Motherhood is a delight but also a great responsibility. Here are a few ways to deal with the ups and downs of motherhood.
1. Sleep! Sleep should be your first priority
I understand that it’s hard for some moms to sleep as soon as the baby sleeps, but just lying down with a yoga nidra DVD takes you into a mode of rest that is similar to sleep. Sleep is essential for your body to get back to normal.
2. Spend more time with your little one
Instead of letting her sleep in a different room, keep her as close to you as possible. She was inside your womb, which was super warm. She is tiny and still looks for that warmth. In my experience, the closer you put her to you, the longer she sleeps, thereby giving you bonus time to rest.
3. Don’t just wait for your husband to return home to put aside your baby
Instead of acting like an employee finishing a shift, spend a few minutes showing off being a mom. It doesn’t matter how dirty you look. Just let your partner switch to home mode and then say you need some time for yourself.
4. Allow others to help you
Especially, allow people who genuinely care to be there for you. Instead of a shower or gift, ask friends to help you for a minimum of 4 weeks with food, shopping and other chores.
5. Stop being scared
Don’t take your concern to the level of being afraid. Intuition is the key to survival. Listen to your gut feelings. It’s not flu shots that will protect you but your own responsibility to stay healthy. Instead of worrying constantly, create an energy of positivity around you. Babies grow fine and have done for millions of years. If you choose not to put needles into your baby, don’t feel pressured by others to do so.
6. Eat healthy
I have come across many women who use their baby as an excuse to not take care of themselves. Please put yourself first. The baby is important, but the mother should be sane and happy to provide a nurturing environment for the baby. Journaling your complaints and letting things go should be on your agenda before you hit the bed. Setting aside even 5 minutes for this will surely pay off in the long run.
7. Surrender to the clothes mountain
Laundry has always been my biggest challenge. In India, we are used to washing clothes every day so there is no heap of unmanageable clothes. In the US, we do it once a week and for a family of five that definitely is a huge task. Find someone to help you with the laundry. I was constantly stressed out about cleaning the house. Adapt to living in a cluttered home until you find time to roll up your sleeves again.
8. Say good things to yourself and your body as much as you can
Ayurveda asks women to be happy all the time. It’s important to encourage your body and not force the body to fit into the image you want. Also, stop copying other mothers. Just because they made a scrapbook that’s amazing, you don’t have to do it too. Babies are different, so do not worry if your baby does not teethe sooner than your neighbor’s baby. It’s okay if you did not put a meal on the table. Forgive yourself. Sometimes a jelly sandwich is all you can offer. Just offer that with love!
9. Here is an activity I practice almost every week before I schedule my calendar
Make lists titled “Resent” and “Re-do.” List down all that you resent and immediately write down the solutions to it. If you resent changing diapers, explain to your partner that you need him to pitch in, instead of keeping it in your mind and having a big blow-up later. Re-do what you love the most. For me it was waking up at night to feed my little one. I enjoyed this quite time to cuddle and wrap my arms around my baby.
10. Go for walks
Sometimes, nature is the best medicine. Sunshine and natural air freshen your mind and clear up things that are bothering you. Take your baby in the stroller and “walk away” all that is not needed. When you return home and open the door, feel like you are brand new, ready to take on motherhood in its entirety.