I’m going to be honest with you; this week I’m at a loss for words. And if you knew me you would know that never happens. I usually always have something to say; just ask my husband! I think I’ve just been a little stressed-out taking care of the baby, the toddler, the husband, the house . . . you get the point, right? Then to add to it, I started back to my part-time job working at the pediatricians’ office last week. I thought it would be a stress reliever to get out amongst the living, but it’s actually more stressful because I leave my set of screaming kids to deal with other peoples screaming kids.
I just keep telling myself to get it together. I mean come on, I’ve already had one kid, so one would think that taking care of another one plus everything else should be a piece of cake. Whatever! Having a baby causes a major disruption in your life whether it’s your first or fifth. And the funny thing is you have no clue what you are in for until you are in the thick of it. Gone are the days of sweet-smelling perfume, now it’s the lovely stench of spit-up, poop, and pee. And if anyone tells you differently, they’re lying.
When you have a baby it’s also important to know some good tips to deal with the stress of newborn care. So, I found this article on mayoclinic.com that I thought was really great, and I wanted to share it with you.
Newborn care: Common-sense strategies for stressed-out parents
Caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. Use these common-sense strategies to keep stress under control.
A newborn will bring a whirlwind of activity and excitement to your home — and plenty of stress and fatigue as well. Whether you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned veteran, caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. Use simple strategies to keep your stress under control.
Adjusting to life with a newborn
Round-the-clock baby care can turn your life upside down. Appreciate the joy your newborn brings to your life — and cope with the rest one day at a time. Consider these practical tips:
Take care of yourself. Resist the urge to count caffeine as a major food group. Instead, eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water and get some fresh air. Do something you enjoy every day, either with your baby or on your own. Good habits will help you maintain the energy you need to take care of your newborn.
Get plenty of rest. Sleep is at a premium right now. Grab it when you can! Sleep when your baby sleeps. Work out a nighttime schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and care for the baby.
Establish visiting hours. Friends and loved ones may come out of the woodwork to admire your newborn. Let them know what time works best — and ask anyone who’s ill to stay home. When you have visitors, don’t be afraid to set aside your social graces. Let them care for the baby while you get some much needed rest.
Go with the flow. It’s never too early to establish a routine, but let your baby set the pace. Allow plenty of time each day for nursing sessions, naps and crying spells. Keep scheduled activities to a minimum. When you need to head out, give yourself extra time to pack your supplies and change the inevitable out-the-door dirty diaper.
Expect a roller coaster of emotions. You may go from adoring your newborn and marveling at tiny fingers and toes to grieving your loss of independence and worrying about your ability to care for a newborn — all in the space of a single diaper change.
Share your feelings. Chances are, you and your partner are both tired and anxious. Talking about what’s bothering you — such as a strained budget or difficulty soothing the baby — can help you stay connected. A shared laugh may help lighten the mood.
Accept a helping hand. When friends and loved ones offer to help, take them up on it. Suggest holding the baby, folding the laundry, running a few errands — whatever would help you the most.
Relax your standards. Hide the broom and leave dust bunnies where they lie. Store clean clothes in the laundry basket until you need them — or in piles on the floor, for that matter. Clean the bathroom with a fresh diaper wipe. And yes, cold cereal is acceptable dinner fare.
Get out of the house. If you’re going stir-crazy with a fussy newborn, take the baby out for a walk. If you can, let someone else take over for a while.
Nurture other relationships. Your newborn needs your love and attention, but you won’t let your baby down by spending time with others. Set aside one-on-one time with your other children. Schedule dates with your partner. Meet a friend for lunch or a movie.
Keep your perspective. The newborn days won’t last long. Step back and appreciate the moment — even amid the chaos.
Know when to seek additional help
Parenting is a challenge — even on a good day. If you’re depressed or you’re having trouble adjusting to life with a newborn, consult your health care provider or a mental health professional. Learning to handle the new stress in your life can help you enjoy the priceless riches parenting has to offer.
Adding our newest member to the family was one of the greatest joys of my life! I really do love my baby, and I love taking care of him in spite of the fifty million loads of laundry I have piled on my floor. I guess my biggest piece of advice to all of you with a newborn in your home is to remember that however you need to cope and adjust to your baby is the right way. It doesn’t matter what the mommy down the street does. So, keep your head above the diapers; I know I’ll try. Keep telling yourself you are doing the very best you can. Most importantly, the bond between you and your baby will grow stronger each day, and in the end that’s all that matters!