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How to stay sane as a new mom

How to stay sane as a new mom

Just about the time in your pregnancy you were starting to enjoy the attention and getting used to letting other people do things for you (like give you their seat on the train or let you off the hook for not helping with the dishes), your nine months are up, and suddenly it’s no longer all about you.

Face it, as soon as that baby arrives, all eyes are off you and on your new little bundle of joy (and if you’re like most new moms, that part is a relief). But if you thought pregnancy was tough, it can be more than a little challenging to get down with the notion that for the next 18 years (or more) you’re going to be responsible for the well-being of this new person.  But how is it possible to stay sane at this critical point in your life?

In her book, Consider it Done: Accomplish 228 of Life’s Trickiest Tasks (Three Rivers Press; February 2011), Julie Subotky shares her lessons learned from the trenches as a new mom and the founder of her own personal concierge and lifestyle management company devoted to getting life’s sometimes tedious and often tricky tasks done. Following are her tips to help you survive this special, yet extremely busy and sometimes stressful time in your life.

RELAX: It was a long and (literally) sober journey guiding your little one into the world, but she’s here now and if you want to be a good mom, you’re going to have to be a sane mom, and that’s why you need some you time, beginning immediately.

CRY IF YOU NEED TO: Keep in mind that for the first 24 hours after your baby is born, your hormones are going to pretty much sucker punch you, making even the smallest task seem like an insurmountable obstacle. Let it go. If you need to cry, cry. You just pushed out a baby, and now is the time that everyone will let you off the hook – so enjoy it, maybe even milk it a little.

MAKE NEW MOM FRIENDS: The first step in becoming a good mom is coming to terms with your new life. And though books are good resources and your childless friends might be wonderful and supportive, when you’re really in the throes of adjusting to motherhood, it’s often very helpful to talk to other people going through the same thing. So go make new mom friends.  Invite them over for play dates.  It’s perfectly okay to pretend that you are doing it for the baby; after all, every eight-week-old needs some new pals, doesn’t she?

SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: Things will get considerably easier once you acknowledge the fact that sleep isn’t going to happen for a very long while.  Yes, you can dream about staying in bed until noon on a lazy Sunday morning, but know that your best dreams in the near future will be daydreams. Re-adjust your expectations about what you can get done with a new baby.  Even if you are supermom, don’t attempt more than one outing per day at the most.  Just getting out the door will feel like a heroic feat in and of itself.

TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF: Leaving the house is key to staying sane as a new mom. Get yourself a fantastic babysitter and rest assured your baby will be just fine without you for a few hours. Don’t kid yourself – there are a few things motherhood doesn’t change and getting a mani/pedi is a necessity, just like before. You’d hire a babysitter to go to a business meeting so don’t feel guilty getting one just to get your hair done.

DON’T FRET ABOUT LOSING YOUR BABY WEIGHT: Give yourself a break about the baby weight and be sure to invest in some “in-between” clothing to wear while you get rid of the few extra baby pounds. This is not the time to be starving yourself to make it back into your skinny jeans.  The brand Lululemon is just made for new mothers and a few new items in your wardrobe will make you feel like a new woman.