Baby Luke is almost 4 weeks old and we are mesmerized by just about everything he does. Of course I don’t know everything, but I thought I would write a post for my mommas who are getting ready to welcome their little one. Most likely, you won’t find these tips in online articles because they’re very random but they’ve helped me a lot. Here they are in no particular order.
1. You Need to Heal- I don’t know why our society has become so desensitized to women giving birth. It’s almost as if people expect women to give birth and bounce back to normal during the same week. Don’t fall for it. Your body spent nine months nourishing a baby and then giving birth to it! Give yourself grace and time to heal. Take it easy. Don’t feel pressured into playing the role of superwoman. It’s been almost four weeks and I can honestly say that I don’t feel 100% myself yet and I’m absolutely okay with that. Giving birth is a big deal, so don’t downplay your recovery.
2. Be Prepared for Mommy Shaming- I wish I could tell you that everyone will support every decision you make regarding your little one but that’s not always the case. Mommy shaming happens. The sooner you accept this, the easier it is to deal with. Know that other’s opinions on your decisions don’t reflect whether you are a good parent or not. There’s a good chance that you’ve done a lot of research and have carefully thought about the decisions you’ve made, trust your instinct. Think about how you want to deal with it in advance. That way, you’re ready and prepared when it happens to you.
3. Make Visitor Guidelines Before Your Little One Arrives- This includes visitors at the hospital and at home. My husband and I spent months on these guidelines. We wanted to make sure that Luke was a priority and I had the support I needed to heal. At the hospital, we wanted a very intimate setting. When we got home with Luke we didn’t want to be overwhelmed with visitors. After we made our guidelines, we let our families know in advance. Let people know what your guidelines are ahead of time so that everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect. Think about how long you want visits to be. Do you want visits to only be during the weekend? Do visits need to be scheduled with your partner or with you?
4. Stock Up!- Stock up on supplies…not just food. We purchased hygiene and house products before Luke got here. The last thing you will want to do is think about how you don’t have anymore paper towels in the house or have the realization that you’re out of deodorant. The goal is to be prepared for what you can control. You can control having a month’s supply of body wash. You can’t control sleeping in shifts of 3 hours with your newborn. Focus on what you can control.
5. Accept Help- We took all of the help that was offered. My mom is a teacher so she had a few weeks off before the new school year started. She provided meals, did laundry, washed dishes, let me nap when I needed to and watched Luke while we had a quick date night. We had friends and family help with extra meals too! This help was invaluable and I encourage you to take up any help that’s offered. When help is offered, don’t be shy. Tell people what they can do. It really does take a village to raise and welcome a child.
6. Get Your Postpartum Wardrobe Ready- You’ll need to be as comfortable as possible when you get home. I purchased sweatpants, leggings, nursing tops, fuzzy socks, and got my hair braided before Luke’s arrival. Some women feel comfortable in nightgowns, if that’s you purchase them ahead of time. If you prefer leggings or sweatpants, purchase them ahead of time. The key is to make sure you’re prepared for recovery before you get home. No you’re not about to walk the runway but I can tell you that putting on decent activewear can make you feel refreshed.
7. Decide in Advance What Your “Me Time” Looks Like- It’s so important to have “me time” especially as a mother. Maybe your “me time” is ten minutes, or an hour but you need “me time”. Some days I have ten minutes and some days I have longer. Before Luke got here I purchased some books and magazines I knew I would like to read. I’ll be honest and say I’ve read maybe twenty pages of a book since he got here but it’s something I look forward to. My husband and I made the decision that we aren’t taking Luke out in public until he’s had the necessary shots. So I knew I had to be intentional with my “me time”. Reading helps a lot or sometimes I go to Target while my husband is with Luke. After my doctor clears me, I’m looking forward to taking some fitness classes for my “me time” and I can’t wait!
8. You’ve Got This- I was home with Luke and trying to figure out something. I asked my mom her opinion and she said “it’s your call momma.” I can’t tell you what those words meant. You have an instinct. Trust in. Trust that your instinct will lead you to make the right decisions about your child. Don’t fall into the trap that you need to look a certain way or act a certain way as a new mother. Be confident that you’re doing the best you can as a new mother. You’ve got this!
Like I said, we’re almost at the four week mark so I don’t know everything. These are just a few tips that helped me. Here’s a picture of me and baby Luke after delivery.