There are many challenges for a new mum. Some challenges are expected and others are a big surprise. Most of the challenges pass quickly, but some remain for some time. Learning to cope with change and these challenges will go a long way to keeping the joy in parenthood.
Getting Enough Sleep
Most parents report that the biggest challenge they have when they bring baby home is getting enough sleep. For parents who work outside the home this can be especially difficult. If you’re fortunate enough not to have to work outside the home during recovery, make it a habit to rest when the baby rests. Don’t worry, you will hear the baby. While house work does have to be done eventually, deep cleaning can wait until infanthood is over.
Learning to Love Your Post Baby Body
Many women pop right back into shape, others not so much. Even in the best of situations, many mums are caught off guard by their post baby body. It’s more jiggly than you’re used to, perhaps you have stretch marks. You might need to lose a few pounds. While you are eating right, and trying to get a little light exercise in each day, remember what your body went through and what amazing power it has. Instead of focusing on the things you find as faults, think about how each imperfection helped bring your baby into the world.
Keeping Other Close Relationships Thriving
Many new mums report to feeling “all touched out” which makes it hard to keep other relationships thriving. Most husbands will be very understanding, but it’s up to you to try to explain to him that it’s not about him, but about being tired (sore) and that it won’t be long until you are back to normal (mostly). Talking things out honestly with anyone you are having trouble making time with is something that will go a long way. If you don’t have time to chat, drop a card in the mail.
Keeping Housework Caught Up
Most people are far too concerned with keeping the house spotless. Just worry about keeping the house sanitary, and let the dust bunnies go. If you can afford it, now is a good time to find some outside help. If you can’t afford it, when offers come from friends and family to help, give them something to do. Having someone pick up a few groceries or fold some laundry can go a long way to helping you keep up.
Asking for Help
It can be hard these days to ask for help. In the not too distant pass it was normal that family and friends would help new mums a lot more sometimes for the first three months. Today, that can be more difficult now that we are a more global society and both spouses are working long hours last into their retirement years. Plus, many grandparents are still working too. Therefore, it’s important to ask for help from those who can provide it. You can always return the favour at a later date.
Choosing to Return to Work or Not
New mums can have 52 weeks in statutory maternity leave. This time is going to fly by and you may find yourself weighing the advantages vs. disadvantages of returning to work. This choice has far reaching consequences both to your family and to your career. If you have no choice but to go back to work try to remember that millions of other women have the same issue and their children are doing fine. If you do have a choice you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of each choice and do what you feel is best for yourself and your family. The important thing is not to agonize over the choice you’ve made later. Make the choice and make the best of that choice.
These issues happen to be very common issues that new mothers face. The difference between those who successfully come through these challenges and those who don’t have to do with the willingness of the new mother to ask for what they want and need from others.