Surviving a Newborn
As my son Kyler is now two weeks old, I am in full fledge newborn mode. Even with a toddler in the mix, I am finding the second time easier as I know what to expect. Before Dylan, I could only imagine what it felt like to be fully responsible for the needs of another human being 24/7. While I was so in love with my precious baby, motherhood felt overwhelming. For the first few weeks, I fumbled around in a shell-shocked daze as I adjusted to my new normal. Today I still find the demands of motherhood physically exhausting, but my previous experience of learning how to function on poor sleep, mastering breastfeeding… etc., have overall lowered my stress.
As I have done the “newborn thing” before and am currently in the midst of it, here are my tips for surviving a newborn.
SURVIVING A NEWBORN
1. ACCEPT HELP
My natural tendency is to do everything myself. I hate even asking for help, yet I recognize the need for it. I have readily embraced loved ones dropping off meals, and relatives helping look after my toddler while I tend to my newborn. As I had a caesarian, I am not supposed to lift my toddler for six weeks so the help has been very much appreciated.
2. PACE YOURSELF
As women we are told that we can “have it all.” While I believe that can be true, it doesn’t mean we have to do it all. Nine months of pregnancy, followed by childbirth and thrust into childrearing is no small feat! If the house isn’t up to the usual standard or my hair is tossed in a messy bun as opposed to styling it, it’s okay. As mothers, it is important that we hold ourselves to a standard of grace not perfection. I’m not a Stepford wife and that's perfectly fine.
3. DON'T FORGET ABOUT YOU
At times I’ve been guilty of letting the demands of motherhood envelop my entire identity. I don’t have much free time, but it’s important that I take care of myself so that I can be a better mom. It may not seem like much, but catching up with a friend, taking a relaxing bath or dabbling in my personal interests do wonders for my sanity. I'm still me- just with kids now.
4. ENJOY IT
I have heard the phrase “... they grow up so fast,” infinite times. Since becoming a parent, this has hit home in a profound way. I vividly remember giving birth to Dylan and shortly we will be celebrating his second birthday! During those late night feedings, crying frenzies, and at times debilitating exhaustion, I remind myself this too shall pass. Yes, the everyday gruelling routine of newborn life lasts a brief time, but so does this precious time when they are just so sweet and small. My toddler’s hugs, kisses and cuddles are beyond incredible, but usually only last a couple seconds before he's on the move again. My newborn however loves to nuzzle his mama for hours. There are perks that come with the newborn territory and I want to savour every moment.