By Arlene Pellicane
For weeks, you’ve gone to the bathroom three times every night, slept faithfully on your side instead of your back, and snacked in the wee hours of the morning. Making a baby is hard work, even when you’re trying to sleep. And once your prince or princess is born, the string of sleepless nights is just beginning.
A forty-something friend has been trying unsuccessfully to have a baby for many years. Last week, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. When she talks about that one-week old miracle, she glows. Even though she’s sleep deprived and exhausted from nursing, she is radiant. So what’s the secret to being a totally new mom who is full of joy?
1. Relish the moment. When you’re looking at your tiny baby, whether it’s after a diaper change or as you’re feeding him or her, consider the words to this song “Miracle of the Moment” by five-time Grammy winner Steven Curtis Chapman:
So breathe it in, breathe it out. Listen to your heartbeat. There’s a wonder in the here and now. It’s right there in front of you. And I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment.
2. Put your baby’s early days in perspective. Remember what it took to get you to this place and let your heart fill with gratitude for being a mother. When things get tough, think of how quickly these days will pass. Before you know it, you’ll be taking your child to soccer practice or violin lessons in a minivan.
3. Eat right and exercise. Being healthy isn’t just good for your waistline; it’s a great way to lift your spirits. It’s proven that enjoying a variety of good nutritious food will help manage depression and elevate your mood. Try eating super foods like salmon, spinach, peas, chickpeas, chicken and turkey. Do light stretches and walking after baby is born as long as you’re comfortable doing so.
4. Simplify your life. Having a newborn is a full-time job. This isn’t the time to take on a new project. Your house doesn’t have to be perfectly clean. Emails don’t have to be answered on the same day they’re received. Focus on being a new mom. Don’t be afraid to say no to others.
5. Put something for yourself on the calendar. Being a new mom is a job unlike any other. There are no coffee breaks, evenings off, or pretty suits to wear. You are a 24-hour caregiver. To make the most of your new role, plan things that will renew your mind, body and spirit. Don’t just have good intentions about taking care of yourself. You have to put it in the calendar or it won’t happen. Schedule things like: Monday night, 30 minutes of reading all by myself while my husband watches the baby. Have events to look forward to so you don’t drown in the monotony of diapers and feedings.
The first weeks and months with your baby are some of the most special days of your life. Smile often, take lots of pictures, and remember to enjoy the miracle of the moment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Visit a blog dedicated to helping new moms at http://totallynewmoms.blogspot.com and Arlene’s website for FREE resources at http://www.losingweightafterbaby.com