As a new mom, your top priority is taking the very best care of your baby. Even when you’re exhausted, overwhelmed, and doubting your abilities, your desire to give your child everything he or she needs is strong.
Amidst the chaos of having an infant, this drive can become intense and may even begin to feel burdensome. This is especially true when you’re struggling to adjust to the demands of motherhood or feeling insecure about your maternal instincts. Add a hefty dose of self-judgment to the mix and it’s easy to start sliding down the slippery slope of guilt with nothing to catch you as you fall.
Well, here’s something strong and solid for you to reach for and hold onto: The very best way for you to take care of your baby is to take care of yourself.
Self-care is the most important—and least promoted—tool in your mommy toolbox. Using it frequently and unapologetically will set you and your child up for success.
So, how can you make this happen?
- Give yourself permission to take at least 15-minutes a day plus one hour a week of “me-time.”
- Ask for support.
- Accept help when it’s offered.
And, most important, remember that getting your needs met allows you to be the best possible mom to your little one. It’s not selfish, indulgent, or neglectful—it’s non-negotiable and the more you practice the better you’ll get!
Dr. Stephanie O’Leary
Dr. O’Leary is a Clinical Psychologist, Author, Mom of Two, and Parenting Expert! Dr. O’Leary offers coaching sessions for families seeking more individualized guidance. These sessions help identify and achieve specific goals while taking into consideration the unique issues that impact your family. Sessions are conduced via phone or video-chat.