Mom to Mom

Saturday, August 6 2016


After 6 months of becoming a mother, I have been wanting to share my top 5 things that every new mother should try to do for herself. The gift of becoming a mother is amazing, but at times it can definitely be physically and emotionally exhausting. I love being able to stay at home and be part of Matias childhood day by day. It works well for our family. But that doesn't mean I am not tired at the end of the day.
This list is for moms who are back at work, which I admire so much, and for those who stay at home with their little ones, hard work as well. These are things that as a new mom have helped me enjoy my postpartum, and really make the most of this new experience of being a mother.

1. Treat yourself: I have been having persistent neck pain for over a month now (since our long flight back from the USA) and no matter how much I try to relieve it, the pain doesn't go away. I have been wanting to go get a massage, but since I am with Matias all day, it would be hard to take him with me and relax at the same time. Luckily for me, Gavin found a lady who does massage house-visits. It was so wonderful to finally relax and have the pain taken away, knowing that if Matias needed me he was with his dad just a room away. Maybe you don't need/like a massage, but you could try a manicure, or a spa. After all, your body does suffer a lot with holding a baby all day and night.

2. Make a mother network: A couple of weeks ago a neighbor at our old place,told me of a family resource group called IBU that connects parents from all over KL. They have playgroups once a week where parents can bring their kids and meet new people while the kids play with other children. I already met wonderful mothers from different countries during my weekly playdates.

3. Do things you did before you had your baby: At least once a week try to do something you did when you didn't have a baby on your watch. If that means hitting the gym for an hour, going to the mall, dinner date with your partner, etc... It feels great to have some time to enjoy old hobbies and to feel again like the old you.

4. Relax: As hard as it sounds, you need some time in the day to unwind and relax. I remember the first months with Matias at home, where I would check the baby camera every 5 minute if I was in another room than the one he was. And every single time I went to check on him, he was happily sleeping, while I was just all worried about nothing. The calmer and more relaxed you are, the better for your baby and for the rest of the family. Try to get a nap, or read a book you have been wanting to read since last summer.

5. Consider a baby class: As a preschool teacher, I always thought that I perfectly suited to teach Matias anything up until he goes to elementary school. It turns out that isn't the truth. Babies do learn from their mothers, quite a lot, but they also learn from other babies and other adults. That's why we are introducing Matias to a few classes during the week where he can play with other babies his age and interact with us. The 'Baby Sensory' program has been really fun for him and us. We also tried The Little Gym where they help them strengthen their bones and tiny muscles, as well as providing a small workout for the parents.

Life with a new baby doesn't have to be exhausting and chaotic. Take advantage of the daily naps, and always always ask for help if you are too tired or you need to go to the bathroom. After all, we are humans as well as mothers.

PS: Not only new mothers should try to do all these things, but also mothers at any stage in their lives, either with little ones running around the house, with teenagers, or with an empty nest at home. Every mother should feel proud about the job that they have been done and are still doing.


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