Five Favorites - Post-partum edition
I'm so excited to be guest blogging over at Messy Wife, Blessed Life today. Hop on over and check it out...and many thanks to Mandi for the opportunity!!
One thing sorely lacking from the life of any "new" mother (even a "new" mother on her 2nd or more child) is silence and alone time. I am by no means suggesting a new mother try to go to daily Mass or adoration every day...or even every week! BUT, in my experience, it is the absolute best place to turn to when you feel buried and in over your head. And, if you are fortunate enough to have either an open church or perpetual adoration near your house, it is entirely feasible to sneak out for little, brief dates with Jesus. (When Sister Stinky was born, I discovered the Catholic church a few blocks away was open from early morning until late at night...and it was right across from Walgreens! So, you'd better believe I made sure to sneak in a few minutes with Jesus whenever I went out on a diaper run!) I promise you...you will walk away feeling so much less alone and overwhelmed!
My view 24/7...she's lucky she's so cute!!!
As I've shared before, post-partum can be a rough time for me. Last time around I suffered from post-partum depression...and I share that so that other mothers who may be suffering similarly know they are not alone! This time around, we've been very conscious of what worked and what didn't last time, and one of the things I'm being extremely mindful of this time is the need for my self care.
So, linking up with the lovely Hallie and friends to share with you my five favorite self care tips for the post-partum stage!
Adoration and/or daily Mass
Good, nourishing food and drink
Especially for me, coming out of the deprivation that is hyperemesis, it is really important to make sure to get enough food and drink post-partum. It's also good to allow yourself little "treats." When I was pregnant, I couldn't tolerate iced coffee and I really missed that little treat, so I made sure to buy some coffee before Sister Nugget was born and have been treating myself to a sweet and creamy glass of iced goodness every day. Let's face it, when you're post-partum...it's the little things that make all the difference!
Know what relaxes you and do it!
After having Sister Stinky I discovered a huge guilty pleasure that majorly reduces my stress post-partum - watching episodes of 19 Kids and Counting. I love their take on the gift of children, and let's face it...watching someone take care of babies who's done it 19 times over? Definitely makes you feel like you can survive whatever number of littles you have!
When I gave birth to Sister Stinky, everyone told me to "sleep when the baby sleeps"...but back then (and some days this is still the case) I don't find that to be relaxing. Rather, blogging and catching up on other blogs, responding to e-mails, reading a book...these things are way more relaxing for me many days. Know yourself, and know what helps you to feel like yourself - and make sure you make time for those simple activities post-partum! It will make a time of upheaval feel much more normal for you.
Have a solid support system.
Post-partum, the Abbot is like a rock for me. I know that I have to "check in" with him for at least a few minutes (hopefully more) every day in order to stay grounded. Not only does he help with his "fatherly" duties with the newest baby and sibling, but he also is a real friend to me. He keeps me accountable, and reminds me to relax and to be easy on myself.
This time around, I also have a number of other friends who are mothers, too! Texting them back and forth has been a huge help to me, reminding me that I'm not alone in this journey of parenthood.
Know who your support system consists of - and rely on them heavily in those early days!!!
Shield yourself from too much "advice."
This is something I've been struggling with ALOT this time around. As a second time mother I have my opinions about what works and what does work, and I know how I want to raise my daughters. But, I am also extremely emotionally vulnerable in these early post-partum days. Little comments made by the nurses in the hospital easily set me to tears and made me question my parenting.
Again, this is where the Abbot and my support system has come in handy. The Abbot laughs off the "helpful" suggestions of others, and reminds me to do what works for our family. Close friends - all of whom have their own parenting styles - affirm me in my parenting decisions, too. I have friends who co-sleep, friends who "cry-it-out," who use pacifiers and who don't, who breastfeed on demand, and who need to use formula. All of them are phenomenal parents who I greatly admire! Having such a variety of friends reminds me that there is no one right way to parent a child. All you can do is what is best for you and your child.
So, know what your vulnerabilities are and do your best to protect yourself against those who would have you question your parenting style.
What helps you post-partum?