Youre thrilled with the arrival of your new baby, but theres so much to learn and do. You wonder whether youre up to the task. Below are six mistakes new mothers make while taking care of their precious bundles.
- Not getting enough rest. Every new mother is sleep deprived. Shes up throughout the night with frequent feedings. Babies are wide awake at the crack of dawn. New mothers limp along on torturously few hours of shut-eye, feeling bedraggled and stressed to the emotional max. Its imperative that new mothers sleep every moment available and that they create time for naps during the day. While they often worry about being lazy, their very survival depends on getting adequate sleep.
- Trying to do too much. Babys birth brings a bassinet full of added responsibilities. Laundry grows exponentially, and the house instantly falls into a state of ruin. In addition, most new moms have to-do lists and projects that reflect their exciting new stage of life. While its good to be up and functioning, too much activity leads to fatigue and feeling overwhelmed. New mothers should check in with how theyre feeling. If theyre short-tempered, distraught, depressed or exhausted, they need to cut back. Completing chores is important. Staying sane is even more so.
- Comparing themselves to other mothers. Each baby, mother and family is different. Still, its tempting to contrast themselves with others and assess how theyre measuring up. This behavior is risky. If another baby is developing more quickly, moms worry their child is slow. The very act of comparing implies a winner and a loser. Invariably, the comparer falls woefully short. New mothers should avoid comparisons and remind themselves theyre doing their best. Their babies are perfect just as they are.
- Not accepting help. People love helping new moms and babies. Co-workers are eager to cook dinners. Grandparents want to care for Baby so Mom can get back on her feet. But some new mothers are uncomfortable accepting these offers.
They worry about appearing weak, or theyre uncomfortable assigning specific chores. Still, the birth of a new baby requires group effort. New mothers do best when theyre backed by communal support. When others say, Can I help? they should say, Yes. Heres how, and then supply them with a list of suggestions.
- Excluding their husbands. Its sometimes tempting to shut Dad out of the loop. He may not understand his wifes stresses or mood swings, or he overlooks obvious chores that need to be done. Even though hes equally excited about the birth of his child, he often feels like an extra cog in the maternal wheel. New mothers only make matters worse when they criticize what Hubby does with the baby, or comment, Its just easier if I do things myself. This is an important time to celebrate your union. Make time together a top priority. The familys well-being is at stake.
- Feeling guilty. New moms are guilt magnets. They fret theyll cause permanent damage if everything isnt just so. The overwhelming majority are doing a great job with their babies. Theyre conscientious, capable and caring, yet they harbor guilt about the least little faux pas. If theres been a serious problem, they feel like failures because they couldnt fix it. But guilt is a draining emotion. It saps mothers energies and makes them feel bad.
Rather than focusing on supposed shortcomings, new moms should honor what theyre doing well. They love their babies to pieces. Thats the very best they can do.