)