Whether you’re expecting your first child or your fourth, anxiety in the weeks leading up to your due date is a reality of life. There are always those people eager to "warn" you about life with a newborn—and how difficult it will be. You're probably sweating over how you'll manage everything—the laundry...the cooking...the lack of sleep. Trust me. I've been there.
Now, with a four kiddos (yes, four!), I look back and think it was difficult—it still is! Having a newborn is definitely not a piece of cake. Beyond that, any new stage of parenting ushers in unique challenges, and this journey is all about learning and making adjustments. That being said, life with a newborn is hard in a completely exhausting way. You’re not sleeping, it’s hard to tell what they need or want, and if this is your first baby, your entire life has been altered—forever!
In reality, you “just do it”, and that’s survival. Of course, it never hurts to develop a few coping mechanisms—you may still feel like a hot mess some days but you’ll make it through! Here are nine that worked (and still work!) for me.
One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll hear as a new mom is “sleep when the baby does.” I always found it difficult to take this advice—when I had eight seconds to spare I’d spend it trying to accomplish everything I’d put aside—especially as a small business owner. So, I settled for catching up on my sleep in other ways; some nights I’d crawl into bed at 7:30 or 8—basically as early as I could. Even if the baby was up throughout the night, I’d get at least a few hours early in the evening.
People WANT to help. Believe me—sometimes I don’t want to take it either. As moms we're programmed to try and do it all. But you need to remember that people offer because it makes them feel good, not because it puts them out. it If your aunt wants hold the baby while you shower (see below), or fold some laundry, or do whatever—let her. Accept the frozen meals that your friends drop off. And pay it forward once your life is under control.
It’s never too early to make mom friends! After each of my children's births I've been able to meet some pretty incredible women—and develop a good support network for those first few months. When you’re not sleeping it’s always nice to hear that no one else is either.
We would all like walk out of the hospital wearing our pre-pregnancy jeans. Most four-year-olds would also like to meet a unicorn. The reality is you should invest in a few pieces that aren’t maternity and look good—in the weeks postpartum it will feel great. BONUS TIP: Have a friend who just gave birth? Bring her something that she can wear. She probably hasn’t received anything for herself and it will mean SO much.
People will have LOTS of advice on life with a newborn, and what the best baby products are. And let's be honest—stocking up on what seems necessary can get expensive (and stressful!). Having a newborn is a great time to streamline what you really need. It's actually one of the reasons I developed Covered Goods®—I was tired of carting around a giant diaper bag filled with products that only served one purpose! Reach out to friends who have already gone through the process, and ask what worked for them. You need less than you think, and by doing your research you won't feel as overwhelmed.
This is something so many moms forget—we spend the entire pregnancy taking prenatals and then just stop once we give birth! Keep up with the multivitamins. It can make a big difference in your energy level.
Think you don’t have time? I promise, you do. Bouncy seats were invented for this reason. Put the baby down - she’ll wait.
I love makeup. After each of my babies I took the time to get a makeover at MAC. I'd also buy a new eyeshadow at the very least. It makes such a huge difference! Still, this advice applies even for those of you who aren’t Sephora fiends. No mother should be without some really fantastic under eye concealer. Spend the money on a good one; you won’t regret it.
I try to make my bed every morning. It takes around two minutes and really sets the tone for the remainder of the day.
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