Posted on July 20 2016
Not so long ago, you embraced every morning with the spirit of a warrior, but now everyday you handle a dozen of diapers, countless cries, cuddles, and you painfully smile anytime the days before-baby come to mind. Dealing with your first newborn affects your life to a great extent because giving the best care is probably too demanding, both physically and psychologically. If you are accustomed to demanding routines, the physical pressure may not be too difficult to handle, but every new mother is struggling (and at the same time learning) to cope with the emotional exhaustion through this big change.
The time and efforts involved in caring for the tiny little human make it tough already to have some relaxed hours, but the real struggle is dealing with the shifting role from personal-oriented care to the maternal occupation. Now that you have to focus on your relationship with the infant, you develop a tendency to ignore the obligation to care for yourself. However, there are some basic guidelines you can follow to ease your mind and body.
- Plan for the Baby’s Arrival Now: it may sound like a little too late, but you can apply this as soon as you can. Creating a plan for the baby’s arrival certainly helps you get more prepared, and feel more prepared, and can make the adaption process a lot easier. There will be changes in schedules; work, school, date nights, grocery shopping, day-care drop-offs as well as pick-ups, and more.
- Parental Plans: there is nothing wrong with taking turns with your spouse. Discuss every activity which may involve caring for the baby and set some expectations. For example, who’s going to get up in the middle of the night, when to go to pediatrician, how does each of you feel about letting the baby cry, how to handle visiting in-laws and other guests, and basically who is responsible for what aspects of care for the new addition. It is important to work together and be there for each other.
- Set Priorities: your typical to-do list no longer applies now that you have a baby. List of priorities have changed and most importantly, you really need to get everything done for the baby. If things do not get done, your health, baby’s health, and family health can be at risk. For things that you’re not sure you can do (even some simple things such as house cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping) because of the baby demands and attention it requires, please ask for help from people you know.
Last but not least, try to keep a log of everything that the baby does from waking up, crying, feeding, to sleeping. The log helps you recognize the routines and prepare for tomorrow. In case you have an on-going project, you may want to consider postponing it because the baby will drain your energy; it is best to do one thing at a time and make the best out of it rather than trying to do too many things at once and become frustrated. This is a marathon, not a sprint.