Friday, February 19, 2010

Life After Baby: 7 Must Do's

I don't know about the rest of you, but in those early weeks of being a new mother, there were times that I felt like my very own life was being sucked out of me to compensate for this new, tiny, wrinkly, rapidly-growing one that was handed to me at the hospital (which, ironically, got her life from literally sucking the necessities out of me every three hours of the day. Hence, sucking the life right out of me. Makes sense, right?). As much as I loved being a new mother and all the wonderful things it entails, it was still overwhelming, challenging, and at times, quite difficult. Most of the time I didn't feel like myself, but rather a mere zombie-like slave to my baby's every minute need. I felt like the simple things I did so easily every day (like maintaining good hygiene, not kidding) seemed almost impossible to accomplish. It was hard. Some nights I questioned how I was going to be able to do this the rest of my life without sacrificing my sanity for it.

Been there?

It wasn't until I committed to these 7 things that I realized I could still "have a life" (so to speak) while still meeting the needs of my precious newborn. Committing to these 7 things helped me feel "alive" (especially during those early weeks), but overall helped me to realize that my life really didn't need to change as much as I had thought. Best of all, I kept my sanity and was a better mom for it.

I hope they do the same for you. Here they are:

DON'T SAY "NO" TO THE SHOWER Make showering a requirement every single day once your baby is born. This may sound like a simple task to some of you, but in that first week it can be hard. I felt a thousand times better and happier when I made this a priority at the start of my day. Your body might be saying no, but push past that feeling and get in. Whether you are tired, sore, or you think your baby needs you, no excuses! A hot shower will help you feel fresh and rejuvenated for what might be a long day. Now, are you worried what you will do with your baby? If you have help, take advantage of it. Hand your baby off to your mother, sister, husband, or whoever is there with you at the time. Don't have help around 24/7? When I didn't have help around I used a bouncer. Get one if you don't already have one. Keep one in your bathroom and set your baby in it while you get ready. The vibration and music will relax him, and who knows, the rush of the shower and blow dryer may even put your baby to sleep. Success!

MAKEUP Along with a shower, putting on some much needed makeup may help you feel like yourself. You might be thinking, "is she serious? makeup?" You'd be surprised that even if you are just going to be home all day in sweats you'll still feel sexier and womanly with that little touch. Plus, you won't be feeling bashful when you have those unexpected visitors at your door. They may even give you some feel-good comments that will make your day that much better.

GET OUT Don't be home-bound or bed-bound during the early weeks. This is a time you may think you can't/shouldn't go out. This is false. Staying in can often lead to the unwanted baby blues. Get outside and explore even if its just for a few minutes. If someone can watch your little tyke at home while you get a short walk in, awesome. Otherwise, put your baby in the car seat and in the stroller and head out! Of course you'll want to limit any strangers getting really close to your new baby in the first couple weeks, but that much needed sunshine and outside air will make you feel a world of a difference. Plus, easy walks are a great way to help speed up your recovery.

SAY "YES" If help is ever offered, TAKE IT! There is absolutely no need for an I-can-do-it-myself attitude at this point in your life. People want to help and this is the time to accept because soon there won't be any more offers. And if no one is offering... ASK! You'd be surprised at how many people would love to help but aren't sure where the boundaries are in offering or giving help to new mothers. Having much-needed help can give you the time to do some things that are important for you (like getting showered and ready, taking a nap, having some personal time, etc.)

PLAN DATES Whether it's with your husband or girlfriends, make it a weekly priority to get out on a date. If you can't leave your baby, take your baby with you! Your baby doesn't need to be an excuse for not getting out of the house every once and a while. Having that much-needed time for yourself will save your sanity. Coordinating "Mommy Clubs" (weekly get-togethers with other moms and babies) are a great way to have some adult time while your little one gets to socialize with others his age.

GET YOUR R & R Everyone needs their own personal "me time." Rest and relaxation are two words you can not do without as a new mother! Take a break each week to get a massage, get your nails done, or simply do something that is relaxing to YOU. Even something as simple as an afternoon nap or a massage from your loved one can often do the trick. (Everybody says to "sleep when the baby is sleeping" and yet nobody ever heeds that advice. Please heed! Chores and cleaning can be left for another time down the road, or better yet
for your husband/helper!)

ENJOY HOBBIES Don't give up on the things you love after you have a baby. Keeping your hobbies as part of your everyday life is important. When your baby is napping or playing alone contently is a great opportunity to do what you enjoy. Sewing, cooking, scrapbooking, photography, reading, working out, yoga ...
whatever it is keep it a part of your life.

Remember, although life will never be the same after you have a baby, it doesn't have to be as drastically different as you might think. Sticking to these 7 things will save you your sanity and make you a happier mom. And if mom ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Isn't that how the saying goes?

Now go get a life.

- Dayna


  1. Love it! Thanks for being so honest about what life after newborn is like and giving very good tips.

  2. These tips are great. Will definitely try them out second time around.

  3. This blog is seriously awesome!! I am loving it.

    --Jen Roper

  4. Great suggestions! I agree with all of's so important to do little things so that you still feel like a person- not only a mom :)

  5. Love this list. So important! I think the hardest one is saying yes when people offer help. Why is that such a hard thing. Next time around, I will demand help, I think :) because of past experience... it's NOT worth it to TRY and DO IT ALL

  6. I love this list! It is all so true. I know when I did those things it made all the difference in the world. This blog is awesome by the way!


We love your comments!