With a 2 month old, a working husband, a puppy, two kitties, yoga classes to teach, and a house to take care of, life tends to become a little hectic. Days might run together and I can feel as though nothing has been accomplished. What is important to remember: if the baby is well fed, happy, and safe, if my husband knows I love him with all my heart, and if the house is still standing at the end of the day, all is well. Obviously I am still getting the hang of this lifestyle – motherhood – but I wanted to share a few things that have helped me feel like I’m doing okay.
1. Talk about how you feel to your husband, mom, or friends with children. Without meaning to sound harsh, people without children do not understand parenthood and the struggles that accompany it. By talking to others experiencing (or have experienced) the same hardships, emotions, and stories, it helps me to feel less insane and less alone. We share and learn from each other.
2. Count the little wins. My baby pooped. Check. I put on clothes. Check. I brushed my teeth. Check. I taught a yoga class, my baby slept in the wrap, and I got out of the house. Check, check, check. Life with a little baby is much more demanding than I imagined. The little wins are pretty big wins!
3. Make a loose to-do list. Some things won’t happen, and one day of the week everything works out and gets marked off. I am a big list maker. My mind is everywhere usually, but now my mind is, “Lucca.” Making a list, but knowing it can change or might not be completed helps me to feel responsible.
4. Take a little time for yourself. This is VERY hard for me because I refuse to leave my baby. People will tell me to get out, go to dinner with my husband, leave my baby with a sitter, but no. I’m not ready for all that. My “me time” is writing a blog (maybe while baby sleeps on my chest), going for a walk (with him in the stroller), or reading a book in bed (while he is sleeping next to me). I’m doing what I want, which for me is being with my baby boy while doing something else I enjoy too.
5. Trust you are doing the best you can and know it’s enough. As long as my little one is healthy, I am doing a splendid job in life. It can be easy to think I’m not producing enough breastmilk to nourish him or that I’m not giving him enough tummy time to build neck strength, but it is simply not true. My body will respond to what his body needs; I will produce enough to supply for him. It is that simple, and I must trust in my body’s ability to feed him.
Everyone has an opinion, and each person is entitled to that opinion. As a new mother, the one that matters the most is my own (and my husband’s). My intuition will guide me to the right choices for my growing son, and when I fail, I know I will survive. I have faith Lucca will thrive, and I will pick myself up, and continue to be the best mother I can be.
If you feel like you are struggling as a new parent, make a list. Or write out a few lists. Record your victories, what you are grateful for, and anything else you need to put on paper. Your perspective will change, and you will see what matters most.
And remember, you are doing a beautiful job. You created LIFE and are now able to care for that magnificent gift!
From one mama to lots others,