As I sit here on my first vacation ever since before having kids; looking at the palm trees, with a sangria in my hand and sun on my face - I’m reminded of the importance of self-care. Taking two littles half way across the world is definitely not the most relaxed vacation I’ve been on, but I sneak some time to myself when I get the chance and try to soak in their new experiences and moments of joy getting some quality time with mom and dad.
We get asked often how we manage this type of work along with having young kids, the all nighters, the constant on call lifestyle. Usually, we respond with working a shared care model helps out a lot as we swap being on call - giving each other 4 days “off”. I find it interesting that around 90% of our clients mention this at some point in our relationship together, without realizing that taking care of a newborn is no different. Waking up in all hours of the night, needed all day, while still taking care of home and maintaining a relationship with partners. This is where self-care comes in.
It’s so easy to get caught up in motherhood, giving all of yourself to this new human you’ve created and love so dearly. And you want to be there all the time, you don’t want to miss any of their little moments. But you know what? It’s HARD. You get burnt out - just as we do! Taking moments, minutes, hours to yourself is so necessary, and so deserved. Here’s how to get some self-care as a new mother that are easy to do and realistic!
1. Ask for help. I cannot stress this one enough. Yes girl, you’re tough and you CAN handle it all yourself. But you shouldn’t. Ask for help - more likely than not, you will get it.
2. Find other mom friends. People that know exactly what you’re going through as a parent. People you can share your bad days with while also gushing about the good. You need a village. Find it.
3. Get out of the house. Schedule your days each week that you will get out of the house. It could be for a walk, groceries, the mall. Just. Get. Out.
4. Exercise(once you have the clear). Exercise is so important physically and mentally. There are some fantastic classes around the city that you can bring baby with. Strollersize kept me sane after my second child and I met an amazing friend while doing it who has a daughter just weeks older than my youngest.
5. When people offer help around the house or to bring you food, take it! Just say yes, every thing that can be taken off your plate in your day gives you more time for you.
6. Leave the mess. Seriously - dishes can be left for another day. Your laundry can wait. When baby naps, do what you want. Even if that’s sitting and doing nothing at all.
7. Get ready. Some days just showering and wearing something other than sweats can change your mood and lift you up. Who knows, it may make you want to get out of the house!
8. Enjoy a meal. I remember in those first postpartum months I rarely actually sat and ate or enjoyed a meal. Put the baby down for 20 minutes, sit, and enjoy your meal while it’s still hot.
9. Get off social media when you do get your quiet moments while baby is sleeping. Sit and read, sit in just silence, do something for you. Don’t waste your time looking at everyone else’s lives.
10. Get rid of the guilt. This also has to do with social media. It’s easy to compare yourself to other moms and what they’re doing with their baby or the milestones their baby is reaching. And also know that you will have bad days. They happen, and they’re okay. You will also have amazing days.