How to Keep From Losing Your Mind in Your First Year of Motherhood
If you’re in your first few days of motherhood and are wondering how you’ll ever survive, welcome to the club. You are now officially a mother. Things have gotten real, and you’re going to need some tips and a lot of ice cream to get you through this first year.
So stock the freezer and pay careful attention to the wisdom we’re about to impart on you. We’ll be the Mr. Miyagi to your Daniel LaRusso. You’re welcome, grasshopper.
1. Assemble Your Team
Even the Avengers needed help. You think Iron Man could have handled all that stuff going down by himself? Nope. And you can’t either.
You need a list of besties and minions you can call when the chips are down and you need a serious time out. Your partner can be your go-to person. But you can add grandparents, your siblings, and friends to that list. Make it as long as you can, and just when you think you’re done, think about any friends who owe you a favor and toss them on there as well.
You’ll want a long list so you aren’t tapping the same person over and over again. Pretty soon, you’ll find they are dodging your calls and, really, who could blame them?
2. Plan Ahead
Plan ahead for everything you want to do. In the early weeks, you’re going to want to plan ahead even for the little things like taking a shower. Trust me, it can feel like a major undertaking. Small things like getting a long shower without fear that your baby is screaming his/her head off in the other room can feel like the greatest luxury in the world.
And if you decide you want a night out? It’s best to give up that dream of impromptu fun and spontaneity. You’ll want to line that up at least a week in advance so you can find a babysitter.
Even meal times should be planned
out to make your life easier. If you’re a working mom, consider prepping a full week’s meals on Sunday and then popping them in the freezer until they are needed. That might stop you from having a full-on hunger and stress meltdown one night after work.
3. Find Your Happy Place
If it’s good enough for Happy Gilmore, it’s good enough for you. When the chips are down and you’re about to lose your mind, think of something or someone who makes you happy and try to envision that instead of the mess your life has become.
If that means in your mind you’re riding a unicorn, shooting rainbows from your hands, and eating with wild abandon with no threat of gaining weight, go for it. It’s just a fantasy and it might help distract you until you can deal with reality again.
4. Give Up the Idea of Superwoman
Nothing can crush a new mom’s sense of worth faster than realizing that whole Superwoman thing is a myth. It’s unrealistic to expect to crush it at the workplace, as a mom, keep up a spotless home, and all while getting your pre-pregnancy body back
in record time. That’s just not going to happen! And thinking it will is setting yourself up for failure.
It doesn’t matter if you see celebrities who seem to juggle it all effortlessly -- they have nutritionists, personal trainers, housekeepers, and nannies. You have a partner who rolls his eyes when you ask him to take out the trash or runs out of the room when he smells a poopy diaper.
So don’t compare yourself with anyone else. You do you, and that’s it.
5. Don’t Forget About Your Partner in Crime
When you’re so focused on taking care of your baby and you don’t have any time for yourself, it can be hard to carve out energy to give someone else. But focusing, at least a little, on your partner is crucial.
Long after your child is grown and has moved out of your house, your partner will always be there for you if you’ve made a strong relationship your end-game goal.
But to get to that point, you need to make your partner a priority now, even on the crazy days. Try to find a few moments in each day to strengthen your connection and do your best to get out on a date night once in a while. Joint grocery shopping doesn’t count!
Hang In There
We’re not going to pretend to keep a stiff upper lip about it -- that first year of parenting will kick your butt. It’s not easy, but you can, and will, get through it. And just remember when you’re doubting your sanity, the rewards are far greater than the challenges.
| About the Author: Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two, a babywearing advocate at Mom Loves Best, an author at Studyclerk, and a huge fangirl of the TwinGo Baby Carrier. Check out her latest article where she crowns the TwinGo as the best carrier for twins, or get in touch with her on Facebook & Pinterest