5 Ways for New Moms to Take a Break
- September 24, 2019
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hey mamas! Melissa here, talking about my favorite topic, babies. But today I’m concentrating on those valiant new moms who care for their young babies day after day without often caring for themselves. After the birth of each of my babies, I had trouble juggling my babies, husband, family and work and neglected to deal with my own postpartum anxiety or take time for myself. A new baby brings joy and excitement but also fatigue, frustration and — in what can really affect new moms — alienation. With several of my babies, I just kept trotting along day after day but ended up often breaking down in tears feeling frustrated and lonely.
A parenting expert I love advises moms to place the metaphorical oxygen mask on before handing it to your kids. She means that taking care of yourself means being a good mom, since you need to be strong, happy and resourceful to parent. So, with all that said, remember to do things that make you happy apart from your children and help you maintain your sanity as a mom! With all that said, here are some of my favorite ways to step back and take a break as a new mom.
1. Go for Coffee with a Friend
We all love coffee — it’s the primary companion of any new mom! Ask a family member or your partner to watch your baby for an hour or two and meet a friend for coffee! Don real clothes (not the new mom uniform of yoga pants and a tank top), wash your hair, put on some face cream and maybe even make-up, and GO OUT! I couldn’t survive a single day without my close friends; they keep me laughing, happy and going when things get tough. Try to talk about things other than your baby, especially if your friend does not have kids. A dose of adult conversation and a steaming cup of delicious coffee became one of my favorite ways to escape from the world of feeding, burping, diaper changes and laundry.
When my babies were little, I didn’t feel as if I had the energy to work out. I was more interesting in trying to catch a nap! Yet I craved an outlet for my pent up stress, and missed feeling strong and flexible. My upper back would ache from the long hours spent nursing and I would look at my post-partum belly mourning the flat belly of my 20’s.
New moms most often feel as if they don’t have time to exercise so the key strategy is to combine exercise with taking care of your baby and to do it in little bits. So, make a plan with a friend to take a walk while your babies sleep in their strollers. Or when your baby goes down for a nap, leave the piles of dishes and dirty laundry and do a 30 minute YouTube yoga video. Even finding 10 minutes to do sit-ups and stretch on a yoga mat or thick blanket can make a huge difference. Make sure to obtain your doctor’s OK before starting to exercise after giving birth.
Every little bit of exercise will help your relieve stress, feel stronger and healthier, and maintain emotional balance. If you manage to do 10 minutes a day for a week, that is 70 minutes ladies! And that’s pretty darn good.
3. Get Your Nails Done
Pampering probably hovers around the bottom of your endless new mom to-do list. Rachel it up a few notches by taking an hour to get your nails done. Read silly magazines about celebrities and forget your baby’s nap schedule. If this is outside your budget, put on some music and do a home spa, massaging your own hands and feet with a moisturizing cream and trimming and filing your nails. Your baby might awaken before you get to the polish but no matter.
4. Get Outside
Nature is one of the most soothing remedies for stress, so get yourself out there and enjoy it! Go for a walk, sit outside and read a book, or even head outside to make a phone call. Remind yourself to breathe deeply and look at natural green trees, grass and flowers. A dose of sun on your face does wonders for your mood and provides vitamin D.
5. Girls Night Out!
Take it one step further than coffee by calling up some of the girls and organizing a dinner date! Make this night as casual (drinks, movie, pizza) or formal (cocktail hour) as you want. The key thing here is finding someone to babysit and spending some time as a regular person who isn’t holding, cajoling and nurturing a newborn. Even if you’re tired, your next day will be happier, mamas, I promise!
There you have it, mamas. Five little tips to help you lift your spirits, take time for yourself and feel healthier, more relaxed and more compete as a new mom. Remember, you’re a mom but also a person with her own needs that cannot be neglected.
Here’s to taking care of YOU.