Parenting is the toughest job you will ever have. You don’t get a lunch break, paid vacation or sick days; it is a twenty four hour a day, seven days a week gig. With a job that demanding it’s no wonder new parents can go a little crazy. Between all of the spit up, tantrums and lack of sleep it would be insane not to lose your sanity during your first few months as parents.
So how are you, as a new parent supposed to cope with the moments of insanity with your newborn? We’ve got you covered, with twelve ways to maintain your sanity during crazy newborn moments.
12 Put yourself in a time out
Your life as a new mom is chaotic. Between feedings, diaper changes and laundry, you will find little spare time in your day to do anything else. It can be tempting to power through all of your household chores while your baby sleeps.
Rather than rushing to do the dishes the minute your baby lays down for her nap, take a mommy time out. Give yourself at least ten minutes to do something you enjoy, or nothing at all. The dishes, laundry and vacuuming can wait, your sanity cannot.
It’s important for you to take these time outs throughout the day to breathe and relax. Create an area of your house dedicated to these time outs. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a dedicated spot for unwinding and relaxation. Having a designated mommy time out spot will trigger your mind and body to relax whenever you go there.
11 Join a mom group
It can be incredibly challenging to be home alone all day with your new baby. Rather than trying to deal with these struggles on your own, join a mom group. Mom group activities can vary from getting a coffee, to a mommy-baby yoga class. Go online and see what is available in your area and choose a group that is right for you.
Not only will joining a mom group get you and your baby out of the house, but you will also gain invaluable support from other moms. No one can quite understand what you are going through like another new mom. Although meeting up with strangers can be intimidating, the women you meet could turn into life long friends, so joining a group is definitely worth the leap.
10 Get out of the house
Incessant baby talk can make even the most centered of mothers a bit crazy. Getting out of the house and having adult conversation is crucial to maintaining your sanity. Although you may be more inclined to meet your friends with babies, try to meet up with some of your childfree friends as well.
Having a baby can be all consuming, so it is essential to maintain your old friendships and the ability to talk about things other than your baby. These baby-free conversations will help you feel more refreshed and centered when you get back home to your new family.
9 Ask for help
Nobody said parenting was easy, and anyone who has had a child knows that it is far from it. Don’t be embarrassed or shy about asking for help. Your family and friends are more willing to help than you might think. Grandparents specifically are always looking for an excuse to babysit, use this to your advantage.
Call up your parents or a friend and let them know that you are struggling and need some time away.
Although you may fear being judged for not being the perfect mother, chances are your friends and family will understand. It usually just takes one person being completely vulnerable to encourage vulnerability and honesty in another. The more you communicate and ask for help, the more often you will find out that you aren’t alone in your struggles as a new mom. Open up and ask for help, there is no need to try to handle everything on your own.
8 Get active
Exercise may be the last thing on your mind as you attempt to function on very little sleep. Despite the energy it takes to physically get yourself outside or to the gym, make it a priority. Postnatal exercise has the following health benefits:
- Increases energy levels
- Improves sense of well-being
- Promotes weight loss
- Restores and improves muscle strength
- Improves your mood
- Relieves stress
- Helps prevent postpartum depression
Not only is exercise good for you and your body but it will be good for your baby as well. When mom is relaxed and happy, baby is too. Next time you feel overwhelmed by your crying baby and messy house, get active! Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins, which will improve your mood and ability to deal with your newly hectic household.
7 Find an outlet
Although screaming with your baby during a tantrum may be therapeutic, it isn’t exactly a productive way to release your frustrations. In order to get through the toughest days with your new baby, you will need to find an outlet for your frustrations. Finding an outlet will vary from person to person but some ways that have been shown to aid in stress relief include the following:
- Get Outside: Sometimes simply breathing fresh air and absorbing some sunlight can calm the mind and reduce stress. Take a walk with or without your baby to reap the benefits Mother Nature has to offer.
- Get Creative: Art is often used as a form of therapy as it can help heal the mind and reduce stress. If you aren’t the artistic type, paint a canvas a solid color; the simple act of moving the brush back and forth can have a surprisingly calming effect.
- Try Yoga: Yoga is the perfect combination of physical activity and mental meditation. Take a class or find an online video to inhale the tension relieving properties of one of the most popular forms of exercise.
It may take a while to find the outlet that works best for you, but once you do it can hugely improve the way you handle stressful moments with your baby.
6 Take a class
Constantly staying home with your baby will be sure to drive you crazy. Maintain your levels of sanity by getting out of the house and taking a class with your baby. Although many classes do cater to toddlers, you may be surprised to know that there are a number of classes for you and your newborn as well.
Libraries typically have music classes geared towards younger babies. Call your local library or recreation center to find out what types of classes they offer. At first it can be difficult to leave the house when you are worried about your feeding schedule, but it is worth it. Plan ahead and an outing with your baby can be more liberating than nerve-wracking.
5 Schedule dates with your partner
New parents have a tendency to tag team parenting, which leads to a lack of time with each other. It is crucial to set aside time for the two of you to spend together. Maintaining regular date nights can increase romance and improve relationship satisfaction.
When possible, ensure that the two of you get out of the house for your dates so that you can enjoy each other’s company in a stress-free environment. Although leaving your baby for the first time can be difficult, your relationship is worth it. A happy and harmonious mommy and daddy leads to a happy baby so call up the babysitter and schedule your date night!
A good night’s sleep can be hard to come by when you have a hungry newborn waking every few hours. Although it may be unrealistic to aim for a full eight hours of sleep during the first few months with your baby, it is important that at the very least, you sleep when your baby does.
Some new mothers find it difficult to sleep due to anxiety. They fear that if they fall asleep completely they won’t hear their baby cry for them during the night. This level of anxiety and lack of sleep can be detrimental to your physical and mental well-being. If you are having trouble sleeping due to anxiety try an herbal remedy to relax you before bedtime and ensure you get enough rest.
3 Stay in touch with the old you
Becoming a mother can be overwhelming and it is easy to lose yourself in your new identity as mom. Regardless of the lack of sleep and chaos, you love your baby and your new role as mom. This is a good thing, but it’s crucial that you don’t leave the old you in the delivery room. Although your new role as mom is perhaps the most important role you will have in your life, the old you is important as well.
The person you were before you became a mom is the person your partner fell in love with and your friends have grown to love. Everything you have gone through in your life shaped you into who you are today, don’t depreciate that. You are important on your own, apart from your role as mother.
To ensure you don’t lose yourself in your new role as mom take time for yourself. Spend time with your friends and don’t stop doing the things that you loved doing before you became a mother. Even if maintaining your identity takes you away from your baby more than you would like, your child will appreciate it when they realize they have a happy, well-rounded mother.
2 Laugh it off
You’re going to have bad days, it’s inevitable. There will be times when every single thing you do seems to go wrong. When your baby has her third poop explosion of the day, or you spill the bottle of breast milk it took you hours to fill, try your very best to laugh instead of cry.
Keeping your sense of humor may be the most significant thing you can do to maintain your sanity. The urge to cry can be strong, especially with all of the postpartum hormones coursing through your body. Try your best to think of each parental hiccup you face as a funny story to tell down the line, rather than a parental failure. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying and sometimes that laughter turns into tears; that’s just perfectly fine.
1 Cut yourself some slack
Unfortunately, babies don’t come with an instruction manual. The first few months at home with your baby will be full of trial and error. Cut yourself some slack. No mother is perfect; you’re doing the best that you can. New mothers will tell you that these insane, newborn moments are normal and if you didn’t have them they would secretly hate you. Revel in the craziness and laugh it off when you can, believe it or not, there will come a day when you’ll miss this.