No matter what anyone says, when you have children newborn through two years, it is the most demanding season of parenthood. The physical demands of getting up at night, having a child attached to your hip during the day, feeding yourself and baby at the same time all play into the physically exhausting season of life.
So what can a mom do to thrive in this season of motherhood? Here are a few strategies to consider:
Lower the expectations: You simply cannot accomplish as much as you think you can when it comes to housework.
Trust yourself. Relax and enjoy your little one rather than fretting over every little thing.
Take time for yourself: When the baby takes a nap, rather than rushing around trying to do all the things you have wanted to get done, allow for a portion of the naptime to do something that fills you up.
Allow more time: With young children, we need to double our preparation time. It takes twice as long to leave to go somewhere.
Cut yourself some slack. You will make mistakes. When you do, forgive yourself and move on.
Get out once a week. Arrange with a friend or your husband for an afternoon or evening out once a week. Nobody is going to give it to you. You have to ask for it and make the arrangements to make it happen.
Stop the comparisons. Your baby is unique. You are unique. Your baby will develop at different speeds than someone else’s baby. You will find different routines that work for you. Don’t compare your baby to another baby you know.
Find a moms group. You need to be with other women who understand what your life is like. You can start your search at www.MOPS.org.
Keep the marriage first. When the baby comes along it becomes so easy to become child-focused. Even one or two hours out once a week can keep you marriage a priority.
Most importantly, be flexible. Just when you think your baby has a routine, be prepared for it to change. Little ones are growing and changing week by week. Even though the days feel long, this season of motherhood will fly by faster than you’ll realize!
What about you? What suggestions can you offer to a mom of a infant?