You're Home, Now What?
Author: Jeannie Fleming-Gifford
Welcome home. You probably have been dreaming about this moment since the day you found out you were expecting; the day you would bring your baby home. Perhaps you were flooded with emotions as you left the hospital. You may have been elated and filled with more love than you ever thought possible. You may have felt scared being outside the hospital walls. No longer can you buzz for the assistance of a nurse and have your questions answered easily by the professional medical staff right outside your room. Whatever you’re feeling, rest easy to know that others have felt it too.
As you prepare for your new adventure of motherhood, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Get some sleep. Your newborn probably won’t have a schedule at all. Be prepared to be flexible and "go with the flow." Although you may find it hard to close your eyes and stop staring at this new little star in your life, take heed of the words of wisdom to rest and sleep when you can. Your body has experienced significant change (and will continue to do so as it readjusts from labor and delivery). Additionally, with newfound responsibilities, go easy on yourself and others. When you can, relax.
2. Take family and friends up on their offer for help. You may feel like superwoman, but remember, you are human. Even if you are feeling good, your body has been through a lot and so have you. Rely on your family and friends for a hand. When they ask if there is something they can do, think of the errands that you need to run or of having help so that you can enjoy a hot shower knowing your child is being well taken care of.
3. Take pictures. In a blink of an eye, you will look back on this day and it will have passed. Capture the moments. Think about taking a simple snapshot on each monthly birthday. You will enjoy looking back at those pictures and the amazing growth that happens within the first year.
4. Remember, parenthood and you are not perfect. You may have spent hours preparing the perfect nursery, picked out the perfect outfits and dreamed of the magical moments of parenthood. Will they happen? Absolutely. However, you may also have moments that will feel anything but perfect. Don’t be hard on yourself or anyone else when things don’t meet your expectations. Perhaps the little one isn’t sleeping well or eating well. Don’t take it to heart. Remember, all will pass in time.
5. Get back out there. Yes, you are a mother and you may never be quite the same person you were before this little one came into your life. You may no longer want to run out for that cup of coffee with a friend, to a movie, or shopping for an afternoon. Perhaps you would just like to hang out with your new little love. Yes, that is okay, but remember, being apart for a little time is also okay. Yes, you are a mother, but you are also still you. Enjoy and embrace the various roles in your life.