What’s a great gift for a new mom that helps her get in control of her new life? And get a little self-care, and stay connected with those around her who can keep her grounded in her transition? It’s called the New Mama Deck and is a life hack that helps make the transition from one phase of life to another. Life has changed and it’s important for the new mom and others to recognized that two lives need some TLC, the baby’s life, and hers. For this reason our New Mama Deck incorporates self-care as part of the needs of a new mom.
I’ve read a lot about what happens to a mom when she brings her baby home from the hospital. She takes on the responsibility of a new life and often she neglects her own needs and self-care. Self-care is part of that responsibility.
Nothing is more important than bonding with baby right from the start. This doesn’t happen to all new mothers. Some mothers struggle with postpartum depression, as we’ve discussed in other blogs. Others struggle with sleep. We have discussed that, too. Some struggle with the balance they need to strike between time with baby and self-care. That’s an important concept. And others struggle with figuring it out with a partner and keeping their relationship alive. Finally, many recognize that they need a way to find “me” space in the mix. A little TLC, whether that comes from within or someone else, is crucial.
Tips and Tricks for New Moms
New Mama Decks are a tool to help outsource decision-making and make life a little easier when trying to figure out a schedule or a new way of life with baby. Having the experience of others who have gone before us is crucial. It helps us see a light and aim for it. It’s the kind of thing that makes for less stress and a path forward.
Our life Hack Decks™ are full of ideas that are little “tweaks” in the way a new mother does life. Society, for example, puts expectations on moms for how to act as new mothers. A lot of the time, the focus is on the baby. And because of this, new mothers may feel overwhelmed and isolated. This is not to say that all mothers feel this way, but many do.
The reason many moms feel isolated is because much of the parenting at the beginning of a baby’s life falls on the mother. This is often because of feeding, as many women breastfeed their newborns. It’s a wonderful bonding experience, and great for the baby and mom, but it takes a lot of time, energy, and calories to keep up with the process. It takes a commitment. Some who can’t breastfeed feel anxious or guilty, and that’s also a hard emotion to work through after bringing baby home.
You Can’t Go It Alone
Hack Decks are a way to help put some space and time back into the lives of new mothers. In addition to little tips and tricks for taking care of baby, the deck also includes personal TLC that mothers need. And connection to themselves. Many new mothers feel isolated after giving birth. This is completely normal. They feel exhausted by the responsibility, time commitment and constant physical demands of keeping up a feeding schedule. It’s hard to imagine how much time a baby requires after they are born.
People romanticize this new stage of life, but it’s safe to say that a lot of women struggle. I’ve seen the effects postpartum depression has had on a new mom, and it’s hard to watch. There’s guilt associated with not feeling how they’re “supposed” to feel. They feel like they’re doing something wrong, that it’s their fault that they don’t feel good about themselves and the process. It’s not. It’s a hormone imbalance that takes hold on some women and it has nothing to do with fault. It has to do with getting appropriate help so that the new mom feels better.
Our New Mama Decks offer prompts about staying connected to yourself. They show you how to reach out for help when you need it. Yes, we talk about a lot of tips and tricks for taking care of baby, but we also talk about staying in touch with yourself and others. It’s about asking for help when you need it rather than going the distance alone. It’s about knowing when you need some personal space and asking for it. It’s not about being supermom. It’s about caring for yourself and your newborn. Simultaneously. Because with the expectations put on new moms, it's often easy to take yourself out of the equation.
Let’s face it, some stages of life get idealized, and we are sold an image that often does not fit or is not based in reality. This means that many times reality does not match the image we see and we feel guilty or frustrated because we don't measure up.
How many times have I heard from my friends that motherhood is not what they expected it to be? It’s the same of getting married or engaged. Expectations and happy faces dominate the internet, and we try to match our life to what we see in social media. Nothing could be further from the truth. People show their best side, or some fantasy of what a societal norm looks like and sell it to others. They pose with their new engagement ring. They read internet sites like The Knot and think that marriage and weddings are some type of fairytale. They’re not. And neither is motherhood.
Putting One Foot in Front of the Other - And Ignoring Social Media
Yes, there is so much good that comes from motherhood and the best thing is bonding with a human being who you will know for life. To do that well, we need to be our best selves. Sometimes our best selves look like resting. Sometimes our best selves look like staying in bed, relaxing with baby, and drinking a cup of tea. Sometimes our best selves look messy and the antithesis of what we’re seeing on social media. And we feel guilty that we don’t look like that.
Social media does not look the way it really is for ninety percent of the female population who has just given birth to a newborn. It’s exhausting. It’s new and scary. It’s a whole new life that feels overwhelming. And it’s all okay. Put away the expectations that are from fantasyland and focus on meeting the needs of your newborn while also meeting your own needs. This is a slow learning process. And it takes time to get it right. Very few people tell you this from the beginning. You’re expected to be “on” while you feel completely overwhelmed inside.
From yoga, I have learned that the best thing we can do is learn to breathe through it. Learn to take it all in stride. Put away the Instagram feeds of other new mothers, the crazy rules that have been made up by someone (who knows who that someone is?) and listen to your own cues. Take it slowly. Again, ask for help. Know that your life and the way it looks now is a gift and also very hard. It’s okay not to feel like roses and butterflies are swirling around you. This is real life and it’s a tough go at the beginning. Acceptance, especially self-acceptance, is key.
New Mama Deck - A Great Life Hack
Look through our New Mama Deck to see if some of the ideas, tips and tricks, and self-care practices resonate with you. The deck was designed by moms who have gone the distance. It’s not advice from someone standing over your shoulder, telling you how to do things. It’s advice in the form of prompts that give you small, easy to manage ideas to help make your life and transition to motherhood easier. This deck, in particular, is designed to remind you to stay connected with others, reach out if you need help, and practice self-care.
Give this gift to yourself or gift it to others. In the process of reading and acting on the prompts you’ll feel better about feeling overwhelmed and find ways to reduce the stress of the first months of your baby’s life. Eventually life will get easier. You’ll sleep more. You’ll figure out a routine. Give yourself the space to find your way. It will all work itself out over time. In the meantime, have patience with yourself and let go of the idealized images of motherhood. They are just a fantasy.
Purchase a New Mama Deck for a New Mom
Purchase our New Mama Deck for $19.95 and gift one to yourself or to a new mom you know. The deck of 52 prompts will make a huge difference in getting a routine established, learning a few tips and tricks, and most importantly, knowing that self-care is crucial for both you and baby.