The biggest mistake I made as a new mum
Updated: Jan 20
As I reflect on my journey of becoming a mum, there are many things I’d have done differently especially in the first 6 months. Just as exciting as it was to welcome a new baby into our home, it was the most exhausting and challenging time of my entire life. I don’t want you to make the same mistake I made, beautiful mumma, so I’m writing this for you to share my experience.
One of the biggest mistakes I made as a new mum is that I didn’t make self-care my priority. As women, I think many of us tend to put ourselves at the bottom of our list. We are natural givers and we are constantly caring for others. With the arrival of our newborn baby, this quality within us gets even stronger. But when we’re like this 24/7 without a break to nurture and nourish ourselves especially when our basic needs are not met, we get depleted very quickly.
I underestimated the impact of sleep deprivation and extended hours of sitting on my wellbeing. I wish I did something sooner to change the situation, but the truth is, because of the lack of sleep, I couldn’t function properly. I had no energy and I just couldn’t think straight. I felt like I was on an airplane for the first couple of months completely jetlagged. My body clock was so messed up and I almost got mumsomina. I was just trying to “survive” the day and my body was screaming for help.
Not having 8-hour quality sleep I used to have, not having a minute to go to the bathroom let alone have shower and dry my long hair. I felt like I had NO time for myself anymore. I soon realised nothing good can come out of the state of deprivation. I was moody and resentful of not having my basic needs met. I had to do something to end this state. So I started asking hubby to help me more. To take the baby out so I can catch up on sleep, do yoga etc. I only started feeling a bit more normal after my sleep quality improved and I started doing little things everyday to make myself happy including yoga & meditation.
So beautiful mumma, make a commitment to take a good care of yourself today and every day because you’re the only person who can take care of you. Ask for help so someone can watch your baby while you get much needed rest and time to nurture and nourish you. Focus on doing things that make you happy no matter how small they may feel. Get out of the house, go for a nature walk and soak up some Vitamin D. Roll out a mat, stretch out and meditate. Nap when your baby sleeps and if you have trouble napping during the day, pop your eye pillow on and just do savasana or yoga nidra. Staying active is just as important as giving yourself rest especially if you had an active lifestyle before. It’s really important to move our body when you’re not nursing or breastfeeding your baby as our body isn’t designed to sit all day all night.
When we board an airplane, we’re instructed to put our own oxygen mask first before helping others. When we don’t help ourselves, we cannot be helpful to anyone. When we have a newborn baby, all our attention goes to her and we completely forget to take care of ourselves. But the thing is that we cannot pour from an empty cup. We need to fill our cup first. Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s an essential piece of a puzzle to find the happiest and healthiest version of yourself.
I found that doing little things everyday had more lasting impact on my wellbeing rather than waiting for 5 months to take a weekend away alone. (Go listen to my TENT talk that I gave at Sydney Vegan Festival if you wanted to hear more about this. It’s available on my Facebook page) Little bit of home yoga & meditation became my daily self-care ritual as a mum. To me, it was one of the most loving things I could do to myself when my baby napped. Tapping into a little bit of silence and stretching out my body in different ways through yoga & mindfulness helped me feel I was myself again.
So, beautiful mumma, make sure to find at least 10 minutes every day to do something that makes your soul sing. Hopefully you can make even more time on weekends when you’re likely to receive more help. I know you have lots on your to-do list but nothing is more important than your health & wellbeing. Dishes can wait. Cleaning and laundry can wait. Take responsibility of your own health & wellbeing. There's a lot of power in what we do everyday. Take care of yourself every single day! You deserve as much love and attention as your precious little baby.
Online yoga with me
I'm super excited to share my new offering with you because I believe this would help so many of you! I created an online mini course for busy mums, called The Self-care Toolbox for Mindful Mums. This allows you to stretch out from the comfort of your own home whenever you like, whenever your baby naps! It includes 8 short videos of 5-15 minutes so you can mix and match different videos depending on how much time you have and how you're feeling on any given day. Visit the link below for full details. The door closes at 5pm on Tuesday 21 January 2020 so don't miss out!
Come and join my face to face classes
If you’re on the Northern Beaches NSW, I invite you to come join our child-friendly classes. Visit the link below to find out more details soon. Classes will commence in February 2020.
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If you enjoyed this post, you’d probably enjoy some of my earlier posts too.
How to reduce stress: 6 tips for new mums
7 self-care ideas for mindful mums
5 yoga hacks for new mums who have no time
Chika is the founder of Wa Yoga (Wa is a Japanese word meaning harmony). She is a Yoga Australia registered teacher, student of yoga for over 10 years, mum to a toddler, self-care advocate and ocean lover. She specialises in offering small group & private classes for mums, kids & family. She has a gentle approach to teaching yoga and her classes are always infused with mindfulness, reminding people to slow down and come back to the present moment. Her mission is to inspire and motivate people to start incorporating yoga & mindfulness into their daily self-care ritual and she has created a number of online resources to support your home practice. She blogs regularly on wayoga.com.au and you can find her valuable tips on yoga, mindfulness & Ayurveda on her website.