The most common complaint I hear from new mothers is that they now have no time to themselves; that their life now belongs to their baby. This perspective alone can add to your stress.
Yes, it is true that you have to put your baby’s needs first now, like when you are dead tired yet your baby is screaming for a feed in the middle of the night. But this doesn’t mean that you totally neglect yourself and never consider your needs. You need to replenish and revitalize so that you are at your best for you and your baby. The most popular advice for this usually involves schedules and ‘balance’ and sleep while the baby is sleeping, etc., but even the most well intentioned advice may necessarily work for you and your life. So what will work for you?
The best place to start is to ask questions. What may work for one person may not work for you.
- What would make my life easier and build a stronger relationship with my baby?
- Do I require any help?
- Can we get help from Friends/Family/Hired Help?
- During the day? At night?
- Is breastfeeding every meal working for me and my body?
- Can pumping some milk and having dad feed the baby work?
- Can I supplement with formula?
- What can I do for me and my body today?
- Can I have someone watch the baby for an hour to get a massage, get my hair done, or something nurturing for me?
- What questions can I ask here to make my life easier?
- Do I require any help?
What you think if what you will create in your life, and we tend to believe our only option is what we have learned from our families, friends, or others we have made the ‘experts’.
So, first and foremost, if you never have any time to yourself, ask:
“What is my point of view here?”
Once you know what your point of view is, you can change it. Prefer to be neutral for less stress.
A good example comes from the very topical, and sometimes heated, conversation of what to feed your baby. So many people have a lot of fixed points of view one way or the other. For example, if your point of view is that you have to feed your baby breast milk to give it it’s best potential in life and that you’re harming your baby in some way if you don’t, and then you find that you can’t do this for whatever reason, you will be adding stress to your situation. If your point of view, however, was not so fixed and more like a preference, such as you would like to feed your baby breast milk if possible, then you are free to make a different choice if the situation calls for it. It’s no longer a necessity, but a choice.
How can you apply that example to your situation of not having time to yourself? If you take the stress out of it, you free yourself up to make other choices that perhaps you haven’t even considered before. Keep asking questions to identify other possibilities. A great question to ask is,
“Who or what can I add to my life/ situation?”
Because you don’t have to do it all yourself. Even if you are a single mom with no family where you live, by repeatedly asking the question, you open yourself up to infinite possibilities. It comes back to points of view and assumptions; if you think there are no alternatives in your particular circumstances, that fixed point of view creates that as a reality.
And, keep in mind that you can only know how to take care of yourself if you know what it is that you truly desire, whilst including the baby. Another great question is,
“What do I truly desire as my life and living with a new baby?”
To summarize, remove the stress of fixed points of view, and ask questions; lots of questions. Because the question itself opens up the energy to infinite possibilities., rather than assuming there is no hope.
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