Tiffany, a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern who provides counseling to new moms and busy women, and who is herself a new mom to an 8-month-old baby boy, sent us five tips for modern mamas.
She calls it “How to survive the joy of motherhood”
Create focused play time. Spend time playing with your baby or toddler, letting them lead the play. Give a sports-announcer type commentary of what they’re doing. Play along with them, imitating their actions and giving them lots of praise. (“Look at you sitting up all by yourself!”) You’ll help your little one with their development in language, self-esteem, and attachment.
Make time for yourself. Get a sitter and go to an exercise class or have lunch with a girlfriend. When you make time for yourself, you make yourself a better mom for your baby.
Carve out time for your relationship. Having a baby can put a lot of stress on your relationship. Solution? Date night. Have adult fun with your partner while you both coo over your adorable child. Nurturing your relationship can help provide a strong base for your child. For single moms, whether you’re looking for romance or to spend time with friends ”“ be sure to fit in some fun for you, too.
Trust your instincts. Whether you let your baby “cry it out” or pick them up at the smallest whimper, do what feels right for you. Read books, talk to your pediatrician, and then decide for yourself. Focus on what works well for you and your baby.
Use relaxation techniques. Practice relaxation for your mind and body through: yoga, meditation, massage, deep breathing or a warm bath. You deserve it!
As you know, there will be days (and probably the first few months) where these will be impossible to fit in your schedule. Sleep comes first.
“Don’t forget,” she reminds us, “to get support from family, friends, veteran moms and other rookie moms!”
Tiffany is based in Benicia, CA.