The “baby blues” can be all too real. After the amazing rush of emotions that comes with delivery and meeting your beautiful child for the first time, life resumes its normal course. It’s tough to be at home caring for a newborn while also recovering physically. Hormones are all over the place, loneliness can seep in, or you may just be completely overwhelmed (especially if you’re caring for siblings and a newborn at the same time).
You’re not alone in this struggle! Motherhood is tough. If you’re feeling like a zombie or a milk machine or just not yourself, here are some tips for feeling human again, post-baby.
Exercising postpartum releases endorphins and triggers a positive feeling in the body. Be sure to ease back in to your physical fitness, and always follow your doctor or midwife’s recommendations based on trauma from labor. Start with movement that is easy on your body, like taking a walk or relaxed yoga. Holding high or low planks can be a gentle way to start re-strengthening your core without too much jostling around.
Leave the House
Mamas – get yourself out of that house! Even when it is hard and everything seems to go wrong, do it anyway! After sleepless nights and hours spent on the couch feeding, you need to get out, have a few adult interactions, and be reminded that the world outside your walls hasn’t ended.
This may look a little different than it did before baby, but be sure to squeeze in some girl time with dear friends. Try inviting other mamas with babies over for coffee, and you can both chat while you nurse (and caffeinate yourselves of course!). Maybe your girl time is just a phone conversation during your little one’s nap or a quick walk together pushing strollers, or maybe a moms’ night out is in order. Just be sure to make this a priority!
Laugh at the Little Things
When things get stressful, learn to laugh at the little things that are inconsequential. The poop can be cleaned up, the shirt with spit-up can be washed, and the clutter can be tidied. Remember that your little bundle of joy is just figuring out how to live in this big world. They will fuss, they will hiccup, they will fight sleep… but they won’t keep, so enjoy every little moment – even the exhausting ones!
Breathe in fresh air, soak up some sun, feel the wind on your face! Enjoy the beauty of the trees, the sky, the mountains. In this vast and beautiful place, the daily struggle of motherhood seems a little less daunting. Ease into some day trips or nearby, easy family hikes. The mountains are calling, mama… and you must go!
A Little Self Care
This is a season of sacrifice, and what a gift that we as mothers get to give of ourselves for our precious babies! But sometimes, we need to take a moment or two to care for ourselves. This could be as simple as a solo trip to the grocery store or a long shower at home. Or it can be a little more indulging, like swinging through the drive-thru for your favorite coffee drink or getting a massage.
Give Yourself Grace
Remember – women all over the world for centuries have been in your shoes. Be encouraged that you aren’t the only one going through this. Motherhood is a hard and beautiful journey, and no two journeys are alike. Have confidence in your decisions and give yourself grace when things don’t go perfectly.