Congratulations, mama! You survived nine long months of pregnancy (or maybe more), birthed a human, and are now basking in all that newborn glory. You are probably also exhausted, sleep deprived to a dangerously unhealthy level, and not looking (or smelling) you're best.
Trust me- I get it and even after baby number three, I have to remind myself that although taking care of that sweet little bundle of joy is my number one priority, taking care of myself needs to be a very close runner-up. Here are my top ten tips to help you take care of yourself and get back to loving on that sweet new baby.
1. Take a shower...or two
Such a basic human need, yet one of the first we tend to forget as new mothers. It doesn't have to be long (though that would be nice)...just enough to rinse off and smell like anything other than sweat, old milk, and tears.
2. Lotion & deodorant are your friends
Sort of like the shower- no one likes to be smelly. There's something very refreshing about putting on a little lotion and if you are a nursing mom- your skin could use all the moisture it can get, since it's all being used to produce that liquid gold!
3. Get dressed & "ready"
You were a woman before you were a mom. Sure- those old sweats are comfy and will probably be your go-to for the next several weeks but getting dressed and putting on a little makeup is a great way to snap out of that rut.
4. GO OUTSIDE
Cabin fever is REAL in the early days of motherhood and can have a serious impact on your mood. So sit on the porch, go for a walk, or visit your favorite coffee shop. The more you can get out of your 'mom cave," the better! BONUS: getting your baby out of the house will help them distinguish between night and day, which will eventually lead to them sleeping better.
5. Eat, drink, & be merry
Have you ever found yourself still in your pajamas at two in the afternoon and suddenly realize you haven't had anything to eat or drink ALL DAY? Yeah- that's not good. Have a full water bottle handy at all times, keep some go-to snacks around the house, and eat an actual meal every chance you get.
6. Put on some music
Turn off the TV, ignore your phone, and put on your favorite music. Kind of like getting outside, this one small change can make the day go from exhausting and monotonous to upbeat and enjoyable. Dance, sing, and stare at that human you created!
7. NAP NAP NAP
Easier said than done but every chance you get- avoid the temptation to get everything else done and NAP WITH YOUR BABY!
8. Slow down a little
Those dishes will get done, that laundry will get folded, and those toys will probably be out again later anyways. Slow down, SIT DOWN, and enjoy the moment. These days go by so fast and I promise- you will not look back someday and wish you had cleaned more.
9. Reach out & stay social
Motherhood is amazing but can also be very lonely. Take time to reach out to a friend or family member, even if it is a quick text to say hello. They are likely respecting your privacy right now and don't want to bombard you with texts or calls but I can guarantee they all want to hear from you and see photos of that precious baby!
10. ASK FOR HELP
Quite possibly the most important tip yet. Although you think you can do this alone (and you probably can), you don't need to. Be specific when asking your partner for help. Trust me-they have no idea what you want from them and are probably afraid to step on your toes. Also take advantage of friends and family that are willing to help with laundry, cleaning, or grocery shopping.
That's it! Ten tips to help you not only survive the early days of motherhood but maybe even enjoy enough to want to do it again.