No matter how prepared they think they are, new mothers get overwhelmed easily, and who can blame them? Parenting is no walk in the park.
In her Family Share article, mom Karen Banes offers these seven helpful tips for all new moms can follow to make their lives a little easier.
1. Stay open-minded
Most moms have a preconceived idea of what kind of mother they will be, only to be disappointed when they realize that they’re not exactly fitting the shoes of the fictional mother in their head.
“Adapt to your needs and your baby’s needs,” Karen says. “By all means have a plan, but don’t stick to it at all costs. Be ready to refine the plan and meet new challenges in a way that suits you and your baby.”
2. Forgive yourself
There’s no one way of doing things as a parent. You can plan one thing and end up doing another. As a new mother, you have to understand that these kinds of things are out of your hands. You need to learn how to forgive yourself for dealing with situations you hadn’t envisioned.
3. Accept all offers of help
Parenting isn’t easy. In fact parenting is a hard, life-long commitment. If you think you can do it alone, you are mistaken. Every body needs help, and learning how to accept it will make things a little easier for you and your children. It doesn’t matter if it’s as simple as letting others do groceries for you or as signifiant as accepting monetary help from concerned family member or friends.
4. Sleep when your baby sleeps
“You will be up several times a night, so if you can sleep, or even just rest, during the day when your baby sleeps—do it,” Karen advises. “Only do essential chores (such as doing a load of laundry so baby has something to wear), and use offers of help to get other important tasks done.”
5. Use any support offered by your community/health professionals
As a new mom there are so many things you need to learn that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You will have to learn everything from breastfeeding to colic.
“Do some research and find out what type of help, advice and support groups are available in your area,” Karen says.
6. Network with other moms
When things get hard, it helps to know that there are other people who are going through or have undergone similar situations. This is where other moms’ presence plays a role in your new life as a new mom.
Karen says: “It helps to discuss your problems and concerns with other moms and most will have a huge amount of empathy, which can be a lifeline.”
Postpartum depression is a real medical condition that affects new mothers, and isolation will only aggravate it. That’s why it’s important for a new mom to have a support system.
7. Make informed decisions
“There’s a lot of information out there for new moms,” says Karen. “By all means, do your research and inform yourself of all the options. Then make choices based on the information you’ve gathered and your own intuition.”
READ: 6 Things new parents don’t need to splurge on
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