As a new Mom, the holidays are sweet time to celebrate new traditions, but once January 1st rolls around—and the house guests are on the road, we’re met with the daunting pressure of reflecting on all we have accomplished in the past year. You might face nagging questions such as “have you started that new postpartum fitness routine yet?” “Did you spend 10 minutes journaling, 5 times a week?” “How many books from your reading list did you read?” Discouragement takes over and our motivation for new beginnings gets swept away, along with the confetti, party streamers and trash bags full of dirty diapers.
Here’s the good news! Entering the New Year as a new mom doesn’t have to be stressful. If the days feel like years and the sleepless nights seem never ending, it’s time to sit down. That’s right–move the pile of laundry off the couch or stay in the bathroom a few minutes longer. We’re about to share 5 tried and true tips for making new mom life more manageable in the new year.
Goal Setting Guide for new Moms
Focus on what you have, not what you have not
Recently, I transitioned from a pen and paper to-do list to Google Tasks. If you haven’t downloaded it yet – give it a try! The app integrates into your calendar and comes with a checkmark feature which is (almost) as gratifying as crossing off something with a pen. Mom life means full arms and not always having your notebook and pen close by. I found myself making notes in my phone…to make notes in my notebook (buy more diapers, send thank you notes, etc)!!! And while it’s normal that items roll over from one day to the next, and the next…one of the features I love is being able to view your completed tasks. To date, I have completed 394 tasks. Amazing, right?! Granted, some of them are as simple as “snacks in bag, mail cards, vacuum and wash hair.” Yet, it’s rewarding to keep our efforts in perspective, considering all that we’ve accomplished vs. all we have yet to do.
Keep in touch with other moms
I never fully understood #MomsSupportingMoms or #MomBoss until I became a member of the #MomWorld. This network of women, of all ages and nationalities, from all over the world, quickly become your best friends. Social media has blessed us with the ability to connect to moms we have never met. Many of them have been there/done that and are an amazing resource whether you need help warming a bottle while on the road or are looking for an alternative method to formula feeding. Likewise, we all have those female friends who do not have children. Don’t lose touch with them either. While your lifestyles may look different, what brought you together in the first place hasn’t changed. Keep those foundational friendships strong and nurture one other with support and encouragement.
Keep it real
Social media tells us the pregnancy glow lasts beyond childbirth and throughout motherhood. Yet, most days, the only thing glowing is the light of your phone at 2 a.m. when you’re trying to get your baby to latch. When I became a new mom, it didn’t take long to realize the following truths.
- You will get very little sleep during the first 6 months. It does get better.
- Your clothes will be covered in spit up, pee, coffee and more. No one says you have to wear jeans (or anything else with a zipper or buttons) but changing clothes often will help you feel like less of a mess.
- Eating is very difficult. Chances are high that your baby will end up with your lunch in their hair or on their face at some point. Eat throughout the day. If you go, go, go then (finally) stop to eat, you are more likely to consume in excess.
- You will need help. We think we can do it all. We try to do it all. But then we break down physically, mentally and emotionally. If someone offers help, accept it. If they don’t offer help, delegate. When you take on 110 percent without asking for help, this becomes the unreal expectation you, and others, will have.
Knowing these things are inevitable helps remove the pressure of keeping up with your “game face.” Putting a stop to the comparison game will remove the pressure to appear that you have it all together. As your child gets older, your son or daughter is going to remember moments when you played together, not whether you wore makeup or kept up with your manicure.
Take baby steps
Before babies ever takes their first step, they explore standing with support, cruising along the couch, walking with assistance and standing without support. Throughout this process, they fall at least 100 times. Some babies walk at 9 months. Others walk at 14 months. The journey is different for everyone. Whether you’re walking across the room or working toward a postpartum fitness goal, everyone’s progress looks different. Let’s focus on a lifestyle that’s attainable and sustainable.
Take a break for self care
If you’ve made it this far and are still reading, congrats! Spending even just a couple of minutes at a time focusing on self-care is an investment. “Taking a break” doesn’t have to mean you spend a child-free day shopping at Target, getting your hair done or your nails touched up. Baby steps, right? Start small and keep it simple.
You might not be able to escape the house for an entire day, but don’t worry. Take a shower. Get outside. Get dressed in clean clothes. Treat yourself to a healthy meal. When you take care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to take care of that new baby. Remember, it’s OK to ask for help. You’re doing great.
Hi! My name is Megan. I’m a Certified Personal Trainer and mom to my rainbow baby, Clancy. Megan Meisner Fitness emphasizes activity, nutrition and restoration. In a world that overwhelms us with diet plans, new workout routines and the latest “stress-busting, abs-lusting” claims, my fitness community will help you silence the distractions and focus on mindfulness, self awareness and support to reach your goals. The emphasis is on progression, not perfection. Megan’s other stories include 4 Tips for Post Baby Fitness.