About six weeks ago my dearest friend had her first baby. Her pregnancy and delivery went very smoothly because she was so prepared. When she was finally home with her brand new beautiful daughter, reality sets in. Babies are a lot of work. Who knew that this tiny lovely creature could create so much exhaustion? My friend told me that she felt so great before the baby and now, not so much. She said, “ Why didn’t anyone tell me I’d be too tired, and tied to my baby due to breastfeeding?” It can be a very solitary and lonely existence of feeling like a zombie for two months. I told her “this too shall pass”. It seems that two months is the time it takes for the baby to begin to sleep longer and their adorable personality to emerge. She talked about not even being able to imagine having more kids and how does everyone do it? Do these comments sound familiar? Have they been said to you? Or, have you murmured those words yourself? I have! I think one of the keys here is to realize that all new moms go through this! We are not alone and it is so important to have a special someone you can tell all your thoughts to. Just getting it out makes a huge difference in our psyche. We can have organized surroundings and schedules, but having an organized mind and thought process helps us deal with life. I have some ideas for you to let go and be able to organize your thoughts so you can face some of those solitary moments better.
1. Find a friend, sibling or parent you can just let it all out with. Someone who will just listen without judgment as you unravel all those feelings and thoughts.
2. Take a shower. You may feel like a slob in your post baby body, but a shower wakes us up and just makes us feel better.
3. Have two or three “go to outfits.” They don’t have to be fancy or expensive, they just have to fit right and make you feel presentable. For example, a pair of yoga pants and matching shirt all in black or your favorite color. A set that is the same color is sliming and you can get dressed in a flash.
4. Get a great uplifting book that you can pick up and just read a couple pages. This helps you relax your mind and go to a happy place.
5. So much of early motherhood can be solitary. Try to have your phone or computer close by to call a friend, facebook and twitter to feel that you are not the only person on the planet.
6. A fabulous wash and dry haircut is key to these days of zombie like tiredness. Leave the curling or straightening for later. Get a great ‘do, that you can wash, comb through some product, and look like a million bucks for a new mom.
7. With new babies we are constantly washing our hands before feeding, after diaper changes and everywhere in between. Place hand cream by every sink in your house so you can be properly moisturized and comfortable.
8. Keep a notebook to write down items you need. Since you will be spending a lot of time in your home, this helps you keep track of areas you’d like to change or need tweaking. You may not be able to do it right away, but when your babe starts to take longer naps you will have more time to accomplish small projects.
9. Get out of the house. Enlist the help from a friend, spouse or parent and go to the mall, get a coffee, talk a walk, whatever it is, it will help you feel like a grownup again.
10. Have you heard that question “If you could only take one beauty item to a desert island, what would it be?” What is it? Lipstick? Concealer? Mascara? Chances are if you have that one thing, you should wear it everyday, even at home, it will make you feel great.
Here we have it. Ten things you can do to make yourself feel human again. Remember it takes time and give yourself a break. You just brought a new life into this world. Enjoy, breath and take care of you. Cheers.
by Expert Mommy, Julie Verleger