Being a new mom is hard work. Our little one is three months now and though I have come a long way, I would be lying if I said I had it all figured out. What I have figured out though is what kind of help I need and how to ask for it. I think it can be stressful for new moms in the beginning… so many people want to offer advice and help, however, a lot of times it just isn’t the kind of help that helps at all. So for all you moms-to-be, here are a few lessons I learned along the way:
Your family will want to visit and “help”
So many people want to see your new precious bundle of joy (and this is a wonderful thing!) However, it doesn’t need to add stress to your already long days and nights. If you have family staying with you, make it clear what you really need. Sure holding the baby so you can take a quick shower might be a relief, but holding the baby while you do laundry or go grocery shopping is not. Ask them to run the errands so you can do what is really important- Bond with your new little love. You and your partner are there to take care of the baby. Ask the others to help take care of you.
You will need food
For all the friends that ask “Is there anything you need?” ask one of them to set-up a meal program for you and announce it to your close friends. We were lucky enough to have a friend start one for us and I have to say it was one of the most helpful things that was done for us once we got home from the hospital. There are many sites you can use (for example, we used www.mealtrain.com). Friends sign up to bring lunch or dinner on various days of the week, and if you’re lucky some may even bring you enough for leftovers and snacks. It is amazing… because cooking will be the last thing that will be on your mind.
People will give you all kinds of advice
Everyone you meet will want to give you some kind of advice about your baby and it is usually very well-intentioned. Your mom, dad, in-laws and other family will be guilty of this. If you have the opportunity it can be a good to let those closest to you know that while you value their input, you and your partner have to learn your own way (every baby is different!) Though for those you can’t be as honest with, learn to smile and just say “thank you.” Take the pieces you need without defense and have confidence in yourself as a mom- you truly do know your baby the best.
Take care of yourself
If you aren’t able to take care of yourself, it will be hard to take care of your baby to the best of your ability. Drink lots of water. Remember to eat good meals. Get that shower in. BUT in order to do all these things you will need support because it does take a village. I think a lot of new moms want to be able to do it all right away. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. Be kind to yourself and ask your village for a helping hand.