how to survive the first four weeks
No doubt about it, having a baby is an adjustment. Your world is turned upside down by this tiny little creature. It can definitely be overwhelming at times so I wanted to share a few thoughts on how to survive the first four weeks of your baby's life. Everyone is different, but this is just what worked for us.
- Get help. Seriously, don't be afraid to ask for help. We have been so blessed to have my mom, dad, sister, and mother-in-law all out here to visit and help with the baby in some capacity. Hallelujah! When I was still pregnant I was worried about having so many visitors but now I am so glad they have all been helping. I seriously couldn't have done it on my own...especially with Alex being sick the first few days of Liam's life and having to go back to work so quickly.
- Meal help. Another great help has been our church family bringing us meals every other night since Liam was born. I already hate cooking, so I could not imagine having to cook dinner every night with a newborn. Megan used foodtidings.com to coordinate meals for us and again, I am so thankful! In fact, check out this very helpful post she wrote about bringing a family meals when they have a new baby. She provides lots of great little tips. If no one offers to do this for you I say you shamelessly ask a friend if they'd be willing to get some people to bring meals for you. Or if you know someone who is pregnant, please coordinate meals for them! Seriously, do it.
- Let it go. I am an organization/clean freak. I like my dishwasher loaded in a certain way, my bathrooms to be cleaned a certain way, my pantry to be stocked a certain way. I'm very particular. But since Liam has been born I've had to just let things go. My mom didn't always do things the way that I would do them, but I just kept my big mouth shut and focused on resting and breast feeding. Which brings me to my next point...
- Rest! Labor is hard work. Your body has been through a lot and you need to rest and recuperate. Don't feel bad about being "lazy." You're not being lazy, you are making sure you get back to 100% so you can take care of your baby. If you want to know what it's like to deal with a postpartum body and mindset, just ask, I'll talk about anything and everything. But just so you know... there will be blood, aches, inflammation, baby blues, tears... Don't worry, it won't last forever. Oh, and nap when the baby naps, at least once in the day. You'll need it.
- Cry it out. I'm not talking about letting the baby cry it out, I'm saying you need to cry it out. There are so many emotions that are felt when a new baby arrives. Don't feel guilty if you're feeling frustrated, sad, or upset. Sometimes you just need to cry and complain to your spouse about everything you're feeling, both emotionally and physically. You need to get it out so you can refocus on taking care of your baby.
- Focus on the good. It's easy to get sucked into all the negative aspects of being a new mom. You're sleep deprived, your body is in pain, you don't know what to do when the baby cries... But stop, focus on the good stuff. Is your baby healthy? Praise God! Do you have clean diapers so your baby doesn't have to sit in his own waste? Hallelujah! Are you able to feed your baby when he's hungry, whether it's breast milk or formula? Be thankful! These are all good things. And your baby is the ultimate good thing. Plus, they are pretty darn cute when they're not screaming their heads off at two in the morning. I mean, just look at this face: