As a new mum, we have so much to deal with. Looking back to my own experience, I think new mum’s challenges are often underappreciated. Many people do not understand —although they may try hard to understand — the real deal of being a new mum.
Sleep-deprivation, constant exhaustion and isolation are only some of the issues that all new mums face. And when you’re a new mum far from your family and friends—because you moved away just before the childbirth —the challenges are at the next level.
What is self-care for new mums?
Self-care for new mums is about looking after the wellbeing and wellness of mums. It involves physical and mental care. It’s about taking heed what is good for our body and mind so that we can cope with the motherhood’s challenges in particular, and with life challenges in general.
Being a new mum is a huge life changer. When your baby arrives, you kinda lose control of your life as everything will revolve around your baby. And with the hormone changes that you experience post-childbirth, things can be so overwhelming that many women fall into postpartum depression.
When I just had my first baby, I used to be constantly fatigued for many months. Physically tired, and mentally exhausted. Simply because I literally had no one whom I could easily and freely ask for help, apart from my husband.
The first few weeks I was struggling between looking after my baby and getting things done around the house, whilst I also tried to get myself healed from the C-section at the same time.
I was so clueless about looking after myself that I had baby-blues longer than I should have had. In hindsight, it could’ve been postpartum depression.
Looking after yourself is a must
Therefore, self-care for mums who are away from families is even more important. Because as a mum, you have your baby to look after, and you won’t be able to do it if you need to be looked after.
It’s only when we’re physically and mentally well, then we can give proper care for others. So we must take good care of our well-being first to able to look after our baby.
I realized that it was mostly self-care that helped me out of the baby-blues after my first childbirth. So when I was having my second baby, I tried to be more organized before my baby arrived, and did more self-care.
The thing is, as a mom you may feel guilty about taking time for yourself. You may even think that it’s kinda selfish to even take a break from your partner and baby to take care of yourself. At least, I did think like that at some point. Until I’ve come to my senses that if I wanted to handle my stress and be happy, then it’s all up to me to do so.
Because if I wanted to be a happy person for my loved ones around me, then I have to make sure I’m a happy person for myself. It’s like giving the candlelight to others’ candles. You can’t do it if there’s no light on your candle, can you?
So self-care is not a selfish thing to do when we do it right. Self-care is a selfless thing to do when it is done sensibly and responsibly. It’s an expression of self-love, and it is not about spoiling yourself for the sake of pleasure. It’s more about re-energizing yourself and pampering yourself so that you can be whole and present for your loved ones.
Self-care ideas for new mums far from home
When we do a mindful prayer, we open ourselves to the great power to help us no matter what situation we are in. God looks after us by sending His dominions through the universe for us. Our prayer is the key to our inner peace that God gives us. So that we can receive the positive signals from the universe that He sent for us.
A short 10-minute meditation every morning is actually good enough rather than nothing. As we try to focus our mind and practice our breathing in our meditation, we can clear any clutter and negativity from our mind, if we do it consistently.
Chill and relax
This one sounds simple and easy, but in reality, it’s hard to do. Because as a new mom, we have a lot of going on in our body physically. Hormonal problems can cause our mental state to become so sensitive that we may explode easily.
As much as it’s difficult to do it, please try to chill and relax. You can copy some of the following of my way to chill 😄.
- Read a book
- Watch Netflix
- Browse the internet
- Play Sudoku
- Have lunch in the garden
- Drink a lovely cup of tea/ coffee
- Listen to music
- Watch the clouds go by
- Listen to the birds’ chirping sound
- Eat sushi
- Enjoy a scrumptious piece of cake
I always feel lifted up whenever I put the effort into dressing up. Instead of wearing a baggy tracksuit with oversize Tshirt, or a tatty shapeless outfit, I like to wear nice clothing. It doesn’t have to be a fancy and glittery party dress, or a pencil skirt with a blazer as if you’re going to office work. It can be just a casual outfit that makes me comfortable but feeling fresh and confident.
I sometimes put a little bit of makeup too
Everybody has their own preference to pamper themselves. So you can choose something that you like.
I always find water is the most calming and relaxing thing. Whether to look at as like beaches, rivers, etc., or to enjoy as like drinking water, and of course to touch as like having a shower or a bath.
So taking a long shower or a bath after a long day or when I feel tired always works wonders. The water seems giving me a rejuvenating boost, physically and mentally.
I sometimes do DIY skincare and manicure/pedicure as I listen to my favourite classical music and having essential oils burner on. So you choose what you fancy and doable for your circumstances.
We all know that our diet plays a big part in our overall health. Physical and mental. And nowadays, the holistic approach to our wellness from combining the right nutrients is also beneficial for balanced emotions and strong mental health.
In the first few weeks post-childbirth, I was so lazy to put the effort into getting my food ready. At times I would just eat whatever easy for me to cook without thinking too much about my food nutrition. But when I pushed myself a bit more in just planning my meal and try to include salad almost every day, I started feeling ‘lighter’. The thing is, I’m a natural vegetables-loving person. So I guess when I deprived myself of vegetables, my body and scream aloud 😊.
House chores = extra physical exercise
Keeping ourselves physically active is numero uno thing to do, isn’t it? But when you have a little baby and you’re physically feeling sore due to childbirth — I had C-section so the first 6 weeks I had to be extra careful with what I could do physically — doing exercise may go to the bottom of your list. But we still have to do it. Although in a different way.
I find that doing house chores such as cleaning, tidying up, hoovering/ vacuum cleaning, washing up, etc. are good ways for me to stay active physically. So I switched my mindset. House chores became my fitness training to get endorphins, the happiness hormones 😉.
Enjoy togetherness with your spouse/ partner
When you just have your little one, things can be tricky between you and your partner/ spouse. Because everything will revolve around your baby for both of you. It’s only natural that either of you thinks of anyone or anything else apart from things that related to your baby. But I can’t stress enough for you to put some efforts into making time for each other. Be it just a watch TV together when you can cuddle each other. Or try to have a peaceful dinner for two when your baby is fast asleep. Talk, relate, connect, touch, hug, kiss. Just keep the fire between the two of you going.
Connect with the outside world
This day and age we don’t really have excuses not to connect with our family and friends who live far away from us. The internet and smartphones make things possible to talk to them and video call them every time you want to.
When I had my first baby 14 years ago, smartphones didn’t exist yet. And Google was still in its infancy, Facebook was just born. So, keeping in touch with my family ad friends back was a real effort. I used to get the phone cards, the one you use by dialling a certain number and connect you to landline number abroad. The annoying thing was when the minutes ran out of the cards, I had to go to the shop to get the cards otherwise I couldn’t ring my mum.
But now, I can ring her any time, any day, and literally free. Because I just use the broadband internet we use at home. No extra spending.
So, even though you may find it difficult to find the right timing, try your best to make time to ring and connect with your loved ones back at home. Perhaps you can do it while you’re feeding your baby. Or, when you’re cooking. Just connect. You’ll feel better and realize that you’re not actually alone.
If you love movies, stand up comedies, or even documentaries, you can set some time aside to watch your favourite movies on Netflix or something. You can do this at the same time you’re spending time with your hubby/ partner as well. Or, you can do it whilst you feel like having a break when your baby naps during the day. It’s ok. Do it.
Just find and do something that can entertain you and make you smile and laugh. You’re entitled to.
Keep up with self-interest
Just because you’re busy looking after your baby, and your new life seems endlessly keeping you occupied, it doesn’t mean you should stop doing something exciting. In fact, you should keep up with your personal interest. Be it a hobby, a study, or work.
It may be extremely challenging for you to do either of them, but there’s nothing wrong with setting a plan to do them. I know many people who pursued a study after they had their first babies. And there are loads of women who started their business while they’re nursing their babies. Especially, online businesswomen. You can start blogging for business or starting some handcrafts for selling like cards, etc.
I explored myself with a few different hobbies after I had my baby. From baking, cake decorating, crocheting, and even sewing. So yeah, explore yourself. Find something that aligns with your passion and see how far you can grow with your new self-interest.
Writing a journal regularly is definitely one of the most recommended habits to build. Because journaling can help you map out your thoughts, concerns, fear, excitement and everything else that fills your mind. It helps you recognize your priorities and point out your weakness and strengths at the same time. So you can appreciate and value yourself better. That you know which ones you need to improve for a better version of you.
Aim to smile and laugh every day
The more we smile and laugh, the easier for us to relax. The hormones that our body produces as a benefit of smiling and laughing are something that we need to feel happier, less stress, and overall mental wellness.
I understand that sometimes life can be overwhelming that we don’t feel like smiling let alone laughing. But you know what, we can always force ourselves to fake smile and fake laugh at the beginning. Try to watch funny memes, comedy movies, stand up comedies program. Anything. You may fake your smile at the beginning, but as time goes by, you’ll enjoy what you see and start laughing naturally. That’s what I do. And please do it regularly. E.v.e.r.y.d.a.y.
Listen to yourself
As a new mum, you’ll try everything you can to be the best mum for your little one. You seek knowledge as much as you can. From reading the books, magazines, blogs, and listening to experienced mums around you such as family and friends.
The problem is too much information sometimes can be confusing that it leads to frustration. At least that’s what I felt when I had my first baby. I tried so hard to read and listen to what others have to say about this new journey of motherhood that I often felt confused and stressed when some things didn’t work out. It’s only after I let myself listen to my own maternal instinct that I felt better.
Things like baby’s sleeping pattern, potty training, feeding and weaning are some examples that frustrated me. Because let’s be honest. Everybody has their own specific circumstances with their own baby’s unique personality. So, some advice may apply to some, but not to others. Just learn as much as you can, and practice what you think best for your situation.
Welcome any help
When you just moved to a new place, you may not know many people in your areas. Chances are your hubby/ partner may be the only one you know and you feel comfortable to ask for help from. If that’s the case, then ask for help. Don’t try to over-deliver. Besides being a mom and a wife/ partner, you’re also a person. A self. And this self needs attention and care too.
So when you see any chance of doing a self-care for you, don’t think twice. Grab the offer. It can be as short as 20 minutes of self-pamper. Or half an hour catching up your favourite novel while you enjoy your cup of coffee with a slice of chocolate cake. Anything. Or, perhaps you need help in doing the chores. Just say it. But don’t stay silent and try to do everything yourself when all you need is a little help. You deserve it.
When we become a mum, we tend to forget everyone and everything else apart from our baby. It’s only natural. But motherhood journey is not always easy. There are challenging patches that all mums have to go through. Especially when you became a mum after moving away.
To avoid feeling burnt-out and constantly exhausted, you have to put effort to care for yourself too. Because you’re as important as your baby, and anybody else in the world. Self-care can help improve your well-being and mental wellness as well. So you can achieve your ultimate goal of being a good mother for your baby because you can be present for your baby in a much better way.
If you enjoyed the post, feel free to share it and pin it. You can read more other articles about things that we can do for our self-care, mum’s challenges, and life happiness too.
- 12 Amazing reasons why you should do walking exercise
- Simple homemade skincare with amazing benefits.
- 71 Self-love quotes: inspiring and uplifting.
- Challenges of new mums far from home are super hard.
- Why do you want to be happy when you should be content?
- How to be happy and what to do when you’re not?
Thank you, and all the best.