15 Tips on How to Survive & Thrive With a Newborn – Part 222 June 2018
8. FORGET THE HOUSEWORK
When bub is asleep, rest, relaxation and bucket fillers come first! I know this is not always achievable, but I always try (still to this day – my eldest is 4!) to catch a nap too, relax with that cup of coffee I’ve been trying to drink all morning, read, meditate, watch Netflix or do some pilates. Housework, shmousework! That can be done when bub is awake!
9. TRY TO GET OUTDOORS EVERY DAY
Nature will work wonders for your mental health and you’ll probably find bub will love it too!
10. BE PERSISTENT & CONSISTENT WHEN INTRODUCING NEW THINGS
I’ve watched so many frustrated mothers give up trying with the bottle, dummy, solids, tummy-time, comforters, a new routine (you name it) because it didn’t work after a couple of tries/days.Give it time! Two weeks is generally my time-frame for introducing new things. After this I might try to change things up a bit, give it the flick, or do a little more research.
11. TREAT MOTHERHOOD LIKE A JOB
After all, it is a job, the most important job in the world!! And just like with any other job there are positives and negatives. There are days when you may feel you ‘don’t like it’ and that’s okay. There will also be days when you feel you love it and that you’re absolutely nailing it. Just take it as it comes. The most important thing though I believe, is to get up, shower and get dressed for the day (and out of those milk stained pjs!), as if you were heading off to work. Heck, even chuck on some make up so you’re looking and feeling fresh and ready to rumble. Not only does this get you in the right mindset to attack the day, it also makes it easier to leave the house quickly later on if you decide an outing is necessary, or if you just need to pop to the shops to grab some milk for that much-needed coffee!
12. COME UP WITH A MANTRA
There will be moments where you will feel like you’re failing, that’s just a given, and most of these moments will occur when you’re reaaaaally sleep deprived or feeling hormonal. Use a mantra to reign those negative thoughts back in. Remember Tip No# 3 here too- meditation can help you notice the thoughts before they completely derail you. My fave mantras are; “I’m doing okay” “Surrender” *see Tip 15 “This too shall pass” And try to take it hour by hour, (or even minute by minute). One crappy minute/hour doesn’t necessarily mean your whole day/night will be awful. You’ll often find with babies – they can be miserable/difficult one minute and then happy as Larry the next #ohwhataride!
13. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
I know everyone says this one but what does it really mean? And what does it really look like when you’re nose deep in sleep deprivation? It means;
– let bub cry for 5 minutes while you take a shower or go to the toilet
– go ahead and ask your friend/visitor/husband/grandma/stranger (okay maybe not a total stranger!) to hold baby for 20 mins while you walk around the block
– get your hair shampooed while you’re at the shop and bub’s asleep in the pram or even grab a quick massage
– put bub in their bouncer with some toys while you sneak in an episode of Outlander
– ring your husband/friend to have a whinge
WHATEVER. Do whatever it is that will make your mind feel that little bit clearer or your chest that little bit lighter. And do it without feeling guilty – YOU CAN’T POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP!
I know everyone says it but this time will fly by (the days/nights are long but the years are short) and pretty soon you will be waving goodbye to your child on their first day of childcare/kindy and missing that little newborn bundle of cuteness. And as insignificant as you may feel at times, covered in milk stains with dry-shampoo in your hair, your little person is benefiting so much from all those early cuddles/times/days with you at home. To gain some perspective on ‘those days’ I find looking back at old photos, keepsakes and videos really helps!! It reminds me that I’m doing something HUGE and of how far we’ve come. So just remember, you are raising a little human, one you grew inside you and brought into the world. Mind blowing, isn’t it?
15. SURRENDER TO PARENTHOOD
Don’t fight it. Surrender. Surrender to the lack of control you now have. Surrender to the fact that life will never be the same. Surrender to the little sleep, the early mornings, the chaos, never showering or going to the toilet alone again, feeling confused, anxious, worried, and always putting someone’s needs above your own. Surrender. But also, surrender to the millions of transcendent moments you’ll now have and the sometimes ‘crippling’, overwhelming LOVE that will sneak up on you when you least expect it (and probably leak out of your eye balls). Surrender to BEAUTIFUL. POWERFUL. MOTHERHOOD and all that comes with it.