Get a Life! Parenting Tips for New Moms
If you’re a mom who’s just given birth, you are probably well aware that having a baby can totally change your identity. And adjusting to your identity as mom can be a particularly overwhelming experience for new moms. However, it is important to maintain a strong sense of self even during those hectic first few weeks after your baby is born in order to be a happy and healthy individual, which will ultimately make you the best mom you can be.
Parenting Advice for New Moms
Here are five easy to follow tips for new moms that will help you stay true to yourself:
- Get out on the town. While the challenges of caring for a newborn can seem all-consuming, doing simple things like taking a shower (while baby is napping or is sitting in his bouncy seat) and getting out of the house (after all, that’s what strollers are for!) can give you a much-needed break. Leaving the house for even a short while daily can help to prevent isolation in new moms and even help to minimize the risk of postpartum depression. Even simple activities like taking a stroll in the park or around the block can be an uplifting experience. Plus, the fresh air and exercise will help you stay fit and healthy. Planning special time with loved ones can also help reduce feelings of isolation, such as meeting up with friends for a coffee.
- Pamper yourself. Whether it’s a manicure, pedicure or an appointment at that chic new salon you’ve been meaning to try, planning little pick-me-ups that let you pamper yourself a little is a great way to alleviate stress for new moms. Because pregnancy and birth are major life experiences that encompass major physical, emotional and hormonal changes, these moments help you to care for yourself, which is just as important as taking care of your new baby. Getting a new hair cut or changing your hair color can also be a fun way to celebrate this new stage of your life.
- Start fresh. Embarking on a new hobby is another excellent way for new moms to celebrate their new identity, while not losing track of their identity as a woman who wants and needs (and most importantly, deserves!) a full lifestyle. Join a painting class, learn how to speak French or take salsa class. These activities will keep you motivated and help you explore other interests in your life outside of baby. But don’t join an aerobics class just to lose leftover baby weight; do something you’re truly passionate about. Getting involved in a hobby is also a good time to set up a babysitting network with your friends, neighbors and family; you can watch your sister’s baby when she takes photography class on Tuesdays while she can care for your newborn while you’re at your Thursday night foreign film course.
- Bring back passion to your life. Think about your life before baby. What made you happy before your days revolved around feedings and naptime? What was most important to you? What roles did you have in life? Make a list of the elements that made you happiest before you became a mom and try to bring those elements back into your life. Make time for things you used to enjoy, such as playing the piano or having cocktail night at your house.
- Rethink your career. Sometimes, the day-to-day routine of being a new mom can have you daydreaming about your old job, or about a job in the future, particularly for stay at home moms. Some women choose to or need to work while taking care for their newborn baby; in this case, being a working mom doesn’t have to be tedious. Many new moms start up their own businesses, for example, designing inexpensive baby clothing and other baby products based on their own experiences as a mom. Others find their passion through a hobby; for example, joining a yoga class may lead you to consider a career as an instructor. Other new moms discover they have a passion for writing and choose to share their experiences with other moms through the written word. Whatever path you choose, remember that above all, your identity as a new mom doesn’t just mean diapers and pacifiers-you’re both a mom and a woman and you owe it to yourself to aspire to reach all your goals and dreams.