Every mother is at a different stage when she begins her journey. For some, this journey is easier than others. The more flexible you are the easier this transion becomes. Remember, your baby spent 9 months growing inside of you where there was no night and day, no hunger or cold. No loney or dirty or scared. It can be challenging to go from being an adult who realistically only needed to worry about one person to having to care for an infant who depends on you for their every need. Here are some tips for making that transition easier.
1.Let go of preconceived notions. We all have this mental image of motherhood. We look at photos and movies where women have babies and never falter from their put together picturesque life. Try to remind yourself that this is not reality. Most moms don’t talk about the early days, how crazy and challenging they can be. They are such a whirlwind that most don’t even remember what they looked like a few months after giving birth. It will be challenging, but try to remember that babies are just transitioning to this world. They don’t know how to tell time, or that they are supposed to sit and relax between meals. They know that they were in this warm cozy womb, and now they are not. They cling to that familiar smell of mom, and that is what comforts them. The days are long, but the weeks are short. Be ready for the wildest ride of your life.
2. Allow yourself some grace. Not everyone can handle going with the flow easily. Most babies can not handle a schedule, at least in the early weeks. They are still learning about night and day and hungry and full. They have no idea what time it is. They will make it hard for you to be on time, or even shower every day. If you don’t get to the laundry because your baby needs you, it will wait. Remember that you can’t do it all, and you will need an adjustment period to figure out what your new normal will look like.
3. Soak up the Oxytocin. Oxytocin is also known as the love hormone. It is the hormone released during breastfeeding. It is what helps you fall in love with your baby. These moments don’t last, and you will look back on the moments spent with your baby to your breast and smile. Despite the challenges you may face, you will never regret sitting and relaxing with your baby. Those moment sare what help you make it through the hard days, so soak up all the oxytocin you can.
4. Spend time skin to skin. Skin to skin time is relaxing and bonding. After a long and stressful day, it allows you to reconnect with your baby. When you’re stressed out or things aren’t going as well as you would like, having the time to relax skin to skin with your baby can help you reconnect and refocus on what is really important.
5. Remember, it doesn’t last. As tough as those early days, sometimes weeks can be. Remember they are a fleeting memory. If you look at a tape measure and see what 18 inches looks like, imagine that as your baby’s childhood. The first year is but a small fraction of that 18 years, and those early weeks are but a fraction of that. You will figure out a routine, a new lifestyle that works for your family. And life will stop seeming so overwhelming. The early days will eventually be a distant memory and you will look back on them with fondness, despite how hectic they were.
What would you add to the list?