Monday, 8 September 2014

How to look after yourself when you have a baby

I wrote this post when Jalen was feeding constantly day & night (you can read about how we overcame this here).  But I wanted to share it with you all as I believe it's so important as Mums we look after ourselves and have some "me time".

  Tomorrow Jalen will be 5 months old.  He has been feeding consistently every 2-3 hours day and night from day one.  I expected it within the first couple of months, even up to 12 weeks, but then I thought things would change and suddenly he would start going longer between feeds at night time. 

Paige was like that, fed often during the night, but then came the magical 12 week mark and she started to sleep longer at night.  I guess that's the thing with the second baby, its hard to not compare to the first.  The good thing about second time around though is that I know how quickly things do change, it's hard to not get caught up in it, but I try to remember that this is only for a short time.  

I'm incredibly lucky to have so much support around me including an amazing husband, wonderful parents and in-laws, all who are always more than willing to help out.

So if you have a hunger pants/non sleeper/baby in general on your hands, here's my top tips for you;
  • rest when you can - it can be hard especially if you have other kids to look after, but you need to make yourself a priority too, after all looking after ourselves can only be beneficial to the little people in our lives
  • take the help when it's offered, and ask for help when you need it - this is one of the things I struggle with the most (but I'm working on it - more on this coming soon)
  • if you can't take a break, aim to create regular (& quick!) ones in your day - have a cup of tea while the kids are occupied for a moment (put the baby in the bouncer/swing & give the toddler the ipad to give yourself a moment, & don't you dare feel guilty about it!)
  • try to keep a positive mindset - this can be so hard to do, but getting frustrated/annoyed will just make the situation harder & will make it easier to become overwhelmed 
  • talk to someone - ideally get out the house & catch up with someone in person, otherwise call your Mum, partners mum, friend, sister, auntie, anyone who will listen & make you feel good, sometimes a chat is just the thing you need
  • go to bed early, yes even if it's 8pm.  You need to rest when you can, so get those kids settled and jump into bed, even if you don't fall asleep for a while, just laying down will help you to relax

What are your top tips for looking after yourself?  Do you have something small that you do for yourself every day that makes a big difference?  Tell me about it!