How to cope with a new baby
In many tribal cultures new mothers are looked after for the first two-six weeks after birth, this means the mother is:
Relived from all household duties
Nourished with healthy, balanced meals
Rarely required to leave the house
Supported to nurture her baby
Rarely separated from baby
Yet in the UK we go through the experience of labour (which for some can last days) then without any period of rest we are hurled into the reality of having a new baby and meeting the demands of daily life, is it any wonder that most parents feel overwhelmed?
There really is nothing to prepare you for the demands of 24/7 parenting, however, there are a few simple things you can do that may help to make life a little easier.
If you sit down with your parenting partner and write a list of priorities, this could be divided into daily, weekly and monthly and make sure you include the needs of all family members. Then, focus on your top priorities in this specific period of time, try to stay in the present and not think too far ahead. Ask yourself how important is it for each task to be done, be prepared to say no, this may mean you decide to decline invitations. Remember life with a new born baby is unpredictable, if you take one day at a time you are less likely to get overwhelmed.
Things you may wish to include on your family priority include;
Don’t forget to allow extra time for tasks if baby or children are involved and remember, ask for help if you need it.
- Work (paid or voluntary)
- Time with partner
- Time with other children
- Time with friends and family
- Time to pursue interests
- Time watching TV/Gaming etc
Tasks friends and family can help with include:
- Food shopping
- Running errands
Remember, it’s all about balance, there will most likely need to be some compromise to meet everyone’s needs, it’s about assessing whose needs are greatest in each moment and reviewing the list of priorities periodically.