From the moment your baby arrives, life changes in the blink of an eye.
All of a sudden there’s a much-anticipated little one relying on you. This isn’t just a fun playdate or weekend venture. This tiny baby is here to stay.
While there’s joy and excitement at the beginning of a journey, the twists and turns can quickly become overwhelming. Throw in a healthy dose of hormones and, before you know it, you’re a nervous new Mama: fretting and fussing over aspects of child rearing you never thought twice about before.
If you’re a worried new mom, this is for you.
To The Worried New Mom
After bringing home five newborns, I’ve learned a few strategies for relinquishing the fears and embracing your present. While you may be more sleep-deprived than you knew possible, these first weeks are precious. It’s time to let go of the worries and thrive as a Mama.
Find Your Village
You’ve likely heard the concept of parenting within a “village.” While this sounds like a geographical ideal, it rarely has anything to do with location. Finding your village as a parent is all about finding a support network. For new parents, this is extremely important.
As with most ideals though, there’s a catch. Perhaps before baby was born you relied heavily on your family members for support and wisdom about life with a newborn. Yet, after your little one’s arrival it became apparent that this advice didn’t mesh with your temperament, your baby’s needs, or your goals as a mom.
The thing about finding a village is that it develops in the most unexpected ways. Friendships that mature little by little, relationships with siblings that deepen over time, or acquaintances that turn into the closest allies in the blink of an eye.
Find your village by opening the door and actively looking for it. Say hello to a friendly face in church, explore your neighborhood with baby in tow, and be open to new opportunities that come your way.
Once your village emerges, use it.
Ask for honest advice. Embrace the ideas that work (and gracefully skip the rest). Let them in on your fears and soak up their confidence boosting.
Find Moments to Breathe
Undoubtedly one of the biggest shifts during the first weeks of parenting is having someone else ruling your time. You went from napping anytime you were tired to being awoken all night. Showers may be a distant memory and going out with friends is ancient history.
Part of being an effective (and less worried) parent is learning to find moments for yourself. These chances to breathe don’t always require childcare. Rather, they mean finding time to nurture yourself throughout your day.
Begin by thinking through what your needs are and write them down. The simple act of listing them reminds you that self-care is as important as even the most pressing to-do items.
As your day progresses, look for opportunities to meet these needs: during baby’s nap, when your spouse is available to care for baby, or when your village comes to visit.
It’s important, and even necessary, to find moments to breathe and replenish. You’ve set yourself up to be a relaxed and effective parent when you’re well-cared for.
As a new mom the pressure to get it all right is overwhelming. What you choose for feeding method, daily routines, and sleep training are quickly scrutinized from well-wishers near and far. All of a sudden you’ve changed from a confident decision-maker to second guessing the smallest details.
Be patient. While you’re settling into your role as a mom, your baby is also learning the art of babyhood. Rhythm and routine will come with time and patience.
In the meantime, latch onto another mama who boosts your confidence. Ideally this person listens attentively and can reassure you in any situation. She’s excited about your journey through motherhood and is your biggest cheerleader.
Motherhood was never meant to happen in isolation (where the worries and fears prevail). Finding your village, discovering ways to nurture yourself, and being reassured will give you the confidence you need.
You’ve got this, Mama!
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