Tips to Help You Navigate the Newness of Motherhood
July 29, 2020 | by kevin gardner, guest contributor
Parenthood, particularly motherhood, can simultaneously be the most incredible thing and the most challenging. While parenthood is a shared lived experience among many people, the fine details of those experiences can vary, so you need to find the strategies and utilize the tips that are right for you. Consider some of these tips that can help you navigate this next chapter positively and healthily and in ways that are right for you.
Knowing Your Options
With motherhood, there is no prescriptive way to embrace this marvelous journey. It is important to understand that families are created in all sorts of ways. Perhaps you desire to expand your family via adoption, giving a child who needs a home a place to be loved and cherished. If you live in Utah, an important first step is to look up reviews of adoption agencies in Utah. On the other side of the equation, for those who decide that putting their baby up for adoption is right for them, there are options. It’s important to note that this choice and the resulting relationships can take many different forms, be sure to research your options.
Managing Hormone Imbalances
For women who give birth, there will likely be adjustments after the baby is born. Hormone imbalances, bodily changes, and recovery are all important factors to be aware of after the birthing process. With great joy and excitement can also come fear and anxiety, indeed, it can also bring the “baby blues.” This is something that often does not get talked about enough yet is an essential topic for new mothers. These hormones can leave you feeling depressed, anxious, prone to mood swings with difficulty sleeping, and can be difficult to control. Your doctor, your support system and your partner will all be necessary during this time because your body is dealing with a major change and disruption to the way it has been functioning. Try to be kind to yourself and give yourself time.
Bringing the Baby Home
When you bring your baby home, whether you are coming from the adoption process or the hospital, there is a lot that you need to do to prepare. As you get ready to bring your baby home, make sure that you cover all of the basic necessities, everything from coming home (and all that entails) to car seats and feeding. It may feel like a lot to cover, but if you can plan these over a few months and develop a plan (while allowing yourself the grace of flexibility in expecting the unexpected), you can reduce those feelings of anxiety.
Avoid Investing in All the Trendy Baby Items
While it can be incredibly tempting to purchase all of the cute baby things, keep in mind that your little one will grow faster than you ever anticipated. They will outgrow toys, clothing, and supplies before you know it, so avoid spending your funds on countless and inevitably useless products. Instead, only invest in the items that you actually need and save your money for their future.
Taking Care of Yourself
When you first bring this little bundle of joy and sleepless nights home, it can feel impossible to take care of yourself; however, taking care of yourself and dealing with stress is critical to navigating motherhood. Whether you are dealing with the symptoms following the birth or the stress of having a newborn, as best as you can, you still need to find time to manage your needs and manage your stress. Although this can feel like an uncomfortable concept for many, asking for help is a necessary step.
Asking for Help
Many parents make the mistake of trying to handle everything on their own, but this is a common misconception and error. The saying “it takes a village” is certainly true when you bring home a new baby. Finding a support system, whether that be family, friends, chosen family or a community of other mothers can be useful as you first make this transition. While it can be scary and uncomfortable, learning to ask for help will help you ease tension and live a more balanced life. Whether you just need someone to talk to, care for when you go back to work or someone to cry with, it is okay to ask for help, as we all need it.
On the flipside, setting boundaries with your loved ones will be an important step of parenthood. For new parents, this can be an exceptionally hard task, but a necessary one. Boundaries around visits of your newborn, behaviors and language that will be used around them and what capacity you have to engage with others are all essential expectations that you get to decide for a healthy household. While you want to keep your child safe, it is just as important that you set boundaries that are also safe and healthy for you.
Parenthood can take a variety of forms, but in any of these circumstances, it can still be stressful. While this stress can be a lot for any new parent, there are also ways to help mitigate some of the impacts of this major change in your life. If you make sure to center yourself and your family on all of the decisions you make, you can be better situated to navigate this next chapter.
Kevin Gardner graduated with a BS in Computer Science and an MBA from UCLA. He works as a business consultant for InnovateBTS. As busy as he is with his career, Kevin has made his family a priority and has found creative ways to give them the time they deserve. Whenever possible, he writes about his experiences and shares them to help others.