Top Five Survival Tips for New Moms

About four months ago I became a brand new mom.  I was immediately thrown into a whirlwind of a crying baby, sleepless nights, raging hormones, and the struggle to communicate with my partner.  I honestly have never been the person I was in those first few weeks.  It was scary for me.  Being thrust into motherhood is something I thought I was prepared for but I totally wasn't.
For some mothers, motherhood comes easy.  And that is great for them!  For others its a couple week long train wreck of survival.  Neither of these is wrong.  If you fall somewhere in the middle, that's not wrong either.  There was once a time that I confessed to my mother that I regretted doing this, I didn't want to be a mom any more, and I wanted it to stop.  Postpartum was hard.  Postpartum IS HARD.  As someone on the other side of a time I thought would never end (and now dealing with a sleep regression) I wanted to share with you the things I've learned that have kept me sane.

Use your Support System

Whether this is a sleep class, a mom friend, a counselor, your midwife, your doctor, your partner, a book.....there are resources out there.  Please do not be afraid to voice what you need.  I know this is easier said than done but the first few weeks after birth you & your baby are just in survival mode.  Do not be afraid to reach for help, surround yourself with support.  This is something I didn't know I'd need postpartum.  I took a sleep class (Taking Cara Babies is the best, I totally recommend it), I read the literature the hospital gave us at various classes, I am a responsible person...I thought it was going to be a breeze.  But I needed more help postpartum.  Don't let anyone tell you that you are fine.  If there were any time in your life to be honest and truthful, now is that time.  Tell anyone and everyone you trust how you feel so that they can advocate for you if you feel that you can't advocate for yourself.  I didn't know what to do so I just said how I felt hoping someone would guide me.

Create a plan of attack  

Following the above paragraph, creating a plan of attack can give you some guidance to go forward as you move day to day.  Things probably won't go smoothing when you're sleep deprived which is why creating a plan can help you keep a level head and know what to do and expect at certain times.  Go over this with your partner too so you both have a plan to support each other.  Hell, go over this with your flipping mom, sister, grandma, best friend so they can support you too.  

The example I have for this and one I keep going back to is the sleep class I took.  I don't have an affiliate link for this class, I'm totally recommending it because its amazing - Taking Cara Babies.  I'd make schedules on my phone for sleep and eating and even though they totally weren't followed it gave me and idea of what to anticipate.  I just did this the night before writing this post.  I created a plan of attack based on Cara's suggestions for the four month sleep regression.  Create a plan of attack around what triggers you.  Create a plan of attack around what will help you survive.

Time moves fast but also incredibly slow

As a brand new mom I absolutely despised hearing 'it's just a phase' or 'this is going to pass' or 'things will get better'.  I wanted to feel validated.  So, I want to tell you - I see you.  When you're in the thick of it you can't see the path to relief.  Time moves unbearably slow.  Sleep deprivation is real.  You think you're losing it.  Right now, in the middle of all of this, focus on surviving.  Use your attack plan but you also need to survive.  You need to make it through each minute.  Your feelings are valid.

I mentioned above that I confessed to my mom that I didn't want to do this.  Things became so overwhelming to me I stopped eating.  In 4 weeks I'd lost 20 pounds.  I weighed less than what I did at my first prenatal appointment.  I wasn't surviving. Use resources, create a plan of attack, survive.  If you take care of yourself first then you can provide for your child the best.  

Mark the little wins

For the first few days/weeks postpartum any little win I felt I had or Marcus had I marked in my phone.  It was a good diary to see progress.  This was a part of my plan of attack too - if I could see where we came from then I knew where we could go.  I marked my first poop (not his, mind you, but mine) after delivery.  I marked that we were at the doctor's appointment on time.  I marked that I brushed my hair, I took a shower, I ate, I slept.  This helped me to feel like I was becoming more me.  This helped me to see that I was getting through it.

Cuddle them when you feel you can

If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed it's ok to go through the motions. Survive. Provide for your child but preserve yourself. Motherhood is hard. That being said if you feel good if you feel like you want to hold him just a little longer please please PLEASE do it. You’ll never regret holding him a minute more.  This is something I struggled with.  I was so overwhelmed that I just wanted him to sleep.  I also wanted to lay a good sleep foundation for him from birth.  But I've never regretted holding him a little longer.  Because time moves painfully slow but also incredibly fast.  Babies don't keep.

I can't stress enough how important it is to remember to survive the first few weeks postpartum.  Self preservation is at an all time high along with your concern for your child.  Motherhood is honestly a team effort.  You need the people & resources in your arsenal that aren't sleep deprived, healing, and feeling like a hormonal train wreck.  

Like I said, for some the transition to motherhood come easily.  Do not compare yourself to anyone if you feel you're not 'getting it as easy'.  The biggest thing to remember is that your feelings are valid and you're not alone.  If you're surviving, you're doing great.

Thank you for sticking through this post and reading parts where I've felt most vulnerable.  I made a promise to myself to never tell a new mom 'it get's better' because that is not solid advice.  Solid advice is listening and affirming.  I see you momma.  I know it's hard.

What helped you navigate motherhood in those first few days?

xoxo, Moe

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my gosh, YES! I think my husband and I (and my parents) all went clinically insane the week after the birth our kiddo, and it took a year or more for me to get my bearings and really start to feel like myself again. That being said, here are a few books that really helped us. FUNNY: The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year. SO HELPFUL: The Wonder Weeks: A Stress-Free Guide to Your Baby's Behavior. ALSO HELPFUL: Baby-Led Weaning and The Happiest Baby on the Block. Good luck and hugs to you!


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