As a new mom, I am finding myself full of emotions. Some days I am exhausted (well, most days), some days I feel extremely happy and strong, some days I want to cry my eyes out, and other days I don't even know how it went from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.. The new mom emotions are also coupled with the fact that I realize I can't do everything I used to do -- even while pregnant. I can't take a long shower with my tunes on full blast. I can't just go get a manicure and pedicure when I feel like it. I would love to meet friends for dinner, but there's a timeline because I am pumping and because I have a baby at home (DUH!). The phenomenon of "me" time exists, but in a different way. In this process, I have learned a few things that I thought I'd share.
1. Make yourself useful when you visit a new mom
Entertaining is not our forte at this time. We've got a lot going on and we can barely keep track of anything outside of our new child's eat, sleep and poop patterns. So, if you plan to visit, keep your socializing to less than one hour. OR, if you're interested in helping, then ask what you could help with and likely, you'll get a request. The friends who have been thoughtful upon visiting have brought lunch, helped change diapers and even offered to watch the baby so that I could snag a catnap.
2. Be thoughtful when gifting
I have received many gifts from visitors and I have to admit, it's quite generous. At times, gifting a new mom may be tough, because babies are simple people and likely the essentials were on the registry. For example, baby clothes. Luckily for me, my mom would help out and return the unnecessary. Having gone through the process, I think a more useful or practical gift would be any of the following: a massage, a manicure, dinner of my choice or even a gift card for diapers.com. It felt amazing to step out for a pedicure post-labor -- my swollen feet needed some lovin'!
3. Offer text support if you're a mom
Ideally, I would say offer 24/7 text support, but that's just insane (especially if you're my friend!). However, as a new mom, I'm definitely anxious at many points. I have so many questions -- some basic and some necessary. It's nice to know that at 3 a.m., I have a set of mommy friends who I can text and ask pretty much anything. Plus, I know I won't be judged. It's rather therapeutic.
4. Help a new mom feel good
I've been dealing with the fact that while I am a dietitian and fitness professional, I somehow gained 40 lbs. It sucks. Now, I am trying not to stress about losing it, but the whole stay positive about yourself part is not easy. Half the time I want to eat donuts and wear loose pants, but I know that I need to eventually get back into the groove of my pre-pregnancy lifestyle. So, help a new mom feel good by simply complimenting her. It feels great when I hear "wow, you look great" -- especially when I don't feel it.
It's certainly true what I've heard -- you can never predict how life will be once the baby is born. It's amazing that I am able to function, and that's because I've got an amazing family to support me. How am I able to write this post? It's been two months since my son was born and I have a lot of built-up emotions. Happy to say that I finally understand that time does fly and that you really need to make the most of these moments. However, having friends who are more considerate or thoughtful than not helps as well.