When you hold your newborn for the first time (particularly with your first child) you don’t actually realise just how much they are about to change your world!
The actual hospital stay wasn’t all that bad. She was sleeping. I wasn’t. I’ll blog about my birth experience soon but to cut a long story short, I had a planned caesarean and was in a lot of pain and extremely uncomfortable.
When we arrived home (about 3 days after birth) for the first time, how stupid was I to think, “yep she’s fed and asleep, let’s get to bed!”. Oh, how wrong were we haha #thestruggleisreal
Ever since my little darling entered the world she has not liked sleep much. Kind of like how I used to be (idiot haha).
Tomorrow marks Gracie’s 9 months! Although it has flown, our bodies have still not entirely recovered from all the broken sleep nor has the sleeping even improved all that much from the newborn days.
Here are my top 10 coping mechanisms that have gotten me through so far….
- Family – If you can get the help, definitely take it! There is that saying, it takes a village to raise a child. It’s not easy, particularly when you’re a first time mum, adjusting to mum life. It’s hard. It’s not glamorous and most of the times you’ll be feeling like you’re not good enough. It definitely gets more manageable and newborns are hard work – make the most of it though as it really doesn’t last as long as you think. I am so thankful my husband and my family (especially my mum and mother in law) were always there at the drop of a hatch to lend a hand. I don’t know if I could have gotten through haha the sleep deprivation was real – but I managed to get enough sleep to function and feel slightly human.
- Coffee 🙏 This beautiful and glorious drink has been the holy grail to my sleepless nights and has gotten me through the day (and those long nights). I don’t like having too much caffeine in my system as I’m still breastfeeding, but even one sweet sweet creamy Latte does the trick! Mm… could go for one now haha!
- Netflix/Foxtel – I’m not much of a reader, plus when you’ve had no sleep the last thing you feel like doing is picking up a book to read or just concentrating in general. So, TV or Pay TV is crucial for those nights where your newborn wants to stay up feeding every hour or two, for hours on end! I would set myself up in our entertainment room and binge watch Game of Thrones, Call the Midwife or my beloved Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Plus, always good to have some lollies handy (milkybar was life!).
- Getting fresh air – I found that getting out of the house was so therapeutic! As simple as taking Gracie for a walk in the pram or baby carrier around the block or to the park. It’s important to take the time to go outside and get some fresh air, definitely kept and still keeps me sane!
- Going on a date – Its important to take the time out for you and your partner from being parents now and then, and just being a couple. As beautiful as it is being new parents, try and make the time to go on a date, whether it’s going for a drive, going to your local coffee shop, dressing up for a dinner or to the movies. My husband and I try to make the time often, but definitely every month since Grace was born.
- Having a bubble bath or taking a long shower – I always find that when I now go to shower I’ll spend not 5 mins but 20mins in there. Whether it be shaving your legs or having your hair washed – nothing beats that! Make sure you take time for you and enjoy those little easy luxuries. Run yourself a bubble bath, I love doing that and just relaxing for 20mins. Easy and very therapeutic!
- Having a hobbie – I believe it’s important to have an outlet from being a Mum. It’s nice to do something little for you! Whether that’s taking on study, painting, reading a book, exercising or for me, sewing and making clothes and cooking. I try to do these sorts of things regularly throughout my week, even if it’s just me and Gracie at home. She’s at the age now where I can let her play and not have her be as dependent on me so it’s easier to do a few things for myself!
- Long drives – This is a fave. Mind you, she hates the car unless my husband sits in the back. I don’t mind driving, I find it quite peaceful. She ends up sleeping for about an hour or so, so we just go for a big long drive up mountains, through the city or through the suburbs. I find this allows us to chat a little, clear our mind and gives Grace a good sleep too!
- Playgroup – Playgroups are awesome for Mums! You can be around other mums for some grown up conversation and your babies learn to play and interact with other children whilst being distracted from the usual demanded attention. Plus it tires them out! Score! Haha I started going when my little babe was about 6 or 7 months.
- Seeing friends – You may find that the change is quite dramatic into motherhood. You were once a social butterfly with all the time in the world to catch up with friends and go out partying. You may feel far from socialising but I believe it’s somewhat important to still keep in touch with friends. Obviously, in the first few months it’ll be a challenge just keeping your own shit together, but planning a coffee day, catch up at your or your friends place or even dinner out will make you feel great! I know the first time I caught back up with my group of friends away from my babe I was really excited to have that interaction with them and it is worth the effort (even if you’re feeling too stuffed)!
These things might not be for everybody but they sure have helped me through this crazy, awesome and amazing ride of motherhood.
My little babe is our greatest achievement (I can definitely speak for us both). Life may be completely different now, but I wouldn’t change a thing!
All I can say to new Mummas out there is to embrace the change, love and cherish every minute as time passes so quickly and we have truly been blessed being Gracie’s parents!
See those sleepless nights were worth having this face to stare at!! 😍