You’ve just brought home your little bundle of joy, or some have dubbed them eating and pooping machines. Now what do you do?
If you want to take care of your mental health, the best thing that you should do is ensure that you are not only taking care of your baby but also yourself.
For the first few months your baby is going to do nothing but sleep, eat, piss and poop, so there’s not much you have to worry about.
Other than ensuring that you keep your baby healthy and well fed. One thing you have to remember though, that your own and your partners well-being will also reflect on the baby.
No newborn likes to hang around with stressed out mother who can’t remember when was the last time she had a shower!
1. Pinch Hit For Each Other
Even baseball players aren’t always on their top game.
So what do you do when you need some help, switch out with the other parent. This is especially true when you’re so tired at 3 am that you’ve almost breastfed the cat.
So take a break, pump some milk for just such emergencies and allow your spouse to take over. This will help to keep you sane, and a sane mommy is a happy mommy
2. Know When to Walk Away
Another thing that you need to ensure is that you don’t shake the baby.
Shaken baby syndrome is a very real and very serious thing. If you are too stressed out you might snap. So what should you do when you feel like the baby just won’t stop crying and you can’t remember the last time you slept?
You take a breather, as long as nothing is physically wrong with the baby there isn’t a reason why you can’t just let them cry for 10 more seconds while you re-center yourself to deal with the duties.
3. Know When to Get Help
If you find yourself crying all day or thinking crazy things about the baby, it’s probably time that you get yourself some help.
There’s no shame in going to a psychologist. Especially if it’s to keep you sane enough to take care of your baby. Postpartum depression is a very real thing.
You want to be sure that you get help from your spouse, a doctor, a family friend, or grandma.
Believe me, your friends will easily come to your rescue. And if they don’t, screw them, they weren’t good friends anyway (just kidding, they just might not be good with babies).
Overall, the main idea is trusting your gut.
You know when you’re too tired to function or when you feel too frustrated to act in a cool and calm manner. So it is when you know that you feel that way that you need to make a choice to find some help or calm yourself down.
Being a parent is hard work and you need to make sure that you are at the top of your game.
So don’t stress out, just because you need some help or to take a breather doesn’t mean that you aren’t a good parent. In fact, it means that you’re a great one.
Great Reading for New Parents:
The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year
The Baby Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance
What to Expect the First Year