5 realistic tips for new moms who need a break

new mom tips self-care Oct 09, 2019
New mom and infant

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This post will benefit you if you’ve recently had a baby and you’re feeling overwhelmed. You’ll receive tips to make sure you are taking care of yourself while also taking care of your family.


 

 

 

 

At the time I’m writing this my second son, Connor, is two weeks old. It’s been a transition these last few weeks as we’ve adjusted to life with two kids and having an infant in the house again. But this second time around I’m finding myself more relaxed. I’m taking my time recovering (as much as I can with a two-year-old running around). My self-awareness has skyrocketed as I want to make sure I’m focusing on taking care of my family AND myself.

I realize, however, that not all new moms feel the same way I do right now. Many of you are moms who are mentally exhausted. Don’t get me wrong, there have definitely been some rough moments. But, overall, I’ve been able to embrace this new phase of life because I’m making myself a priority as well. I’m a mom who needs a break occasionally, and I’m allowing myself to have one without feeling guilty.

So, here are a few tips to help you manage your new reality and bring self-care as a new mom into your life. If you feel a little unsure about some of the tips below, let me be the one to give you permission to try each one. You (and your family) will benefit.

 

It’s okay to leave the house

A few months ago I remember reading an article about Lauren Burnham (married to Arie Luyendyk Jr. from the Bachelor). The couple had their first child and a week later Lauren went to lunch with her sister. There was quite a bit of backlash and mom-shaming from across the internet because she left her baby for a few hours. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. In my mind, I praised her for getting out of the house for a bit. Her baby was safe at home with her mom and Lauren enjoyed some time away to relax. 

Let me tell you this...there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking time to yourself after having a baby (and even if your baby is 10 years old you still deserve that time). Whether it means going to your room, shutting the door and sleeping for a few hours or heading out for a meal with a friend, you’re allowed to take a break from your child(ren). In fact, it’s critical to your overall health. A mentally exhausted mom is no good to her family.

 

It’s okay to say no to visitors

After you have a baby everyone and their brother want to come visit you. It really is the nicest gesture but sometimes you just want some time alone. Between your breasts being out nearly 24/7 and the lack of sleep making you feel like a zombie, it makes sense that you don’t want people parading through your house when you first get home from the hospital.

My advice is to pick a few people that you’re very close with and have them come over to help and hang out with you. It is nice to have friends and family over as long as you don’t feel like you need to entertain them. For anyone else, politely let them know you aren’t ready for visitors yet.

 

It’s okay to take help when it’s offered

Speaking of those few people you do have over—when they offer to help, TAKE IT! If you’re close to them, they 100% want to help you. If your best friend offers to do the dishes, say thank you. If your sister offers to grab a few things from the store for you, say thank you.

This is not the time to pretend like you can do everything by yourself. When you’re not feeling your best, and you have this new bundle of joy you’re responsible for, leaning on those close to you is really important. Remember, you don’t have to be a hero and try to do it all. Accept help and be grateful for it.

 

It’s okay to live on takeout and frozen meals for a while

When we had Connor we received lots of meals from our friends and family. We were so grateful because I was definitely NOT planning to cook for a while. Jen, from our Mindset Mamas team, gave us a GrubHub gift card which was so needed on one of those evenings we were exhausted. 

Don’t even think about planning meals for the first few weeks. If people bring you food, eat it. If you have to order pizza a few times, so be it. Stressing out about what’s for dinner is the last thing you need after you’ve given birth. There will be plenty of time for home-cooked meals, so indulge in the good stuff and be okay with it.

 

It’s okay to push the chores aside

When you have a baby, it’s such a big transition. Ultimately, something has to give. Chores are a great place to start. Sure, you’ll still want to wipe the counters down, take out the garbage, and make sure everyone has clothes to wear, but beyond that, give yourself a break from the big chores. Now isn’t the time to clean the baseboards, wash the windows, or vacuum every floor in your house.

Major cleaning can wait. For today, simply take care of yourself and your family. Practicing self-care as a new mom is more important. For some ideas on how to do this, take a look at this article. After a few weeks, you can even treat yourself to a cleaning service to get the house back to normal.

 

Becoming a mom for the first, second, or fifth time is always a mix of great and challenging. The emotions you feel as your hormones are changing (once again) seem to shift with every hour that passes. Take a minute to recognize all the good you’re doing. We tend to focus only on what we’re not doing which doesn’t help at all. And the next time you start feeling that mom guilt creep in, remember these tips and allow yourself to simply rest.

Have other tips for new moms?  Please send me a note directly so we can post it for other moms to see. 

 

 

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