This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What does being a new mom feel like for you? For me, it was like being pulled from 10 different directions, while in stilts and holding a bomb. 🙂
Finding balance in life as a new mom was a huge hurdle for me. I felt like I needed the hands of an octopus and the feet of a millipede. I was constantly exhausted, which made me constantly cranky.
I carried tons of bags under my eyes and my to-do list kept getting longer and the checkboxes were mostly still unchecked.
I found myself getting more anxious as my maternity leave days neared the end. I didn’t know if had it in me to ‘have it all’ – a career and a baby!
If you, like me are struggling to create that life balance and don’t know where to start, come, and let us learn together.
All moms are working moms
I believe all moms are working moms. Whether you leave every morning to go to an office outside of your house or you’re a stay-at-home mom, you are working.
And you’ll all agree with me that babies make the worst bosses – they don’t listen, they are loud and demanding and have no sense of privacy. Your payment is in giggles and tiny hugs that feel like a million dollars.
Even bathroom breaks are no longer the private sessions they used to be. You’ll be having a screaming infant in one room and another mini you toddler at the bathroom door chaperoning and asking “Are you done?” every three seconds.
Related article: Six toddler activities to keep them busy and learning at home
Maintaining a mom, work and sanity equilibrium is tough. But it’s not impossible.
Your health comes first
There is no balance if your health is compromised.
When you were pregnant, your health was a corporate affair. Even if you didn’t feel like it, you had a family and doctors to remind you to take your supplements, eat well, and stay healthy.
When you’re a mom, your health has to be a daily DIY challenge. Your mental and emotional health is an important cog in the well-balanced mom-wheel.
Here’s how you can keep your spirits and health up as a new mom.
Related Article: Self-care tips that will make you a better mom
Eat a balanced diet
Between a screaming baby, unending house chores, and constant ‘circling back’ emails, you may end up living on dry snacks and a quick swig of juice right from the box.
That is not only bad for your health and moods but’s it’s a bad recipe for milk production if you’re breastfeeding.
Do your best to consume food that gives you the nutrients you need while helping in the manufacture of milk for your baby. If you simply can’t find the time, at least boost your nutrition with a high quality protein powder.
Drink plenty of water and don’t skip meals. Instead of sitting down for a large meal, I would snack on fruits and vegetables as I folded laundry or while breastfeeding.
If you have no idea how you will ever find time for eating, consider getting help from a meal planning service like The Dinner Daily. They do all the planning for you so that you can provide you and your family cheap, healthy, simple meals.
Related artice: 15 Frugal Tips to Save You Money at the Grocery Store
Organize your work
If you decide to tackle things as they come, they will not stop coming. You’ll find something to do in every turn. You’ll be headed to wash the baby and then your phone chimes with notifications from your blog or social media site or an email. Before you know it, it is 9 PM and the baby is still in his pajamas.
Create an easy schedule and adhere to it (my planner is my lifesaver). When the baby gets used to his feeding, washing, and sleeping routine, you will have an easier time.
A schedule allows you to know the time to allot to a specific task. When the time lapses, you know it’s time to move on to the next task or to take a rest.
Set realistic goals every day and divide the work into manageable chunks. You may not be able to save the world in 24 hours.
If you‘re working from home, set up a place and time for when to do that. That way, the people in the house know not to disturb you when it’s ‘office hours’.
Need some inspiration for getting both mom and work stuff done everday? I highly recommend the book The One Thing– it was life changing for me.
Related article: 6 tips to help you set up a small home office
Make time for yourself
Motherhood is draining; you never seem to run out of things to do. I got so engrossed in the motherhood and working race that I almost fell into post-partum depression.
Related article: Post-partum recovery plan
Tiny little things began to annoy me, my baby’s crying would set me off badly and I was always snapping at people.
My husband noticed the trend and sent me on a compulsory me-time – with a massage and a facial. I couldn’t complain and I came back calmer and less of an angry mama bear. (Tip: Create your own spa day at home while your partner or a babysitter takes over for an hour or two.)
If there is one thing a mom never seems to have, it’s time. But you have to make time for yourself for the sake of everyone else – especially your baby.
Ten years from now, no one will remember the laundry in the dryer. Your sanity is the most important thing.
Stop and relax
Mommyhood is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. If you run too fast, you’ll soon get exhausted and give up.
To have a balanced life, you need to take some rest. And this is not just about physical rest – your mind and emotions need to take a break from all the worrying and anxiety.
You can decide to use one of the baby nap times as your time to relax. Read a book or just lay down and unwind. You don’t have to sleep, but just letting your mind and muscles relax is a great step towards finding balance as a new mom.
You will be surprised at how much a little exercise can boost your moods and energy. Exercise gets the ‘feel-good’ hormones flowing, in turn helping you relax and get your spirits high.
Exercise is also good to help you lose the baby weight and mommy pooch that may be lingering too.
Related article: How the heck do you start loving your mom bod?
Simple exercise such as a brisk walk in the neighborhood can do wonders for your moods and mind. If you’re not able to go out, try a dance routine in your living room- chances are your little one will ove it. You don’t have to be a good dancer, the secret is to get the body moving and sweating.
Yoga is also a good exercise to help you relax your mind and connect with yourself.
Just hop on YouTube and start saving some of your favorite channels!
Ask for help
Ok, mama, you cannot be your baby’s all-in-all, all the time. Mom-guilt had me beating myself up and juggling all the baby-related activities and still working. I’d feel like I’m failing my baby if I let someone else wash them or take them out for a walk.
Finding balance as a new mom is also about knowing when to ask for help. If you haven’t had time to rejuvenate, you’ll be feeling like you’re one scream away from losing your sanity.
Loosen the reins on your baby and let someone else take over. Leave the house and take a walk or do your favorite activity.
If the housework has had you bent over backward to breaking point, get someone to do it. You’re not lazy for letting someone else wash your baby’s clothes. If you can get a professional to handle other things such as shopping and balancing books, do it.
Related article: 10 Self-care tips for Breastfeeding Moms
You got this
Mama, you’re doing better than you’re giving yourself credit for. Taking care of a newborn baby whose only language is crying is challenging.
When I got home from the hospital, I laid my baby on the couch for a little while. She didn’t even fill up space on one cushion. I remember marveling and getting so scared of how tiny she was.
I couldn’t believe I was supposed to take care of her and get things right! I think my mommy anxieties started there. But we both turned out alright and we’re still learning.
Ease up on the expectations you set for yourself and enjoy the wins you’re attaining every day. Motherhood is a learning process that will fill your days with a mix of purpose, joy and hardships.
The bottom line: you’ve got this mama!
What about you? Are you taking time for yourself or do you feel stuck in a hamster wheel?
What’s one thing you can do for yourself today to help keep your sanity?
What are some other great tips you’ve learned for incorprating relaxation into your day?