I gave birth to a 6 pound bundle of joy on December 11th. The most consistent piece of advice I heard was “sleep when the baby sleeps.” That advice sounds simple, however, it’s a bit challenging in practice. I generally have a hard time falling asleep during the day.When I try to take a nap, what happens is either I don’t fall asleep or I do a chore, eat, take a shower, etc, instead.
This made me curious and I wondered if I was the only new mother going through this. According to a January 2020 Huffington Post article, I am not alone. Many moms struggle with sleeping when their baby sleeps, for various reasons. There may be things around the house to be done, errands to run, or a clingy baby who doesn’t want to be put down (which is my situation).
The great news is, there are ways to take care of yourself while the baby sleeps, other than sleeping:
While the baby naps is a great time for you to eat a meal and hydrate (especially if you are breastfeeding).
Nap time for the baby is a great time for you to move your body. This can look like basic stretching, yoga, or going for a walk (make sure you are cleared by your health-care provider first).
Create a mantra or intention for each day when the going gets tough.
Spend time alone, even if it’s 5min, to connect with yourself, meditate, get some fresh air, or do breathing exercises. It can be overwhelming when your sweet-faced little one is on you all the time. Make “me” time a priority.
Use your community, however that looks for you. You could have people drop off food or send money for food delivery. Or even have someone grocery shop for you. Make sure you stay connected with others during this time.
These self-care tips are not ONLY for new moms, anyone could benefit from them!
Love and light!