By Chrissy Bernal
2011 was a very reproductive year for many of my friends. It seemed like at any given time, at least one of my friends was having a baby.
In turn, this means a majority of the conversations I had contained at least one phrase uttered by the new mom indicating that she simply didn't have enough time for herself--not enough time to shower, not enough time to put on makeup, and certainly not enough time for romance.
Well, as anyone with older children--such as me--knows that the time children consume will not be reduced for quite a while. So, as a mother of twins, I'd like to offer those new mommies some suggestions I found worked for me in helping to regain part of their "mommy time" and set a precedent for the next several years.
--When your new baby sleeps, you sleep. The house may be dirty, but it's okay. Those first few months can be brutal, so sneak in as much sleep as you can when the baby is asleep. Not having enough sleep can lead to depression, poor decision making, and irritability. In addition, lack of sleep slows down your recovery and metabolism which can make it hard to lose the baby weight.
--If your house wasn't already organized before the baby arrived, enlist a friend or family member (or hire someone if needed) to help you organize. You'll want systems in place that will flow with your and your baby's schedule. For example, I had to pump every three hours. So, I had everything laid out and ready to go right by my bed--including the marker used for labeling each bottle with the date and time. If you can keep each and everything you use on a regular basis in the same place, you'll fumble around less and get less frustrated.
--Find what gadgets work for you. There are a multitude of gadgets out there intended to make life easy for new moms, but not all of them will match your style. I personally found the Diaper Genie annoying. However, with having twins, I really loved a bottle attachment that made it so I could feed one baby hands-free while I was feeding the other baby--who, by the way, required feeding through a Gastronomic Tube every hour and a half. So, I absolutely needed both hands at once to feed her.
4. Makeup is a must
--Feeling beautiful is important. Take just a few minutes to wash your face, apply a bit of moisturizer or tinted moisturizer, and some mascara. When you feel beautiful on the outside, it will make you feel more refreshed on the inside.
5. Get to moving
--As soon as your doc gives you the okay, get moving. Take the baby for a walk. Take a Baby and Me class. Get a Baby and Me video to do at home. Just get moving. It will get the oxygen flowing again. Start revving up your metabolism and get the endorphins going.
6. Date night
--Even if it's just a quick trip to a local burger joint or even a trip to the grocery store, you absolutely must have kid-free time with your husband. Allow yourself the time for a change of scenery. As scary as it will feel to leave the baby with someone else, you need the opportunity to break up the routine of feedings and diapers and to connect with your spouse. Men sometimes have a harder time getting into the "baby mode" like women do, so it's important for them to have the opportunity to connect with you, as well.
Just remember that while you're a mom, you're still You and you're still a wife. While your priorities change, you still need to care for yourself. It's just like when flight attendants instruct you to put your own oxygen mask on first before putting one on your child. If you're not caring for yourself well, it'll be harder for you to offer your best care to your child.
What tips do you have for new moms?