Strategies That Have Helped Others
You're not alone. Here are some proven strategies for dealing with the challenges of motherhood:
- Sleep when you can. Resist the temptation to do housework when the baby is sleeping. Develop the habit of napping when the baby naps. You'll probably look forward to it!
- Get as much help as you can. If people offer a meal or to baby-sit, say yes! Sometimes it's hard to ask for help because you feel you should be able to do everything yourself, but it's okay to ask for assistance with housework and caring for your baby.
- Talk about how you feel. Tell your husband or your partner, your family, and your friends. It will help them understand what you're going through and help you know that many people are on your side.
- Make a plan every day. Get dressed. Shower and comb your hair. Have a healthy snack. Go for a short walk. Visit a friend. Run an errand. Play with your baby. Rest between tasks if you need to, but don't sit at home alone.
- Spend time with your husband or partner. Get a babysitter and go on a date. Or plan time alone together. You needed this before the baby and you need it now too.
- Talk to other mothers. There's nothing like an experienced mother to teach you to lower your expectations of yourself. They know that your house will not be perfect. They know that you're struggling. They know how much energy a pregnancy, giving birth, and a new baby take. They know housework shortcuts and where to get the cheapest diapers. You can learn from their experiences.
- Join a support group. Ask your health care provider or your friends for a recommendation. Call the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Helpline at 1-800-862-1889 or look in the phone book for a mothers group. Churches and civic organizations are also good resources. Having other people in your life who understand what you're going through will encourage you.