When you are expecting your first child, everyone tries to prepare you for the upcoming changes in your life. And that sometimes sounds like they are preparing you for the worst-case scenario. You have probably heard about those moms who do not sleep at all; they do not have the time to wash their hair or put on some nail polish, their house is a mess, etc. Those stories are not myths. But they also do not represent a rule.
No matter how many books you read or how much advice you get from your mom and friends, nothing can prepare you for the life that comes after the birth of your first child. However, with a little bit of organization, those few first months do not necessarily have to be so harsh on new moms. Whether you’re a working mom or not, your schedule affects the well-being of both you and your child. In fact, tight work schedules can actually impact your child's sleep.
Here are some tips on ways to make the most of your time as a new mom.
Staying realistic means keeping your expectations real, or maybe even lower, because you are a mom now, not a multitasking superwoman. Many women need days, even weeks, to fully recover from their delivery. Do not expect that once you get home from your delivery, that you will be able to function as usual. You will likely be exhausted, tired, and in pain, and besides that, there will be a newborn baby requiring your full attention and commitment. Take it slow, set realistic expectation, and give yourself time to get back on track.
Seize The Morning
As a new mom, you will have to learn new ways of time management. Your day is now being shared by a very dependent and lovable tiny human. Between work, children, taking care of the house, and all other things, it can be hard to squeeze in a bit of time for yourself. The early morning hours are the perfect time to do some things for yourself.
You can get up before everybody else and do yoga, run, read a book, have a coffee, answer some emails, etc. It can be your own little morning routine, one hour when you can do whatever you want. Consider it as a way of self-care. Try setting the Time Timer MOD 60-Minute to aid as a subtle reminder to spend the duration of time on yourself, while still keeping your schedule on track to start your day off right and on time. You will feel better, and you will have more energy later during the day for your child and work.
Most moms need to go back to work at some point, and that can be tough for both the mom and the baby. Babies and toddlers tend to go to bed earlier, so if parents are working until late, they do not get to spend much time with their children. Not all parents have the luxury to work from home or to have flexible working hours, but asking your boss about split shifts can be an option. You will still spend some time at the office during the day, but you will be able to do half of a shift during the night or late evening hours from home. You will be at home on time to lullaby your child, and then have enough time to work in silence.
You Cannot Control Everything
With children, you can always expect that something unpredictable can happen and things can go wrong. You send them to day care, thinking that you will finally have some time off to focus. After three days, they catch a cold, and you have to stay at home with them for a week. And then you get sick, and it is like a never-ending cycle.
Sound familiar? As a parent, you may have to skip a lot of working days, and you may need to schedule who can jump in and when. Knowing and expecting that these things are going to happen, and will allow you to embrace it and stay calm. Make Monday your most productive day. Try to do as work much as possible on Mondays - do not delay things - so if anything happens later during the week, you will have the main things already done.
Focus on things that count and have some value. And if that means that you are going to skip vacuuming for the third day in a row because playing with your children seems like a better choice, then so be it. If you can afford it, let someone else clean your house while you are at the park with kids. Spending hours on polishing your home every day will not make you a better parent. But if you prefer to do it, your partner can take care of the kids while you tidy up the house. Or use the Time Timer to get your cleaning done faster in focused spurts. It is okay to ask for help; sometimes, even moms need a break.
The Bottom Line
Parenting is not easy, but establishing priorities can help you decide what’s most important. Organization is everything; you can have a fresh manicure, a job, and a baby, if you can find your routine, and spend your time wisely. As the kids get older, it will all become easier, and one day you are going to laugh about the struggles you had while they were babies and toddlers.
Selena Thomas is a content writer who loves sharing tips on healthy lifestyles. A writer by day and a reader by night, she's fond of writing articles that can help people in improving both physical and mental health. Also, she loves traveling and inspires people on her blogs.