Self care is not selfish!
Self care is about making sure your physical, emotional and social needs are being met. Its about taking care of your whole self and setting aside time to maintain your wellbeing.
As a new mom, you need to know this. As a mom, we often put ourselves last, ensuring first that everyone and everything else is taken care of before we thing about our own needs. We always put a happy face and tell everyone “I’ve got this!” even when we feel like we’re failing. Its very important to take care of health is : mental, emotional and physical.Its essential to maintaining our own health and also key to your child’s physical and mental wellbeing. I’ve been through this season in my life where I forget how to self care myself after we got our baby. So, I don’t want the same thing happen to future new mom so that why I decided to share these tips. These tips based on my experience and my reading.
Without further due, here are the tips how to self care for a new mom.
TIPS #1: Please REST new mom! Just do NOTHING.
After delivery baby is the most exhausted moment I feel so far. It can’t compared to the tiredness of doing exercise but the tiredness is such a high level of tired. I am not scare you new mom but I shared the reality. That why after giving birth, you really need to REST! When our baby arrival, we spent 3 days at hospital because the doctor need to monitor our condition for few days and I don’t really get rest here because I am alone with the baby and all the baby has is me, his mom. So, I didn’t get sleep very well because my baby is crying for almost 2 hours or every hour due to he wanted to drink milk, dirty diaper or not comfortable. I can say, when at hospital, the new mom can’t really rest. Oh ya, I was giving birth to our son during the pandemic so the hospital won’t let the husband to be together so for 3 days, its just me taking care of the baby. After that, we discharged from hospital but after just one day, my son admitted to hospital again due to jaundice and he stayed at hospital for almost 2 weeks. So, for this 2 weeks, we can’t stayed with him so we going back and forth to visit him every day. We visited him twice a day and during this time, I get my rest! I sleep as my baby at hospital. When I look at the bright side now, my baby let me rest! So, new mom, please rest!! Don’t be afraid to ask your husband to take care of the baby, not asking help but that his responsibility too. Don’t wait until you feel like you want to die because you feel exhausted.
TIPS #2: Be kind to yourself.
During my early day in motherhood, I really don’t know how to be kind to myself. I forget how to do so.
Parenting is a tough job. It’s normal to feel sad, negative or angry sometimes so don’t be hard on yourself about those feelings. Focus on the things you can control and celebrate small victories like you able to put the baby to sleep without oi oi… Remember, the tough moment does not make a tough day or tough life. Nothing is last forever. Be gentle with yourself with regard to losing baby weight or achieving your dreams. Whenever possible, postpone major life changes until you’ve settled into your new role as a mother.
TIPS #3: Do a brain dump
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes to write down everything that running through your mind, this is called “Brain dump”, you write what worry you, what you want to do, ideas in your head, moments you want to cherish. By writing them down, it helps to clear the clutter so you can focused again. You can do this by typing on your phones ( Notes) or you can write on your journal. As for myself, I preferred to write on my journal because I love that way.
TIPS #4: Focus on one thing at a time
Let be honest, after I become a mom, its so hard for me to focus on one thing at a time. I was wanted to do everything at once. I feel very anxious whenever I can’t finish something on the day. Its getting worse after I back to work after my maternity leave. I had many to do list of my work that possible to finish on one day and at the same time, I also had many to do list for my life outside work. I was overwhelmed with my life. Lesson learned here, do one thing at a time.
TIPS #5 : Get your body moving
I know, when you ‘berpantang’, you can’t really do anything but from my experience, you still can get your body moving around. How to do this? You can cleaning the house, not the heavy cleaning, do it slowly as long as you feel your body is moving. In the evening, go for a walk outside your house or grocery store. Walk quickly and you’ll get some exercise in. When the baby is old enough, bring your baby to the park and jog together.
TIPS #6 : Eat healthy food
I read this everywhere and even if you’re not a new mom, you need to eat healthy food, this is basic. But, we loved unhealthy food. After you giving birth or during ‘berpantang’, its crucial to always eat healthy food to make sure you recover well from pregnancy and birth as our body need protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals to heal. If you can’t cook healthy food, you can always order online but this will be expensive. I learned something here too, I should learn how to cook or have a list of healthy food recipe for my own good.
TIPS #7 : Talk
One of way to do self care is talk to human being. Due to the pandemic, our family and friend can’t physically be there for us but we still can messages, video call or voice call to share about what you really feel. Don’t wait until it get worse, please reach out your pre baby friends. They may not be texting or calling because they think you’re busy. You’re busy but still need them. Reach out and aim to set up one playdate or coffee date with a friend every two weeks. If you really can’t get out, set up some video call.
TIPS # 8: Go to saloon
Before I become a new mom, I feel like go to saloon is not so important. I always thought why should I waste my money on that. But, recently my husband’s aunt bring me to saloon for hair treatment + head massage, wow its really open my mind about the existing of hairdresser hahaha. Its really relief the stress and I really recommend this to new mom to do it! Its worth it! Trust me.
TIPS #9: Listen to your favorite Podcasts/Music
Since you’re busy with your baby and its hard to do other self care, you can listen to your favorite podcasts/music while the baby sleep. I’m thankful my husband bought bluetooth earphones so I can put one on my ear and another one is keep me alert with my baby. This also helpful for me as I can enjoy the outside word that I isolate myself for a while. I have my Podcast, you can listen to my Podcast too.
TIPS #10: Take time for a hobby you loved 'Pre-baby'
One of the biggest challenges after the baby is born is trying to connect your ‘new’ self to your ‘old’self. It can be feel unfamiliar and awkward in this new role and one of the ways you can get through this and overcome it is by taking time for a hobby you love. As for me, I love write on my blog and I usually write when my baby sleep or when my husband turn to take care of our baby. We had our babysitter, so I can write anytime I want and this make me feel so happy. If your hobby is hard to fit in, you can ask your husband to make it happen, you can explain why it is important and schedule it. I’m sure your husband will be understand and agreed if its good for you.
BASIC TIPS : PRAY!
I don’t put this on the list because I know this is basic tips you should know. Whenever and whatever, always pray. This parenthood or motherhood is not an easy journey and its easy to feel down and lose your sanity, so to stay sane, please pray! Pray together with your husband.
Self care as a new mom doesn’t have to be something of fairy tales or fiction, it is highly do-able. All you need is a little creativity and determination and you can make it happen.
I hope this article can help you and don’t forget to start do self care because self care is not selfish!
Aya, Mrs Maclare ❤