Motherhood is an experience unlike any other. It is both a time of joy and stress. The days and weeks after your baby is born can feel so unreal with so many things happening to your body and to your life all at the same time. With a tight schedule revolving around your baby, there seems to be very little time for all the real changes to sink into your system. Before you know it, you are reeling from an endless list of things to do, a body that is aching from the aftermath of childbirth and sleep deprivation, and a house that resembles a sinking ship.
Most new mothers experience a state of anxiety as a result of having so much to do at home. It can be particularly difficult for women who are systematic and organized by nature. You may have gotten used to a certain routine or lifestyle long before your baby came along. And while you love your baby so much, the disruption in your system may be causing some stressful reactions within you.
Take comfort in the thought that there are mothers before you who have experienced the same bitter-sweet conflicts that are part and parcel of parenting. And these mothers now live to tell their tales of success after a seemingly downhill trend. The following are some of the tips mothers have effectively used to keep themselves from falling apart when the going got tough:
Make time for yourself.
Don’t just withdraw from the rest of the world and succumb to feelings of self pity while you are alone. Use the valuable time to do something enjoyable or that which you have been yearning to do while you were singing your baby to sleep last night.
It could be a short trip to a beauty salon for a manicure, a facial or a quick massage. Some find that walking around their favorite mall or watching a funny movie can provide a quick fix to a seemingly bad day.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
No one expects a new mom to be a superhero even if you wanted to be one for your family. Your partner can do a good job in clearing the table, loading up the washer and dryer and even changing your baby’s diapers. Friends and other family members who drop by to check on you half expect to help out if needed. Welcome a visitor’s gift of food which you can serve during dinner instead of toiling in the kitchen.
Get a trusted babysitter if you need to unwind with your husband.
If you feel the need to seek professional help to deal with anxiety or serious panic attacks, by all means, do so. An experienced counselor is trained to listen to problems and may spot underlying issues to recurring problems that you may have failed to see on your own.
Connect regularly with mothers who inspire.
Surrounding yourself with people who are similarly situated and have handled their situations well can inspire you to view your issues in a positive way. Exchanging stories and ideas about what works and what doesn’t can provide you with a wealth of resources appropriate to your situation.
Make a realistic list of things to do.
Change is inevitable. There will always be changes in your life for as long as you live. There may be more of those changes now because of something as beautiful as having a new person in your world. The best way to deal with so many changes is to accept them as they are. Nobody said that you have to take care of everything all at once.
Make a list of things to do according to your priorities and weed out the unimportant ones or reschedule them on a future date. Keeping a shorter list of things to do will make it easier for you to accomplish them and feel good about yourself after. Remember the fable of the thirsty bird: little by little does the trick.
Touch your loved ones.
The frenzy of activity can leave out simple moments such as touching your loved ones at home. A warm hug every now and then is comforting and reassuring. A playful touch on your partner’s arm or back can break the monotony of household routines while connecting with your husband. Letting your baby grasp your finger is satisfying, so is tapping your baby’s lower back while feeding him or her in your arms. Sometimes, a loving touch is what you need to ease your worries.
It’s easy to get caught up in the emotional and physical load of being a new mom. While it may seem that you are alone in your personal struggle after childbirth, truth is, there are others who share your experience or are willing to help you out if you let them.
Another way of looking at this time of confusion is to see that your baby will only be a cute bundle of joy once in his lifetime. It is a phase that will pass so quickly that you may one day find yourself missing the moments when he was a helpless little thing. Cherish these moments while taking good care of your self.