This is not your typical new mum survival kit, let me make that clear!.
I’m not sharing must have bubble baths or anything like that.
What I’ll share is real-life advice on how to help your mind in the early days, weeks and months as a new mom.
The thing is, moms haven’t changed since the first humans walked the earth (from a biological sense).
We all think we’re doing things wrong or failing daily. It comes with the territory of being a parent.
We doubt ourselves and make out we’re the worst person if we shout or scream, tripping up over that loose piece of Lego that cuts deep into your heel.
Or simply, when it all gets too much.
Added to the mix are the pressures of motherhood clashing with women’s emotional needs.
This can trigger mental health issues and mood disorders, which add to the stress that a new mother is facing.
But now for the good news.
The important thing to realise is that *most* of how you feel is learned behaviour, based on untrue stories you’re telling yourself or experiences from the past that get dragged into the present.
How you feel comes through repeating daily behaviour.
You’re probably thinking “No shit Sherlock” but really think about it.
Negative thinking is a habit.
Overthinking is a habit.
Procrastinating is a habit.
Anxiety is a… you guessed it. It becomes a habit.
And whatever you practise grows stronger, which is why habits are so darn hard to break.
They take a long time to form, and an even longer time to get rid of!
New Mum Survival Kit
So where’s the New Mum Survival Kit you ask?
It’s here in this post. Read on!
What I want to share is that as new moms, we’re vulnerable to low self-esteem because of the so-called ‘expert opinions’ of others and the influence of friends and family.
It’s why we compare ourselves and think we’re doing things wrong all the time.
New Parent Care Package
The problem isn’t us though.
It’s the constant stream of conflicting advice from Google, Facebook, IG, our parents, friends, etc. So naturally, we question ourselves and don’t know what to do or think.
I hear so often from mums how they’re lost, confused, unsure, worried, anxious, and stressed out. You name it, moms are feeling it.
And these feelings of low mood and burnout become our day-to-day life.
Why does this happen? Why can’t we change what’s not working for us? Why do we battle on and go into survival mode?
The answer is, you can change it.
First off, open your new mum survival kit bag and dig deep to find trust for yourself.
A really super duper book on this topic is Motherhood Your Way by Hollie De Cruz.
Work on trusting yourself daily. By this, I mean doing the things needed to build up trust for yourself.
Building trust happens gradually. It takes time. Yet you can learn it.
Nor is there a right or wrong way to build trust for yourself, but a good way to start is to take responsibility for your actions.
Start creating some new behaviours to challenge your old way of being.
Set up long-term goals for yourself, even if the goal is “I want to make more decisions” or “I want to do things my way.”
New healthy habits
Utilise the power of new behaviors to create a healthier habit for yourself.
Perhaps that new habit could be drinking more water in the mornings, or breaking an old habit such as biting your nails.
Build up trust in yourself by doing your own research around something you’re struggling with, for example, baby sleep troubles or weaning advice.
Ask advice from others for sure, but choose your own answer at the end of it.
Choosing is the hard bit, but once you do it once or twice, you’ll feel amazing. Liberated! It opens up a world of potential for you.
(The irony is we’re all winging it as much as you are)
What’s certain is your baby only knows you. She loves you so much, more than you can imagine.
You are her world. She trusts you, believes in you, and just wants to be close to you. All.The.Time.
Next in the new mum survival kit is giving yourself HUGE credit. Mothering hasn’t changed since the dawn of the first human.
What’s changing constantly is society.
And currently, we’re mothering in a shit storm of comparison, distraction, busyness and overwhelm, not to mention WAY too high expectations of what a mother *should* be (which is everything according to the eyes outside our walls).
But I don’t buy into that.
Sorry, sanity is way more important to me as is the sanity of children.
Let’s also be brave and realise that if we continue to contribute to this(by numbing ourselves, scrolling, feeling lost, avoiding responsibility, getting overwhelmed, doubting ourselves, and questioning our self-worth, then we’re as bad as the feelings we’re trying to change.
Learn to switch off the noise and tune into you!
(And reduce your screen time while you’re at it, it’s really not healthy)
Believe in Yourself
Yes, you can learn to believe that you’ve got this. You know what you’re doing. Your baby loves you more than anything. And you deserve to be happy as a mother.
Not constantly flagging, downtrodden and beaten by a fake world of comparison, judgement and criticism.
You’re a walking miracle mama, so bask in your beauty and enjoy that delicious baby of yours.
Now grab a morning coffee, sit down, and give her a big hug and kiss. You both deserve it.
And when you get a quiet moment later on once she’s tucked up in bed, grab a pad of paper and a pen and try some journaling to help relieve the excess burden off your mind.
You’ll find some journal prompts below to get you started.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll avoid any form of help. Am I right?
I don’t know if it’s cultural or what, but I was determined to do everything independently.
A few months in after baby number 1, it’s no wonder I got diagnosed with postnatal anxiety.
Please take any help offered to you and ditch the guilt you feel about it!
Raising children was never meant to be down to the mother only. You are allowed to take breaks, to have a few moments to yourself and to be YOU!
Trust me on this. An hour’s break here or there does you a world of good.
What do I think about this if I stopped worrying about what others think?
How do I feel in this situation?
What would be the ideal outcome of this?
What does my baby need right now?
What can I try doing that I haven’t yet?
How I can I take full responsibility here?
Survival kit for friends
Why not make this post a survival kit for friends post? Share it with them! You never know how helpful it could be.
Finally, if you’re a new mother I wrote this post, especially for you.
I really love this Sophie!
Especially “accept support”. Something I was unwilling to do and I wish I hadn’t…
Really great post. Thanks for sharing this…
Hey Amanda, thank you so much for your kind words here, it means the world to me that my posts offer support. I was exactly the same – as if there’s a badge of honour for ‘managing to handle everything on your own’. Needless to say, there was no badge! So yes, accepting support is absolutely crucial!