I’d like to share 10 sanity saving tips to welcome you into motherhood. I hope they boost your energy as much as they save your sanity.
1. Find something to focus on that is just for you
You're besotted by those big eyes, those tiny hands, and that excitable gurgle. Enjoy every minute of it for as long as you can, because it’s beautiful - and equally exhausting!
But don’t forget about you, and all of the other things in your life that light you up, excite you and make you the mama your baby has chosen.
Believe it or not, those sleepless nights can be a blessing in disguise if you let them. When you’re nursing at 3am, use the silence to reconnect with yourself and meditate on the things that bring you meaning.
Use the extra time at home to enjoy the things you love, as much as you enjoy your baby. Perhaps you love to draw, or write, or do yoga, or make music.
Whatever it is, give yourself the opportunity to experience the things of value to you.
2. Maintain a self care routine daily
Never underestimate the power of a fresh shower and a few extra minutes each day to nourish your skin and allow yourself to get ready for the day.
When I had my first baby I was so paranoid about endocrine disruptors and - let’s be honest - I was so tired I just didn’t bother. I aged 40 years, instead of four years! Now, I’m repairing years of dry, damaged skin which is frustrating.
Maintaining a simple skincare routine and showering every day will make you feel human. All it takes is 5 minutes a day, and it might just be those five minutes for yourself that makes all the difference between a good day and a crazy day.
I made this super hard on myself. My husband was working long days so a lot of the time it was just the baby and me, and I didn’t give myself the self-care I needed.
Who would have thought that putting the baby in the pram and wheeling the pram into the bathroom or even just rolling it to the door would free you up to shower - or pee when you actually need to?
Come on now, how many times has that baby puked or peed on you in the last hour? You need to shower every day!
Take five minutes each day to take care of your skin; cleanse, moisturise and maybe even treat yourself to an extra 10 minute face mask now and then! Your older self will love you for it.
3. Get outside every day
It’s true there are days when you will just want to stay in your little bubble or cocoon - and that’s perfectly okay.
These are the days you can turn to the “stick your head out the window” option. Take in a big breath of fresh air, allow it to clear your head and refuel, just for a minute.
On other days, find a reason to get outside, whether you meet at a mothers’ group, catch up with a friend for a coffee or just make a daily walk part of your exercise routine.
Getting outside for a few minutes every day will make you feel so much more alive - almost human even.
4. Press play and play it loud
I don’t know about you but certainly for me, getting lost in a great song and reliving great memories through old playlists really energises me.
I’ve found having music on in the background adds a little jump to my step and gets me moving - even if it is uncoordinated and a little bit silly.
It helps me get creative with getting stuff done around the house. Cleaning and tidying is a whole lot easier when you’re drifting in and out of an epic tune!
It’s fun, it’s playful and when I’m singing along to my favourite music, I’m not stressed.
It gives me so much more capacity for compassion - which as a new mum, you’ll need plenty of.
Just don’t play the music so loud it wakes up the baby!
5. Find an awesome podcast or download audio books
You might find your hands are a little bit busier than normal right now so finding another way to connect, grow and learn other than reading is really helpful.
As human beings we are conditioned to evolve. Our body's natural intelligence thrives when we push ourselves to grow and learn new things.
Have you ever noticed how time flies when you’re learning something exciting or engrossed in something that you’re passionate about?
Engaging in anything that interests you will give you more energy, even if you haven’t slept in days, you will feel energised by stretching your potential.
6. Schedule E-V-E-R-Y-thing
Do yourself a massive favour right now and get used to scheduling.
Honestly, in the beginning I was like “Noooo, I’m not a routine mum! I don’t need that, I’m a go-with-the-flow mama!”
Well, there’s very little ‘flow’ going on right now or ever again, so schedule in as many moments as you can. From baby’s routine, your self-care (it will not happen otherwise), to time with your partner and connecting with your friends. If you don’t schedule it in, it won’t happen.
Even if you don’t stick to the schedule, you are saving so much brain space just by having a framework.
7. Cut out the caffeine
It may sound completely counterintuitive to some new mothers, but about five months after my first baby, I experimented with giving up caffeine. After the initial detox and two weeks of headaches, I instantly had more energy - even with less sleep.
Caffeine gives you false energy. If you’re having more than two cups per day, consider switching to decaf. When I switched, I didn’t notice the difference in taste but I definitely did in my energy levels.
Try it, give it at least a week and see how you feel!
8. Eat nourishing food
Remember that food is fuel and what you choose to eat will either make you feel great - or not.
My number one strategy for eating well during this period is to buy a slow cooker. The beauty with a slow cooker is you literally throw everything in and it does the magic!
With my firstborn, I didn’t eat well and ended up completely depleted and my body stopped absorbing any nutrients, even when I did eat well. Nearly four years later, I’m still dealing with the consequences, the hormonal imbalances and the extra pounds.
It’s so important for you and your baby that you eat well and nourish yourself with good food - it will make such a difference to your overall energy level.
One of the best pieces of advice a friend gave me when I had my first was to get some big baskets and label them: toys, nappies, everything else.
This is your short cut to a decluttered home - and a decluttered mind! It doesn’t need to be super organised just out of sight.
So get three big baskets, make them pretty so they look good in your living room and at the end of each day throw the items in and you are clutter free. Hello sweet serenity!
10. Build your community
Motherhood, strangely, can be a very lonely journey for many of us. I don’t know why, but too often we think we have to go it alone and don’t ask for help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, to suss out those like-minded mamas and make life a whole lot easier on yourself and a whole lot more fun too.
Motherhood gives you an opportunity to connect, build friendships and to know that we’re all in this together.
So whether it’s online, in your local playgroup or cafe, it doesn’t matter how you connect - just find your tribe. Together, we are better mothers.
There is no greater gift you can give your family than a healthy, happy and fulfilled mama!
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