As you become a new mother, taking time for yourself is important so that you can build your energy stores and provide the best care to your baby, as well as not feel burnt out. You can think of it as having your oxygen mask on before you can help your baby!
Here are some steps that are practical and manageable, no matter what’s going on at home or at work.
Try to take a bit of time to actually think about what feels important to you and how to make time for this. What works for one person may not work for you. For some people, reading a book or watching a TV show might replenish them. For others, it might mean seeing their friends. Or for others, it might just be just having a 30 minute break without taking care of the baby. Regardless of what it is, try to think about what works for you. What makes you feel like you, or feel replenished?
Try to start by bringing small moments of pleasure into your life again, if this has been a struggle for you. It can be things like making sure you’re eating at least one thing you love per day. Or write down a list of songs you love and make sure to listen to them every day. Or if there’s something you want to do for longer, you may need to ask someone to take care of the baby while you do this activity. You can find techniques on managing relationships and communication in the canopie app, to help you ask for the support you need.
Take time for you even if it feels wrong or you feel guilty - one important thing to keep in mind is that you should do the things that make you feel like you, even if you feel a little guilty for taking the time or you feel worried about leaving your baby. Many mothers say they wish they had realized sooner that they could prioritize themselves and not feel so anxious or guilty about leaving the baby. Some moms say the first few times they left their baby with another person, they worried the whole time about what was happening. However, the same mothers tend to say later that what they care about now is that the baby is safe when they’re handed back, and that some of the specific things they worried about don’t matter as much anymore.