Man listen. Whoever said this pregnancy & new mommy journey was nothing but joy, roses & popsicles was LYING. It's 10pm on a post-holiday Monday night and I am literally paralyzed with anxiety because my 3 year old is back to school tomorrow, I have 10 weeks to prepare for my newborn, and for the life of me I can't remember where I put that chocolate bar I wanted to eat before bed! It's a HARD life for those of us riddled with mommy overwhelm.
So, to be honest, I'm writing this post for me. Writing has always been my therapy, and coming up with solutions to help other women feel better about their lives in turn helps me feel better about mine. That's how I got my start over at LoveBrownSugar
and it's the same love and passion I bring to my words and thoughts here at BBS. Anyway, enough about me. Here are three ways to alleviate some of the new mommy stress you might be experiencing if you are either pregnant or a new mommy and overwhelmed:
1. Make A List (Check It Twice)
If you're anything like me, you probably have a million to-do's swirling over your head at any given time. Just when I think I've thought of absolutely everything, something else magically comes up. The easiest way for you to relieve some of your anxiety and stress is to get everything written down and prioritized. The prioritization part is the most important. It's fine to do a total brain dump on paper, or on your "Notes" app or even on a more tech-savvy app like Teux Deux (one of my personal faves), but you have to follow it up by putting your to-do's in order of importance and urgency.
I do this as SOON as I begin to feel overwhelmed and it puts me at ease. I can assess what needs to be done immediately, what I can delegate to someone else, and what is simply not important to stress about right now. Right now I have lists for my "Hospital Bag Checklist", "Baby Must-Haves", and even "Online Orders To Place" for all the gift cards I need to use from my baby shower. It's not a game - I'm the queen of lists and it helps me SO much.
2. Create A (Flexible) Schedule
The next step, after assessing what all needs to be done, is figuring out how in the hell you're going to get it all done. This is where scheduling comes in. Having a detailed schedule, but one that is flexible enough to change based on your "pregnancy nap" schedule, your low-energy hours or ( if you're a new mommy) your baby's sleep schedule, is really key in making the transition. Once you have an idea of how your day should flow, you can squeeze in time for to-do's where you can, schedule in time for rest, and it will put your mind at ease knowing that everything will get done in it's time. You should be enjoying this time, so do everything you can to take the edge off.
3. Recruit Your "Mommy Squad"
This is super cliche but it's a good one because it's true - it takes a village. Once you start making your to-do list and your schedule and you see that things don't quite add up, you don't have enough hands, enough time, enough strength - you HAVE to ask for help.
You need a "Mommy Squad". These are your go-to dependents for everything you simply can't handle alone whether it's daily, weekly or monthly.
Your partner should help daily. Or if you live with a parent, they should be able to help daily as well. Your weekly help may be extended family in the area, close friends, fellow moms or hired nanny service/babysitters. Your monthly help may be a cleaning lady who comes once a month to help with chores. Whatever support you need to lessen your workload, start recruiting and do so unapologetically. You deserve to have a break and you NEED help. So take off your Superwoman cape and allow your squad to fill in those gaps.
I already feel better - phew! I hope this post helped one of you who might be feeling stressed or anxious about these new responsibilities as a mommy. Leave a comment below and let me know what YOUR tips are for beating mommy overwhelm.