I wish I could tell you that motherhood is all fun and no stress but that’d be dishonest. Fine, there’s joy in motherhood but there’s also a lot of stress, especially for a new mum. So, the key is learning how to manage stress as a new mom.
Motherhood opens you up to a whole new world and you need to arm yourself with every knowledge you can acquire in order not to lose your mind. I know this as a new mom, that’s why I’ll be sharing with you TEN ways to manage stress as a new mom; because you can’t avoid the stress, you can only manage it.
10 Ways to Manage Stress as a New Mom
Appreciate the gift of motherhood
Motherhood is a gift, appreciate it. You can never go wrong with gratitude. Gratitude gives you the right attitude to manage stress as a new mum. Attitude is everything, remember? Keith Harrell’s ‘Attitude is Everything’ is one of my favourite books of all time.
So it’s not just about doing motherhood but doing it with the right attitude and gratitude helps you to achieve that.
Apart from the fact that you need to eat well because you’re breastfeeding (I hope), you need food to supply you with the energy that you need to care for your baby.
Eat varieties of foods, don’t be obsessed with losing weight yet. Don’t be pressured by the ‘perfect’ and ‘ideal’ bodies you see on social media, thereby starving yourself.
As a new mom, I was anxious about adding more calories to the ones I already packed in pregnancy, so I didn’t eat like I should, until I found myself in the ER.
Don’t wait till you find yourself in the ER like me before you know that you need energy from food to cope with stress as a new mum.
I’m not saying you should indulge yourself and eat anything and everything, but eat all classes of food in the required proportions. Don’t be afraid to eat. You’ll lose the weight gradually.
Try to get some sleep when you can
No matter how cliche, “Sleep when your baby is sleeping” sounds, it holds true still.
You need your sleep to cope with the stress that comes with motherhood. You need sleep to function.
As a new mum, I’m always sleep-deprived. So expect to be sleep-deprived as a new mum except you have people around to help you with your little one.
Sometimes, it’s not feasible to sleep when your baby is sleeping because that’s when you want to be human – have a shower, eat, visit social media, or even take a break from your baby (you love her still). But find time to sleep, no matter what.
You need sleep to function; I can’t say this enough.
Create your own schedule
As a new mum, you need to spend your day as you deem fit or as it works for you and your baby. You don’t need to have a rigid schedule.
Sometimes, what’s daytime for others might be night time for you. Waking time for others might be sleeping time for you and your baby. Don’t compare yourself with other mothers, do whatever works for you and your baby.
Don’t do too much at a time
I understand that there are so many things to do within a short time. Twenty four hours isn’t even enough for you anymore.
The way out?
Don’t put too much on yourself. Do the little you can at a time. Taking care of a baby is demanding and time consuming. You’re doing too much already, don’t add to it.
Be realistic in planning your daily activities. Do the little you can so that you won’t set yourself up for disappointment, which is the mother of unfulfillment.
You cannot manage stress as a new mum if you don’t prioritize, that is, deciding which activities that are worthy of your attention.
I understand that you have too much to do, but being a new mum, you can’t do too much. You have to dedicate your energy to things that are extremely important so that you won’t wear out.
I had to uninstall my Messenger app some weeks ago because I was receiving too many messages. I hardly have time for myself, yet people want me to attend to them (especially without a dime). Hahaha.
I have an email address where I can be reached. If it’s that important, they’ll reach me there.
So prioritize your tasks and focus on the ones that you should deal with.
Ask for help
To manage stress as a new mum, you need every help you can get, especially if you live away from your family and friends. So don’t hesitate to seek and ask for help from your significant other when necessary.
You don’t have to prove that you’re a super mum to anyone, not even to your spouse. You don’t always have to change your little one’s diapers or feed her, tell your significant other to do it.
Filter every suggestion
When you become a mum, everyone seems to have a word for you on how to do things – feed your baby, dress your baby, what to eat, what to wear, what not to wear, when to sleep etc.
While it’s good to learn from others, make sure you filter every suggestion, don’t swallow everything you hear hook, line, and sinker. Use your intuition. Pick the ones that you think will be useful for you so that you won’t be overwhelmed.
Capture the moments
While motherhood isn’t all fun and play, don’t be so lost in the stress that you forget to capture the moments by taking pictures and videos. These are the simple ways you enjoy motherhood. You’ll be grateful for this whenever you scroll through your gallery.
It’s a phase
Remember that motherhood is in phases. Even though a mother’s work never ends, it comes in phases. You won’t be forever sleep-deprived, change diapers, breastfeed etc.
It’s all about time. You’ll reap the reward of the stress you go through.
I hope this article will help you to cope with stress as a new mum. Motherhood is fun and work. Enjoy and endure it.