I still remember those days as a new mom SO well. After bringing my sweet little girl home and spending the first few weeks in utter disbelief that she was finally here and I was actually a mom, real-life started setting in.
The reality of having a tiny person constantly attached to me (literally she nursed ALL.the.time!) and the responsibility of taking care of not only myself but another precious life sank in. In the early days, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal. My husband was still home on paternity leave, and we had family in and out. So I had extra hands to hold her so I could do things like going to the bathroom, changing clothes, and maybe eating a snack hands-free.
Five Ways to Prioritize Yourself When You’re a Brand New Mom
As a new mom, it is so hard to prioritize self-care. Learn a few of the ways I used to prioritize me even as a brand new mom! But then everyone went home, and he went back to work. And I was left with multiple hours a day with very little time to accomplish anything. I quickly realized, though, that I needed to take what little time I did have to squeeze in even just 15 minutes of time for me even as a new mom.
To some that will sound outrageous, but it’s true. I can remember getting my daughter topped off with milk and a fresh diaper and passing her off to my husband so I could run to the shower for just a few minutes of alone time. And then inevitably, I’d hear her crying and feel SO guilty for leaving her, for needing some time for me. But then, finally, I realized something…
While yes, I was now a mom and did have the responsibility of taking care of my sweet babe, I also still had the responsibility to take care of me. And slowly as I added in a little more “me time” each day, I realized when I took better care of me, I actually took better care of my daughter (and my husband and my home). Funny how that works, right?
So how did I start making me a priority again? It’s pretty simple but SO important. Here me when I say this, though, too. It won’t happen all at once, and it won’t be the same every day. But you DO need to take time for you too.
1. Start a morning routine.
This is one of the hardest as a new mom because you RARELY get adequate sleep, but I promise it WILL make a difference. Make it as simple as it needs to be, but at the very least, make an effort to get up before the baby, spend a few minutes being grateful for the new day, and taking a little time to ease into your day.
2. Nourish your body.
If you’re taking care of a little one, you need all the nourishment you can get (especially if you’re a nursing mama)! So work on incorporating healthy foods that are going to fill your body up with the good stuff! (I personally like to do that with my daily superfoods smoothie and usually save it as a treat at nap time!)
3. Make time to move.
I thought about how to word that because I didn’t want to just say straight up, “DO A WORKOUT!” Because I remember those days. I’d literally nurse my little one, swaddle her, lay her down, and then PRAY she’d sleep long enough for me to get a workout in. So I know that can be intimidating, so if you’re struggling with looking at it as a structured workout, then just consider adding a little extra movement into your day. Take a walk, have a dance party in your kitchen, do some yoga…Whatever it is make sure you prioritize getting moving! I promise it will lift your spirits and your energy! (If you could use a little help finding something that works for you, send me an email and let’s chat.)
4. Get out of the house.
Alright, I am notoriously awful for this! But one of the most life-giving things you can do for yourself is get out of the house! Again, whether it’s just taking a walk, running to the grocery store, visiting another mom friend…It doesn’t really matter what it is just don’t force yourself to stay in the house all of the time. You’ll go crazy!
5. Accept help.
Alright, so this one isn’t an exact self-care activity, but it will help you give yourself a little more attention. Now that you’re a new mom, you have a little person to take care of, so to get some free time, you need HELP! Whether it’s your hubby, sister, friend, or mom, accept help when it is offered and don’t feel guilty for using that time to do something for you!
Making time for you a priority isn’t easy as a new mom (or even a seasoned mom), but I promise it will make a difference. The old saying is true, you literally can’t pour from an empty cup. So you need to take some time to take care of you, and when you do, I promise it will help you take better care of them.