Part of becoming a new parent can be blissful and full of joy but it also comes with a laundry list of 1,001 things that can make parenting a challenge. While we can manage a lot of these things, often times we find ourselves worrying about what we can’t do and this causes more stress and exhaustion to an already tiring and brand new experience.
Huffington Post writer, Liz Kozak, made a list of all the things she worried about in one day. She found that in a 24-hour period she had worried or been scared of 49 things just concerning her baby. Here are just a few…
Can you relate to any of Liz’s fears?
- Driving in snow/rain
- Driving on the highway
- Driving at night
- The baby rolling off the couch/changing table
- Tripping while carrying the baby
- Direct sunlight on the baby
- Crossing the street with the stroller
- Texters-and-Drivers/Drunk Drivers
- The baby choking
- Forgetting to lock the doors at night
- Clipping her nails too short
- Second-hand smoke on the street
- Breaking her arm while getting her dressed
- Overheating her during the day/Freezing her at night
- The baby rolling over on her tummy at night and suffocating
- Leaving the gas stove burner on overnight
- Forgetting the baby is in the backseat when you have come home from the grocery store
- Swaddling her too tight and breaking her ribs
- Burping her too hard and displacing her spleen
- Someone breaking in at night
What do you do?
How do you deal with the constant panic that comes along with having a newborn? Liz found three ways that helped to calm her mind and to enjoy her day without having a constant anxiety attack about everything.
Get some sleep.
When the baby sleeps, sleep. Maybe not each and every nap time but focus on catching up on your much needed rest. When our brains are working overtime to feed, clothe, watch baby every minute of the day you will find that panic and anxiety kicking in. “When you don’t sleep, the irrational thoughts start to become amplified and the stress tends to increase.”
Work it out.
Find a physical activity you love. It can be as simple as a walk around the neighborhood or a community yoga class in the park. Whatever it is, get moving. Exercise increases your endorphins reducing the stress hormone in your brain and increases the blood flow and oxygen to your heart and lungs. Happy heart, happy mommy.
Don’t ignore your old self.
As we become new parents, we automatically suck in all the new baby knowledge and our old habits and hobbies can be pushed to the wayside. Because of this we can begin to fixate on the baby (good and bad), causing us to feel we are losing ourselves. As this happens we can focus solely on all the bad things that could happen therefore causing our stress over baby. Find some time to curl up with a book, work on a jigsaw puzzle or go get coffee with a friend. Whatever you do, make sure it’s something you loved before baby came along.
Last but not least… Be flexible.
Remember that babies are unpredictable. They are going to roll and flop. You are imperfect and you may forget a thing or two from time to time. But the best thing to remember as a new parent is to trust your instincts, if you are parenting with a partner rely on one another and if you find yourself unable to calm yourself over certain fears, maybe sit down and make a To-Do list to go over before you leave the house, go to bed, etc… Trust yourself and keep a calm heart. You got this.