If there’s one piece of advice I took from anyone who wanted to give it, it was how to adjust to life with a newborn. I went into those first 6 months of motherhood knowing there was no amount of planning that would ever cover it all, but I did had a few things in mind that would soften the blow. Let’s just say the adjustment period is real. It’s also pretty damn incredible. As someone who’s been through it, here’s what I would pass along.
Plan in advance
The first tip actually comes before bebe arrives. Though there’s no way to plan for exactly what will happen, how you’ll feel, what type of baby you’ll have, and the list goes on – you can plan for certain things.
Get a bunch of healthy, nourishing meals prepped and frozen. Freeze pads with witch hazel to soothe aching lady parts. Get as much work done before you sign off completely (because honestly, your brain doesn’t really work for a while – or mine didn’t, at least!). Set up a house cleaner in advance if possible. Nest the heck out of your house and try to get everything organized. And so on, and so on!
Bottom line: think of small things that you can do before you’re dealing with healing and wanting to stare at a baby all day. And know that you might need more time to heal than you thought, so work in a buffer if possible.
Take it easy on yourself
Man, this is so, so, so crucial. I luckily had many female friends remind me of this before my son was born and I want to make sure to pass it on. Women are incredibly hard on ourselves and this is simply NOT the time to be. You just birthed a human after all! You’re a goddess. Treat yourself like one.
Remove all expectations of how you should be looking or feeling or acting by a certain time. Take time to let your body heal. After all, it took nearly 10 months for your body to create this being – give it enough time to recover from it.
Don’t worry if you cancel all of your plans for the next 6 months. You will get your life back, I promise. Your friends will understand, I promise.
For the time being, do what feels good for you and your new child. It’s all that matters.
This goes along with both of the points above – and it’s equally as important. If you’re lucky enough to have people around, accept the dang help. Let people bring you food. Let them come over and hold bebe while you shower. Accept when someone offers to babysit while you nap.
This isn’t the time to be Wonder Woman and do it all if you don’t have to. Let people show their love by way of help. You’re not a bad mom if you accept it – you’ll probably be a better one, actually.
Find your tribe
Whether it be a night nurse, a group of women at church, your BFFs, or women in an online community – find your tribe. You’re going to have a million questions (at least I did), and lemme tell ya, asking people you trust is a lot more sane than going down the rabbit hole that is Google.
Support during this time is crazy cool and it was one of the things that helped me adjust to the endless questions and freakouts I had (aka WILL I EVER SLEEP AGAIN?!).
There are a ton of other ways to adjust, but honestly, these 4 overarching tips should serve as guidance. At the end of the day, it’s a hard, rewarding, special, un-freaking-believable time, and you’ll get through it. But I hope these tips help make it a bit easier. Congrats mama!