As a new mother, a lot of people asked me how I am coped with the demands of an infant’s round the clock schedule. And almost all of them gasped when I told them I am going back to home and will be there with JUST my husband with no support from my mom from there on. I think we Indians get a lot of help from our parents we sometimes forget to account for.
I had the help of my mom and dad for the first four months of being a mother. It meant everything was taken care of apart from taking care of the baby’s essentials.
In the initial 15-20 days, it was my parents, my mother in law, my husband and my brother who were around my 24/7. If you ask me, those were the most difficult days.
The first 2 months are usually the most overwhelming. After that things start falling back in place. You need to plan your post baby environment to make up for the requirements at every stage.
Preparing for Coming Home With the Baby
If you had a surgery, chances are that the first 20 days sitting will also be a task. So would be sleeping, holding your baby, caring for her and yourself. This is definitely the time to garner all the help you can. If you already know you will have a cesarean section, plan ahead. Ask a friend or relative to come over. Hire help if possible. Keep the kitchen ready with ready to eat and frozen meals. Ask your partner to do laundry and other things.
There could be an emotional mess that your might find yourself in. The moment you are back from the hospital, there is a barrage of emotions you go through, and you have no idea why! Mostly it is the hormone levels receding in your body causing all this chaos. It is like a withdrawal symptom. But it makes things all the more difficult coupled with a new baby. Knowing this fact is the first step to deal with it. Make your partner aware of it as well. Mood swings are better dealt with this way. It will most likely be temporary. If it continues, then go see a doctor.
Handling Sleep Deprivation
No explanation required. This is a game changer. The ability to sleep when you willed will seem like a luxury you always took for granted. There will be people telling you that you will never ever be able to sleep normal again! Do not listen to them. Life will turn a blur. Days will dissolve into nights and you will not know the difference sometimes. You will stay up like a zombie at nights and want to sleep like a log during days. But you will see the difference after 2-3 months. It will keep getting easier. Let your partner fill in when you sleep anytime during the day or night. Be easy on each other. It will be helpful if a friend or relative can pitch in sometime.
If you are a first time mom, you will not know how to handle a lot of things and hence you will require an experienced person or an expert around you. Taking classes before the baby is born, reading parenting articles and stocking up on baby essentials is a good idea to implement before the baby is there. After this also, it will be a completely new ball game caring for a new life. But you will learn. Once you are past the first 2 weeks, you start getting a hang of things and soon you will start enjoying the perks of a new mommy.
Asking for Help
However, you still have a lot of work at hand! If you are managing the baby by yourself (no relative apart from husband) then a hired help will be a relief. I am lucky enough I have someone to come and clean the house and do the dishes and a cook to take care of dinner. This alone makes it a whole lot saner for me.