Sleep should be your first priority. I understand it’s hard for some moms to sleep immediately as soon as baby sleeps, but just laying down with a yoga nidra (sleep) 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 dropping them off in a different room, keep them as close to you as possible. They were inside your womb, which was super warm. They are tiny and still look for that warmth. In my experience, the closer you put them to you, the longer they sleep, letting you dose a half hour longer than usual.
3. Don’t just wait for the man to return home to depart from the 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 help from people you know who genuinely want to help. It’s not just the shower, and the gifts they give. Instead of a shower, ask friends to be there for you a minimum of 4 weeks to help with food, shopping, and other chores.
5. Stop being scared.
As protective mothers people, bring out your antennas. 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 energy of positivity. 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 “she said,” “he said.” Stick to your gut feelings.
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 when you are sane, happy, and setting an example, it becomes a nurturing environment for kids to grow up. Journaling your complaints and letting things go should be on your agenda before you hit your bed. Even if it is for 5 minutes it pays off in 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 woman 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 stress on doing a hobby that you don’t find time for. Babies are all different, so do not worry if your baby does not teethe sooner than your neighbor’s baby. If you did not put a meal on the table, it’s okay! Forgive yourself. Sometimes a jelly sandwich is all you can offer. Just offer that with love!
9. Make lists titled “resent” and “re-do.”
Here is an activity I practice almost every week before I schedule my calendar. Fill in what all you resent and immediately write down the solution for 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 the quiet space and time to cuddle and wrap my arms around my baby. Some women who work a normal schedule cannot enjoy waking up over and over again. If you resent it, write down a few solutions or options to make it better for you. It is important to communicate that you resent a few things rather than store them up.
10. Go for walks.
Sometimes, nature is the best medicine. Sunshine and just natural air cleans up anything that is 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 the mommy-ness in its full spectrum.