Things I wished people had told me about parenthood

Third post on this topic. It’s one close to my heart – self care. My non-motherhood job is focussed on mental health and wellbeing, so this is something I preach as well as try to practice.

If you’re not looked after, who will look after baby?

One of the main pieces of advice that my mum said to me when I was feeling ill was “get up and see how you feel after a shower and breakfast”. I do this whenever I get up and feel manky. The days where I still feel like absolute crap after the shower, I call in sick to work and rest up. Thing is, that’s not really possible with a baby:

Me – “Sorry, I know you want feeding and a nappy change, but I just need to put my feet up and watch daytime TV.”

Baby – “Oh that’s fine, don’t rush back. I’m pretty confident I can do this nappy changing lark on my own by now, it’s been, what, three weeks? As for food, I’ll just start on solids now, the kitchen’s that way, right?”

Yeah, so not a very plausible scenario.

Point is, that even on those days where I do still like crap after the shower and breakfast, I still feel marginally better than I had pre-shower. I’ve got myself up, eaten and I’m dressed in clean clothes (even if they are for slouching round the house in). It doesn’t solve everything, but one small act can just help you feel a little more human and prepared to face the day.

Pregnancy and childbirth put a massive strain on your body. It’s important to remember that you need to look after yourself to help your body heal so that you’re best placed to look after your little one. If you have help and support in around you, it makes it easier to do these small acts of self care (they can take little one between feeds), but even if you’re on your own, it’s possible to do small things for you.

  • Taking a bath rather than a shower.
  • Putting on make up.
  • Doing your nails.
  • Watching your favourite TV series.
  • Grabbing a coffee.
  • Wearing clothing you can fit back into.
  • Meeting up with a friend for a chat.
  • Reading a book.
  • Doing a hobby for an hour.

Let’s face it, there are days where these things may seem impossible. The point I’m making is that if you get a chance to blow off some steam and to feel more human, you’re going to be in a much better place, physically as well as emotionally, to deal with the little person who’s every need is dependent on you.

So take some “you” time and look after yourself as best you can so you can look after baby.

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