Happy New Year a month late! I’ve taken time away from all things Hello Wellness as I’m a new mom and, well, I don’t think I need to explain any further. Early in January my daughter, Audrey, was born and so my days and nights have been consumed with breastfeeding, changing diapers, taking cat naps, and taking pictures.
There have been some key things that have helped me get through the past month and when I think about it, they’re not all that different from what I would have done pre-motherhood. I think these things are helpful to anyone, new parent or not. In a way, this is a little thank-you to those who made the first month easier.
Massage Therapy – For the past three years I’ve been going to Kevin Peterson of Peterson Holistic on a monthly basis for massages. Since Audrey was born I’ve been going every other week (I should probably go weekly) because all the breastfeeding and changing diapers and falling asleep on the couch have done a number on my shoulders. I swear by massage therapy. In the past three years I’ve felt so much better and have had far fewer illnesses.
40 Days of Gratitude – My Christmas gift to myself was Hilaria Baldwin’s book, The Living Clearly Method, and it’s been the only book I’ve been able to read so far this year. I like Baldwin because she seems down to Earth, values healthy living, shares easy tips on how to sneak healthy living into your daily routine, and is doing it all while being a mother to three small children. One of her suggestions is to take 40 days and write down 10 things each day you’re grateful for. It’s easy to get caught up in how tough things are or what isn’t going right but when you take time to think about what you have, it’s changes your attitude immediately.
Boundaries, Not Barriers – My best friend Erin wrote me a letter before Audrey was born and at the end she told me to “set boundaries, not barriers” and wow, was that helpful! A lot of my friends want to meet my daughter and while I would love to see everyone and let them meet who I think is the world’s cutest baby, I’m just not up for a revolving door of friends coming into my apartment holding my baby. I’m tired, our space is small, it’s flu season, and she sleeps almost all the time. Learning to say no was tough but a good practice in setting boundaries. People will meet her eventually.
Friends in Similar Places – I have a great network of friends both near and far. What I’ve found really helpful are the few friends I have who are new moms as well. Most of my friends had kids a decade ago and so the memories are distant and fuzzy for them. It’s nice to text a friend who has an infant a question or just to tell them how many diapers I’ve gone through to make the experience feel a little more normal.
Unplugged – The first week Audrey was born I avoided social media. Now that I’m back on I am trying to minimize how much time I spend scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. I have a rule that when I’m holding her or feeding her I can be on my phone but it needs to be purposeful, not mindless.
Whether you’re a new parent or not, think about what five things helped you make it through the past month and try to stay consistent in your practice! I’m off to take a yoga class for the first time since I was 36 weeks pregnant. Something tells me my down dogs are going to feel a little different today!