Congratulations, you are officially a mom! The moment you have been dreaming of your whole life is finally here. Being a mom is the best thing you will ever do but it is also the hardest. If you find yourself having a hard time adjusting to life with your little one don’t give up, and know you are not alone. Here are six ways to make the transition to motherhood a little bit easier.
Give yourself grace
Being a new mom is hard, period. You can do all the research, read the books, talk to your friends but nothing can prepare you until you are actually living it and feeling the emotions of this new life. Give yourself the room you need to process everything you’ve just been through. There is no rule that says when we have to have things figured out, but somehow we feel we should be naturals at the whole mom thing, and pronto! We can be our own worst enemy so take a step back and let yourself be ok with where you’re at, and where you’re not. Give yourself kindness, patience, and above all love yourself through the journey.
Ask for help
I am fairly independent, often times taking on too much and declining help when it is offered. One thing I have learned is it is ok to say yes, and not yes to more tasks, but yes to allowing others to help you. If you need something, there’s a chance your friends and family don’t know. This can be hard but letting our loved ones know what you need will not only give you break but will also allow others to serve, and I think we can all agree it always feels great to help a friend in need! Now having said that, there is a line here. We need to let our village know what is most helpful, but we also need to be mindful of them. Extend your patience and compassion to your people as well. Let’s face it, no one likes a mama diva!
Take the time you need, and I mean the REAL time you need.
Have you ever heard that you shouldn’t change out of your bathrobe because the minute you do maternity leave ends? There’s a little truth to that! Let go of any expectations you or your significant other have of being “back” quickly. Why rush yourself back into the grind any sooner than you have to? The grind will always be there, but your little one will not. It’s completely OK to take things slowly if you have the ability to do so. Try to enjoy it as much as possible and find the joy in staying in bed and sleeping when baby is asleep, this is a miracle that is only granted with your first baby!
Organize your life for simplicity.
I had a friend that I kid you not, made a list of home improvement projects she intended to accomplish while home on maternity leave. Reality was cruel and swift! New motherhood comes with growing pains and less is always better. Let go of the to do list that looms over you and causes stress. It is ok to say no to many of the things we feel obligated to. Prep things ahead of time so when a task arises you will be ready for it. Don’t bog yourself down with the unnecessary, keep it simple and you’ll be two steps ahead!
Let go of the unrealistic
Let’s be real for a moment, this is the time to let go of anyone else’s expectation of what your motherhood should look like. The internet and social media can be wonderful places to find inspiration, but it can also come at a cost. If you find yourself comparing your very real experience to the manufactured perfection we often see, it can leave you feeling inadequate. When that happens it’s time to step away. Our lives as mothers are messy and rarely the picture of perfection we are made to feel they should be, but more often than not our best lives will come in those messy and unexpected moments. Let go of what you think it should be and embrace it for what it is.
Take it all in, it will be gone before you know it
This is such a cliché, but here’s the thing…it’s so very true. As I write this I sit on the other side of motherhood. My children are grown and time has gone by so fast! I know of sleepless nights, exhaustion, being at the brink of breaking and wondering how I will ever get through it, let alone be sane at the other end. As hard as it is sometimes, try to enjoy the journey with all its bumps and bruises. One day you will also look back and miss the place in which you now stand.