If you are a first-time mom, brace yourselves because motherhood is not easy, neither is it for the faint-hearted! The fantasy of motherhood goes straight to the reality of 3 a.m. feedings and incessant cries.
Looking after your own needs can be a challenge in itself these days. But once your precious little bundle of joy arrives, you’re also responsible for the health, well-being, and safety of another tiny human being. In a word, being a first time mom is overwhelming.
In the process, do not lose sight of your OWN needs and sanity as it’s equally – if not more – important.
Here are some of the best and foolproof tips for first-time moms that can make the journey to motherhood a tad bit easier to navigate.
#1: Join a mother’s group
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious, lonely, and so, so tired, know that you are not alone and that it’s entirely OKAY! Joining an all mom group will help you during such overwhelming situations, especially when your partner is at work or unavailable.
I understand if you’re unsure about the idea of self-care. But believe me, isolation and loneliness – especially during the pandemic – are much more significant threats to your sanity and, more importantly, your abilities as a mother. Knowing that you have other mothers to talk to, ask for help, and learn how other mothers handle their new responsibilities can really help save you from yourself.
#2: Be honest
Being a mother is indeed one of the most fulfilling roles you’d ever have, and though you wouldn’t change it for the world, you must maintain balance in life. Many first-time moms struggle with their newborns on a visceral level which can often be overwhelming.
However, you must be honest about how hard it is for you. Acknowledging and talking about motherhood struggles can prevent you from sinking deep into them. Thus, be sure to share them with your partner, husband, family, friends, and family.
Your struggles can be validated, normalized, supported, and ultimately shouldered for a better tomorrow by talking to someone. Always having to be okay is not okay. If you pretend like everything is fine, you’ll likely drown in it instead of moving through it.
#3: Slow down and listen
As with all things, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting that works well for all parents and children. I have learned that being in harmony with yourself, your partner, and your child is all you should worry about.
Sometimes things go awry, or problems emerge that fling a wrench in an otherwise working system (i.e., sickness, sleep, travel.) When things go sideways, I’d strongly recommend you slow down, listen closely to your inner voice, and proceed from there. Don’t rely entirely on what others say or believe is best for you or the baby. It’s always good to consider others’ opinions, but ultimately you must do what you feel is right! After all, nobody knows your family better than you.
Whatever it takes to get you past the first year happier, healthier, and more in love with your new life as a mother, do it. Look after yourself, listen to your gut, and most importantly, ensure you are not at the bottom of your list. Remember, these are just a few things you can do for yourself as a first-time mom, so do not hesitate to explore other options!