I’m a mommy now, that is a fact, done and set in stone. I am in it for life. Has it been scary and overwhelming? Of course. Has it been worth it? One thousand percent. It didn’t always start out this way though. When I first found out I was pregnant, naturally, I freaked out. Now let me put it out there, my son was 100% planned. He was not an unexpected surprise, he was planned and we waited every month to see whether shark week was coming to town or not. But once it happened, all I could do is think about how my life was about to change.
For starters, my entire way of thinking, my entire way of life was about to change. No more making plans with friends on weeknights, no more spontaneous date nights, no more 2 hour naps on the couch after too much beer, wine and Doritos. Yeah, I miss that. All that was no more. A little human being would just take over and I would be lucky if he let me shower on a daily basis (he does for those who were wondering). But there are no tips and tricks on how to get used to your baby. The second he or she (or both) come ripping out of your vagina, it is instant love. Instant relief and instant love! The feeling is overwhelming and amazing, that was the easy part!
The hard part for me was the transition to staying home 24/7. I had a job that I loved. I liked being out of the house and being independent. Losing all that was a culture shock because I didn’t know how to be home. Losing my income didn’t help the situation either. I felt like I lost a large piece of my purpose. Of course I gained a new purpose, to be the best mommy that I can be, but it was still hard. The next step was to think of ways to make me feel better on the inside so I can function better on the outside.
Now I am not crazy. I know that any “free” time with a newborn is almost nonexistent and whenever there is an hour open, sleep is what we do. I had no real free time until my little one was 5 months and even if I did, my main focus was getting back into shape. Now that my son is closer to 8 months, I am happy to report I have survived and I can count on a few hours a day. Phew, I thought there wasn’t going to be a light at the end of the tunnel there for a second. Once this happened, I came up with what could possibly help and narrowed it down to 5 Tips of Coping.
5 Tips to Cope with Transition into Motherhood
- Pick up a hobby
- Tackle projects
- Assign weekly goals / To-Do list
- Get involved
- It’s okay to do nothing
1. Pick a Hobby
Hobbies are important and it took me a long time to realize that. They allow your mind to disconnect from the pressures of the day. My hobby? This blog! And cooking, duh! In my past life, I was a recipe coordinator / recipe editor for Bon Appetit @ Google. Yes, Google the search engine, so you can see how this was quite a change for me. My job kept me in kitchens and around chefs. I tried to pick up as much knowledge as I could and I figured I should stick to what I know. Writing and recipes. My writing isn’t all that bad either. Is it?
And so, Feasting Mexican was born! This blog is something I like to do for fun. I see all these great bloggers making a living on their lifestyle and that is amazing! Would I love Feasting Mexican to generate income, of course. Is that my primary concern and goal? No, it really isn’t. I love cooking and I write to unwind. I hope you are all enjoying it, if there are any of you out there… I hope! Check out my new recipe, a yummy Chilaquiles Skillet!
2. Complete Outstanding Projects
We all have projects that we have neglected and just never have the opportunity to get around to. Organize that closet, clean out the kitchen cabins, or finally fill those scrapbooks with pictures. Now may be the time to start tackling those. Chances are along the way more projects will come up. Be sure to take your time with them too, there is no rush. I mean, you aren’t going anywhere anytime soon anyways.
So far I have organized all our paperwork and bills into individual binders. I am currently working in turning this closet into a mini pantry and filling in my first baby boy scrap book that my amazing cousin-in-law gifted me. Projects are fun! Where do I get all of my project ideas? Pinterest! Check out my boards for ideas!
3. Set Weekly Goals / To-Do List
I love lists, period. Especially “To-Do” lists. They help me feel like I have accomplished something in the week. Now please don’t yell at me. I know taking care of a baby is a HUGE accomplishment for all us, but I personally like to do as much as I can. It can be a flaw, I try to handle too much. But my lists are usually light in the sense that they are simple goals. Examples of what I normally add on my lists are:
- Get laundry done
- Change sheets
- Bake a dessert for the week
- Clean bathrooms
- Update bills
These are just a few examples. See, nothing crazy right? I like to see what I have to do on paper and I feel accomplished as I cross them out.
4. Get Involved
Since I have been home, I have been trying to reconnect with extended family members I rarely get an opportunity to see. It doesn’t seem like a huge task, but those small visits and occasional lunch dates here and there allow for quality time outside the house. I don’t know about you, but the sunshine and fresh air help my mood.
You can also get involved in your community or at your local church. Pick a club or organization or online forum to join. Granted, you may not have a lot of free time at first, but do what you can as soon as you can. Notice a pattern yet? Stay busy! I know that sounds crazy with a new baby, but once the storm settles (past the dark times of the first 3 months) you begin to have some free time and maybe you will understand where I am coming from.
5. It's Okay To Do Nothing
Some days I have to remind myself that it is okay to do nothing. It’s okay to be tired, overwhelmed, emotional, dirty, stinky, sleep deprived, hungry, and any other emotion all moms have felt. It’s okay to take a break and fully focus on your baby and their journey without thinking of the cleaning, making dinner, or any other tasks. Ask your partner to help you with some house duties, even if just for one day. Eat out a day or two in the week. We all need down time. Down time helps us recharge and give us the motivation to keep going with this crazy roller coast mom life.
So sit back in your jammies with your coffee, do some self care, watch a movie with your little one or just go out and enjoy the day. The house, husband and little human will survive, trust me! 🙂
The Take Away
These tips won’t work for everyone, especially not an already stay-at-home mom. They have made their transition and have other little ones to keep them busy. My transition was from full-time work to full-time mom, a huge difference. Rarely was I home and when I was, I did what typical 20-something year olds did, with no worries. The experience of motherhood has likely changed my entire existence and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I know I will be fine because this little life has taken over my heart. No job or title would ever be better.