Don’t Sweat (the Small Stuff)

‘Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow’ -Swedish Proverb

If you’re pregnant, a first time mom, or breastfeeding, chances are…

YOU’RE SWEATING.

But let’s be frank here:  if the simple act of existing is making you perspire these days, why would you accept the mental swelters on top of it?  Being a mom is hard work.  But it doesn’t have to break you down.  We are all in this together.

For the past two months, I’ve gone through my share of crazed emotions.  Happy one second, crying the next, all while holding a tiny miracle in my arms.  I often wondered how I had gotten here, why I deserved to be a mom, and if I could possibly make it through another day without some kind of disaster ruining my otherwise perfect world.

The small stuff became the big stuff.  Things like making sure my baby was getting enough to eat(even when her diapers and the weight on the scale proved she was), having to go back to a job I don’t enjoy(even though it meant I would be able to better provide for my child), not having time to clean my apartment and make dinner each day(even though my time had been spent nurturing and getting to know my Ava).

But recently, I’ve(kinda)gotten the hang of this mommy thing.  The days aren’t as long anymore.  I’m still afraid, but no longer terrified of my new job title.  Sometimes the blues threaten to take over again, but my weapons are always waiting in the wings.

If you can’t seem to escape the small stuff, give the following a try:

1.  LEAVE YOUR HOUSE.  I cannot stress this enough, and it is why I make it the first priority.  Sometimes just leaving the space in which you are regularly confined can turn your entire mood around.  If the weather permits, go for a walk with the baby.  Even if you only make it around the block, that ten minutes of fresh air and Vitamin D can work wonders for your mind.  Drive to Starbucks and take a few moments to reconnect with the land of the living(and caffeinate, of course!).  Chances are, the hum of chatter will lull your baby to sleep and you can enjoy some Me time.

2.  MAKE A LIST.  Include the things you need to do, as well as some goals you wish to meet(don’t forget to write ‘deodorant’ for your first To Do.  You’re sweating.)  DO NOT push yourself or expect to check everything off that list in one day. Or one week.  Sometimes just writing things down will help clear your head when your thoughts have turned to mush.

3.  DAYDREAM.  I’m the first to admit that when baby sleeps, I work.  But I also take the time to sit back and imagine the future. In my opinion, there is nothing more motivating than picturing everything you’ve ever wanted attained.  Thinking positive will bring positive results.

4.  SLEEP.  Good lord, please sleep.  It is one of your strongest weapons against those mind games.  If you’re up with baby several times at night, make sleeping when she naps a priority.  Everything else can wait.  No one is going to die if you don’t scrub your gross toilet.

5.  TALK TO A FRIEND.  Never forget, you are not alone.  Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone, send a text, or type a novel of an email.  People care about you.  There is always someone to talk to.  And accept the help they offer…they won’t offer if they don’t mean it.

6.  CALL YOUR MOM.  She’s been there before, and let’s just be honest here…she’s Mom.  And moms know how to make everything better.

And when Baby Daddy comes home, or you finally accept that help from someone who loves you, take a soothing bubble bath, have a glass of wine, and eat a gigantic bowl of ice cream.  You deserve it, dammit.

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One thought on “Don’t Sweat (the Small Stuff)

  1. I’m a list-maker, but some days when being a mom was all new, I got discouraged that I never accomplished much on my daily to-do list. My husband would come home and kindly ask, “How was your day? What did you do?” When the house is a mess and no dinner is ready, those innocent questions can be pretty frustrating. So, I started keeping a list of what I did do — how many diapers I changed, how many loads of laundry I washed, how many times I had to change the baby’s clothes, and so on. I still wrote to-do lists, but those “what I did lists” helped me realize I had accomplished a lot.

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