While in social groups on the internet, I interact with a few people beyond posting and sharing blog posts and ideas. This one young new mom caught my attention, not because of joy and funny baby stories, but from fear of death. She was coming from an abusive lifestyle and found the courage to leave. Now she’s under the stress of raising a newborn alone, without a home to call her own and constantly keeping a watchful eye over her new bundle of joy.
I often praise the higher power for providing a safe and loving life for me and my daughter, but not everyone is as fortunate. Many new moms do not have a support system or a peace of mind to think of what to do for themselves. Without having a moment to recharge, the mental and physical parts of the body will breakdown and not be healthy for the responsibilities ahead.
When it comes to self-care, sitting in a bathtub with a glass of rose’ sounds nice, but that would not help the new mom in the situation above or most moms that have serious issues. Researching some health sites online, I’ve highlighted five tips and signs of stress that may help the everyday new mom.
According to Parents.com, while focusing on your breathing, silently repeat a calming phrase like “peace” with every exhale. After a minute or two, you should feel more relaxed. It’s not going to remove the stress you are experiencing, but it will allow you to be a bit more calm and think rationally about the next move you make or words you say aloud.
There is 24 hours in one day, however, we’re supposed to be sleeping at least eight of them. As new moms, catching a cat nap during the day is even encouraged. Moving around trying to do everything and have everything perfect, is not ideal. The mind and body has gone through an ordeal, you have to give it time to recuperate while taking care of a new person. The laundry will get done. The dishes aren’t going anywhere.
This may be harder than taking a cat nap. Especially if you do not have a support system to allow you to pass a new born responsibilities off to. Along with your breathing exercise, allow yourself to take a moment alone. Go to the restroom and sit on toilet maybe a little longer past your business and rest your mind. If you are able to take a minute to yourself, go for a five minute walk, food shopping, visit a friend, any activity that allows you to remove yourself from your space where you can not ignore cries, schedules and dirty diapers.
Eat. Drink your water. Stretch. Sleep. All of these activities are so easy to type out in this post. Believe me, I’ve been there and had to be reminded to do these things. Even if you must multitask, allow yourself to create a routine not only for yourself but for your new baby.
No one likes to hand their new baby off to someone else while they refresh themselves. Some new moms don’t think new dads know how to all the things they have perfected in the few weeks of parenting. Stop! Relax! Relate! Remember that a grandparent was once a parent, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and even your next door neighbor you speak to often are all people you should lean on if you need to.
When you don’t have a support system in your immediate area, try to survey your surroundings for families, moms that may have a familiarity that you can vibe on. Yes, it’s not easy to just drop your child off to a complete stranger - I know. However, when you have no other choice, trust your mothering instincts. It won’t steer you wrong.
Learn your stress signs
Sleeping less, trouble staying asleep
Loss of appetite or overeating
Parenting isn’t easy on day one and it doesn’t get easy as the days go by. Challenges present itself at different dates and times. Of course there are fun times, but if you have to go through hurdles to get there, I’ll hope you refer to some tips and stress management tools to assist you.
If you or someone you know is in need of assistance as a new mom or a mom in general, please offer your support or advise them to reach out to someone who can assist them.