Once your baby arrives, you will be going through a whirlwind of emotions while you are adjusting to motherhood. Even balancing time between you and your spouse can be challenging. During the first few weeks and months you just need to focus on you and your baby. This time is also a critical time in establishing the feeding relationship with your baby whether it is nursing, pumping, supplementing, or a combination of all three. Fed is best and a mama’s gotta do what a mama’s gotta do!
To make sure you get the proper help you need in the first few months post partum, here are some tips on how to build that support system:
- Divide and conquer with your partner. Nobody said parenting was easy and the best way to tackle this new challenge is with your partner in crime, your teammate, your significant other. Treat this like teamwork. Tell him what you can handle and what you need help with. You just pushed a baby out of your vagina, so he should be very accommodating to help you in whatever way possible. Split up the chores and things will be a lot more manageable. Most importantly, thank him for being such a great team player.
- Ask your family/friends to help when they visit. Coordinate with your mom, sisters, aunts, or mother-in-law so that there aren’t too many overlaps in visitors. Spread the love so you can extend the length of help as much as possible. When friends ask to come over and visit, ask them if they could help with some easy tasks like moving items into the baby room or picking up some toys if needed. If they are good friends, they will understand and be glad to lend a helping hand.
- Speak with your employer on what to expect when you return to work. Before you go on maternity leave, sit down with your employer and discuss your time frame in when you will return. If you need more time, negotiate. After all, the worst they can say is no. You may also need to ask for blocks of time for pumping and a designated place for you to pump in private. Your return to work will be less stressful if these details are taken care of ahead of time.
- Outsource menial tasks. If cleaning becomes too much of a chore while juggling baby, going back to work, and mommy hood in general, hire a service. I’ve also become a huge fan of Amazon Prime where I basically order everything to have delivered to my house. In certain cities, you may even be able to order your groceries for delivery. Sometimes getting the baby changed, diaper bag packed, and baby strapped into the car is too much of a hassle just to pick up some toilet paper. Hiring a service to help you with tasks and getting items delivered to your house can be a lifesaver!
- Join mommy support groups. I highly recommend joining one of the many mommy support groups in your local area or online. There are plenty of Mommy and Me meetups in addition to Facebook support groups ranging from breastfeeding, pumping, organic eating, etc. It’s always nice to see that you are not alone during this journey. Moms understand and can provide motivation, comfort, and understanding through your transitional time into motherhood.
Having a great support system can help your transition into motherhood so much more manageable. After delivery, your body will be going through a slew of emotions so don’t be afraid to ask for help. You won’t be the first mom who asked for help. Nobody is judging you. It’s like the popular saying goes, “It takes a village to raise one child.”