We all know that looking after ourselves is really important – especially when you are also looking after children. However, we can also agree that this is incredibly difficult to do when you’ve just had a baby.
We asked our Villagers how they fit in tiny bits of self-care when they were looking after their newborns. Here’s what they had to say.
Self-care isn’t about grand gestures
“I think seeing self-care’ as tiny moments each day can help. It doesn’t have to be big grand gestures such as going to get your hair done or going out with friends but it can be having a slice of your favourite cake with a coffee, buying yourself the latest best settler to read during those early days mammoth feeds, or getting into a new box set on Netflix. Treating yourself to a moment of happiness every day can be a great way to care for yourself.”
“Small and often if possible! Mine was a guilty pleasure watching First Dates Hotel during lengthy afternoon feeds! And making sure there was always some chocolate in the house!”
“My self-care in the early days was eating yummy snacks in the middle of the night while feeding and catching up on trash tv – i.e. Love Island!”
“Around 5/6 weeks I managed to get my hair cut! Husband wore baby in a stretchy wrap sling – they walked with me to the (very local) salon then he pottered around the village shops with her until she woke wanting milk….which was conveniently just as the hairdryer was turned off!”
“Hairdryer and the bouncer each morning while I have a shower!”
Lower your expectations
“For me 2nd time around, the very early days were very much about ‘take me as you find me‘. If people came to me I didn’t make anyone a cuppa but they were welcome to help themselves. My challenge every day was to get my big son to school and collect him and make sure I ate! Anything else was a bonus. In setting my bar pretty low I felt good about anything else I managed.”
“Trying to get out of the house once a day. Not immediately but once my husband had gone back to work and I had an almost three-year-old and a newborn I had to get us all out to blow the cobwebs out. The day was so much easier if I could.”
“I fully utilised my smartphone during all of those hours of breastfeeding. I found online parenting groups and social media. They were my lifeline to the outside world when I couldn’t physically leave the house!”
“When my eldest was a baby I quite liked watching lectures on interesting topics on the internet. It helped avoid the feeling that my brain was atrophying.”
“Audiobooks and fresh air. I’d have my baby in a sling, put earphones in and walk for hours getting my fix of fiction! And lots of cake.”
“Not feeling guilty at taking 10 minutes for yourself when someone else (hubby in my case) has the baby and she starts fussing. Took me weeks to not feel like I was subjecting him to a screamy kid and that she needed me and having a shower/bath wasn’t as important.”
“I think if you can, it’s important to have at least one break a week from the children. I like leaving the children with my husband and going to a yoga class or religious service by myself.”