5 top tips to help new mums
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: J. Jessy Paston
1st May, 20180 Comments
Firstly, congratulations on your new baby! How amazing it is to be part of such a miracle and being blessed with a little one. Everyone expects a new mum to be happy, and there is an element of that, of course, but what if we experience other emotions? A very real outcome for many new mums which can be quite scary and a struggle. Below are five tips to help you in the way you need right now:
Self-compassion is the one, most important wellbeing practice that few of us do. What we tell our minds, we believe. Our words turn into scripts and these stories determine what our lives become. You now have a little person in your life now who will change absolutely everything. You have a new identity now and I bet you, your life will not be the same again.
What we forget is that change takes time.
Having a baby and embracing your new identity as mum is the same and self-compassion will be your best tool to start with. Self-compassion simply put is being nice to yourself, supporting yourself, being kind and caring towards yourself. After all, you wouldn't tell your new baby off for not running a marathon right now, would you?
Take the time you need, the space you need and give yourself the care and kindness you need during this time of change.
2. Time for you
Can you even imagine resting when you need to, doing something fun every day, creating a life that you actually want and makes you feel amazing in yourself? All this can be achieved from simple time management. If you create space to spend time just with yourself, you will be able to stop, breathe and look at the bigger picture of your life. Use a diary and block time out when you need or want to do things.
If you get overwhelmed by the amount of things you have in one day; spread it out over the week. Still overwhelmed, spread it over the month. Ideally, just have one 'thing' to do a day and you can build on it. Remember not to beat yourself up if you achieve nothing. Self-compassion, remember!
You will not forget appointments this way, you will take away that feeling of not having enough time, of not having enough hours in the day. Instead, this will help you feel calmer and actually show you how much you are coping with and managing.
You are in charge of your thoughts and feelings, your actions, your appointments. Your appointments in your diary will show you what you are giving time to, what you are seeing as a priority and stop the feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and get rid of that 'I don't have the time!!' feeling.
"Everyone is looking at me and thinking what a bad mother I am"
We all think it but in reality, everyone else is simply trying to cope with their own emotions and their new baby. In reality, it is us who judge ourselves the most. If you go at your pace, create space and are self-compassionate, you will learn to start hearing what your needs are and most importantly, hearing your own motherly instincts coming through. You have full permission to trust and follow these instincts.
- If you want to co-sleep, then co-sleep
- If you don't want to do the controlled crying, then don't.
- If you want to take them swimming, then do.
Having confidence in yourself and your instincts will make you so much happier in yourself and the cherry on top?
If you know your truth, you will not feel judged. If someone is judging you, you will soon realise it is their perception, clouded by their insecurities and not you.
You've got this!
4. Who is your support network?
Are these people around you supporting you in the way you need? Are your needs being met? They say it takes a village to raise a baby, who is in your village?
When a new baby comes into the household, everything changes. Even the dynamics between you and your partner will change. It is very important to be aware of these new dynamics and manage the change.
Remember the safety messages when you are on an aeroplane? Put your own oxygen mask on first before anyone else.
You have permission to live your life your way by being lovingly assertive and creating boundaries if needed.
5. Bigger picture
Once you have created time and space to think and be, you can start looking at the bigger picture, asking yourself questions like:
- What kind of person do I want my baby to see me as?
- What kind of family do I want to have? (and not what society is telling me!)
- What are my dreams?
- What do I want to achieve?
By managing your time, creating boundaries and getting time to yourself, you can start doing one thing every day, or every week to create the picture you want to reflect the life you want. This will take a long time and it is an ongoing practice.
If you want more support then please do seek help. You don't have to struggle on your own, you're not alone.
About the author
I’m Jessy, a qualified BACP person-centred counsellor and coach, supporting clients through talking and phototherapy. I specialise in postnatal mental health issues, depression, anxiety and bereavement, working in partnership with my clients.
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