The Top 7 Mistakes you Need to Avoid as a New Mum
“I don’t even have the time to wash my hair, I definitely don’t have the time to go to yoga.”
How often have you heard new mums saying that? Being busy and running out of time is normally held as a badge of honour. And I was that mum! Running on caffeine and telling everyone how many things I was doing and how I was amazingly holding everything together. I felt so glamorous in my tiny flowery dress, strolling around town with the biggest sunglasses my ears could hold.
I had an idea, a dream about becoming a mother; I mean, whenever you watch a TV’s ad those adorable infants are always squeaky clean and the young pretty mothers are always showcasing a mouth full of just whitened teeth. So that’s must be motherhood, right? So fake it till you make it!
Turns out that ads on TV can’t be further away from the truth, and by believing in them, I stumbled and made mistakes along the way.
Literally speaking, a mistake is an act or judgement that is misguided or wrong; also, it is nothing to be ashamed of. We learn from ours and other people’s mistake, and this is how we evolve as a species.
Having said that, some mistakes can be easily avoided, in order to make the motherhood journey much more pleasant and heaps easier. You can find the most common below:
Welcome to Nourished By Claudia, a safe space for Mothers where we talk all about Natural Holistic remedies…
Putting yourself and your health last
It is maternal instinct to put our babies first, and it doesn’t mean that we have to put ourselves last. Guilt can quickly become a mother worse enemy, and it’s all about switching our mindset. What if 2 hours away from my baby where I can go to school, meet up with a friend over coffee, get my nails done to make me a better mother? It is normal to feel that we need and have to spend all our waking hours with our much-loved baby, but this is not true. A happy, healthy, empowered mother can bring so much more joy, love and fun and can transform and anxiety-ridden household to a safe haven. What do you think your kid and partner would prefer?
Prioritising yourself means also taking time just for YOU, guilt free.
You went from being a free woman to someone who sterilise bottles over showering. I get it; the baby needs a sterilised bottle, as much as you need some time off. Having a tear and milk free space is fundamental to thrive as a mother, and a human being. Talk to your family, partner, neighbour, and schedule in that free time. It can be 2 hours a week to start it, and you can always implement it from there.
Be afraid to ask for help.
It’s concerning how women back in the past to gather together, support each other, share their burdens, whereas no days we’d rather cut our finger off instead of asking for help. Yet, as a new mum, you need help. Doesn’t matter how much you think you have your shit together, it still doesn’t make you immune from the need of belonging and being held. Write down a list of the 3 people you can contact when in need and stick it to your fridge; tell them they are on your speed dial. Start using those numbers!
Not trusting your instinct
I believe that mothers have something called the seventh sense; they are completely in tunes with their babies need and they know when it’s time to refuse another event at the park because the baby is overwhelmed, and when it’s time to call the Healthline in the middle of the night because something isn’t right. Problem is, most of the day we don’t trust or listen to that instinct and we tend to listen to what other well-meaning people think it’s right. Don’t fall into that trap; I have always refused to give my little one any type of medications. We powered through teething, colds, flus etc. But I didn’t bat an eyelid when it came the time to administer a high dose of Penicillin to avoid getting complications from a nasty cough. You do you, and everyone else can do whatever they want.
Not resting enough and not eating the “correct” foods
Sleep when your baby sleep. Gosh, I used to hate that sentence. What do u mean sleep when there is the washing, cleaning, cooking, working, exercising, reading, shopping to do when my bear is fast asleep? I didn’t prioritize sleep, so then my body decided to oblige me to prioritise it, and it wasn’t pretty. Why do new mums need to nap whenever they can? Because that’s when our body heals when the rewiring in our brain is done, and our energy stock is replenished. Skipping sleep can lead to poor milk production, anxiety, depression, gain weight, muscle injuries, exhaustion and pure and simple unhappiness.
And with rest, we need to focus on nourishment instead of dieting or simply eating; allow yourself to have at least one mindful meal a day. Make it complete, delicious, vibrant, and filled with foods that can support your energy level and mental sanity at the same time. And I get it, it’s so much easy to drive through Maccas, or order a take away, but it won’t feel that easy when you will have to deal with lack of energy and overall exhaustion.
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Taking your relationship for granted
Talking about your partner…it is important now more than ever to open the gates of honest and clear communication. Things that aren’t said or done bring resentment, and who has time for it?
You have carried the baby, gave birth, and your child needs you more than anyone else; but your partner is going through a lot, also his body is changing, testosterone is decreasing, his sleep quality is gonna suffer and he will find himslef dealing with a crying baby and a tired wife. Open up, talk to each other about what is going on. You can only benefit from it.
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Being unprepared for motherhood
I honestly thought I was prepared. I read 2 books on pregnancy and birth, and they did include a full chapter of 5 pages on what happens after giving birth. I downloaded the “leap” app, on top of 10 other apps. Everything was under control. Not quite. The ebbs and flows or motherhood are never-ending, and let go of control is paramount. It is also beneficial to have a chat with experienced mothers on how it is life with a + 1. Working on expectations and accepting things for how they are is key. As much as it is important to understand everything passes, and it is better to soak in every single cuddly moment.
Comparing your baby and your experience.
Not two women in the entire universe have the same experience when it comes to motherhood; all babies are wonderfully unique and they have the power to touch different buttons when it comes to the relationship with their parents. And this leads to my next question: why do we even bother comparing? If you check the social media or the skinny well-dressed mother out there, you can go into a rabbit hole od dark thoughts: I’m the only one, everyone has it easiest than I do. Bullshit! We all struggle in different ways. Having the time to smile at the camera or wear a colourful dress in the morning, doesn’t say shit about what goes on behind closed doors.