When I had my first baby, I imagined going home wouldn't be too much different than how I'd left it. Naive, right? Yeah. In retrospect, I see all those things I thought I had to do during my first month postpartum were completely unnecessary. I should've just focused on my baby, recovery, and said "nope" to the rest. It's definitely easier said than done, though, and even when in the thick of all the new baby hysteria. With the way society and the media portray bringing home baby, there was a standard I wanted to meet and exceed. Anything less and I felt I was failing.
Needless to say, I failed often. It wasn't possible to come home from the hospital and do all the usual things I'd done before, because things just weren't the same. It's a hard reality to accept. I wanted to be a great mother and partner while getting back my pre-baby figure and still managing enough sleep to tackle my daily to-do lists. If only I could go back to tell my pre-baby self to just let go, it wouldn't have been such an uphill battle when I tried to maintain so many things that could've waited a bit.
When I had my youngest, though, I knew better. It was like my second chance to right all those past postpartum wrongs that led to a build up of anxiety and depression. No mother is perfect, but listen up: you don't have to do so much after delivery. Here are some things I thought I had to do when really, I should've used all that energy on my new baby and my mental health.