Having a baby can be a wonderfully exciting time in any woman's life, but it can also be a pretty anxious and tiring time, too. Newborns require a lot of work and have this uncanny ability of robbing adults of their sleep, their sanity and (honestly) their will to live. Between the stress and the sleep deprivation, even the most level headed of us end up questioning our sanity and wondering why we thought it was a good idea reproduce in the first place. Still, despite the hardships, there are things grown-ass women do when they have babies that will help them transition into parenthood; things that can make such a drastic life-change more manageable; and things that can make even the most exhausting of newborns, enjoyable and wonderful and, well, all the things we (as new mothers) want to experience.
Every new mother has fears and anxieties at some point and, trust me, that is completely and totally normal. There will be days that seem so painfully long and never-ending, and then there will be days that will fly by and you'll finally start to feel like we have a handle on this whole motherhood thing. Like almost anything else in life, motherhood is an up-and-down experience filled with juxtaposing feelings, and that's never more obvious than your first few days as a new mom. You'll be sore; you'll be overwhelmed; you'll be inundated with information and people who want to meet your new addition and unsolicited advice from those who want to help. Like I said, it's exciting and exhausting and, honestly, when I look back at my first few days as a new mother, they're a blur. I remember bits and pieces, to be sure, but they all kind of bleed together and seem more like a dream than a reality I actually experienced.
Which is why, if you're a grown-ass woman, you'll do these nine things to make sure that those first few days with your new baby are more pleasant and enjoyable, than stressful and taxing. You'll make decisions and choices that set you and your baby up for future success and, well, you'll make no apologies for it. After all, you're a mom now.
She Decides Whether Or Not She's Going To Breastfeed
Deciding whether or not breastfeeding is right for you and your baby is an extremely personal choice. While there will be people on both side of the fence urging you to make a decision they've made themselves, you shouldn't let the pressure of someone else dictate how you decide to feed you baby.
If you want to breastfeed, great, but if you hate breastfeeding, or if you try and you're unsuccessful, there's no shame in choosing formula because, well, the benefits of formula feeding are great too. Every woman and every baby are different. Just because your best friend breastfed her daughter until she was two, doesn't mean you have to do the same.
She Refuses To Apologize For How She's Feeding Her Baby
The benefits of breastfeeding are undeniable, but formula feeding is beneficial to your baby, too. Fed babies are the best kind of babies, and whichever route you decide to take is really none of anyone else's business. As long as your baby has a full tummy, hold off on the unnecessary apologies and, most importantly, don't waste your precious energy trying to justify your choice to someone else.
She Doesn't Hesitate To Enjoy Those Comfy Clothes. Like, All The Time.
Postpartum bodies can be frustrating and weird and sort of unpredictable but also raw and beautiful and incredible. Even though you just lost a good ten pounds or more when you delivered your baby, you probably still look like you're around five months pregnant and, perhaps, you don't feel all that comfortable in your postpartum form. Don't let the bikini clad, photo-shopped celebrities on TV fool you; it's going to take some time for your body to get back to "normal" (whatever that means), which is why you should feel absolutely no shame in wearing nothing but sweats and sweatshirts and/or whatever else it is that makes you feel the most comfortable. After all, you and your body have been through a lot. Comfort is the name of every grown-ass woman's game.
She Sets Some Ground Rules For Visitors
As previously mentioned, everyone is going to want to get to love on your baby once he or she makes their debut. It's great that your little has got such a loving group of family and friends, but you can't get those first few days with your baby back. If you're comfortable with having visitors coming over at all hours of the day to meet your baby, that's great, but if you'd rather spend that time alone with your baby and your partner, don't be shy in requesting that others hold off on their visits until you've had some time to bond as a family, and adjust to your new life.
She Asks For, And Accepts, Help
The great thing about having friends or family over to see the baby is that they often come bearing casseroles. The last thing that a new mom wants to do is cook an entire meal for her family. I mean, if you're breastfeeding you pretty much are the meal, so why would you want to cook one also? If people offer to bring dinner or fold laundry, or to take care of your baby while you catch a quick nap, take it! Now is not the time to be frugal with accepting help that is offered. Take all of it that you can get.
Also, don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether it's from your partner, friends, family members or kind neighbor; you don't need to care for your new baby solo.
She Refuses To Worry About House Work (Or Any Other Work)
The laundry can wait; dishes can wait; emails can wait; important scheduling can wait; dusting and steaming and moping can wait; preparing for that high-level meeting next month can, you guessed it, wait. Give yourself some time to adjust and settle in. Is your work (household or otherwise) important to you? Of course (I'm guessing). But don't stretch yourself too thin. Like I said, your body and mind have been through a lot, so be kind to both and give yourself some time to rest and recover.
She Takes Care Of Herself, Too
You can't take care of a brand new baby, if you don't take care of yourself, first. It's honestly that simple. Take care of yourself, new mom. Do something for yourself.
She Keeps It Real About How She's Feeling
Not every single moment with your new baby is going to be filled with joy. There will be some moments when you can't figure out why you're baby is crying so you just break down and cry too because that seems like the only logical thing to do. There will be exhaustion and stress and bewilderment, and there very well may be some scary personal moments for you. If you're not feeling all that excited or happy, it's important that you don't suppress those feelings or pretend they don't exist. You need to express what's going on to someone (a doctor, a partner, a friend, a family member, someone) so that you can take care of yourself. You may have postpartum depression and not even be aware of it so, by confiding in someone else, you are opening yourself up to get the help that you might need.
Admitting that you're not over-the-moon about your new baby doesn't make you a bad mom, it makes you a strong one.
She Doesn't Apologize For All The New Baby Pictures
Hey, you're excited. You just procreated and your new baby is doing all these adorable things and wearing all of these fantastic outfits and you want to share this new part of your life with family and friends and social media. Don't apologize for it. Upload those 135 pictures and bask in the glory that is new motherhood and your new baby. People don't apologize for sharing pictures of their lunch, so please, don't feel like yo have to apologize for sharing pictures or your little.