Five simple ways to practice self care as a new career mom

Ama Nunoo Ama Nunoo | Editor November 7, 2019

Photo: HBS working knowledge

Growing up, I saw my mother literally live for us.

As a mom of four girls, she would be the first to wake up and last to sleep. She attended to each one of us and we idolized her growing up.

In fact, she performed all her motherly duties to the teeth and made them seem so effortless.

Fast forward to today, though I do not have kids of my own, I cannot imagine balancing work life as a new mom and doing all the things my mom did for us. Frankly, it would not be possible to even come close to what she did without losing my sanity in the process.

The one thing I can remember is, there were times when she would spend time at the salon or go visit a friend while my aunties would babysit. We would call her a million and one times but she would only return when she was done.

Perhaps that was her way of prioritizing herself. Maybe that was why she was able to do all she did effortlessly.

After a lengthy chat with my mother, she recommended these already well-known self-care tips which I know can go a long way to help me when I have my own kids or any new mom out there.

It is no mean feat trying to find your feet parenting and making ends meet in this fast-paced technology-driven world.

The goal of these tips is to help you prioritize your physical and mental health as a new mom and a badass career woman because truthfully, the whole process can be a bit overwhelming.

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Photo: The Balance careers

Be sure to take a breather

Embrace the changes that come with postpartum recovery because it goes beyond getting your tummy snatched so you can wear your crop top. Postpartum recovery involves finding who you are as an individual, mother, a wife and an employee/employer.

Do the things you used to do for relaxation; the twist it, you might not have as much time as you used to but do them anyway. When on lunch break, go to the coffee shop down the corner rather than sitting behind your desk for a bite.

Also, go to the salon for a quick fix and get a pedicure in the process; it is a great way to take a breather from your new routine. You can also wake up before everyone does in the house for a quick run to clear your thoughts before the day starts.

 

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Photo: Parent Toolkit

Accept help from family and friends

It is good to show your family and friends that you are always up for the task but because they are close to you, they can easily notice when you are running out of gas literally to complete your tasks. So, if you are blessed with people around you who offer to assist you, take it.

When they offer to babysit, let them because trust me, this is not the time to be a super mom. Go on a date with your husband or meet up with your girls for some tea and do not feel guilty about leaving your bundle of joy alone; they are in safe hands. It is a great time to still be in touch with yourself and your friends and a nice way to let your hair down.

 

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Set boundaries

At this point, your mother, mother-in-law and other friends who have older kids would all want to give you advice on how to take care of your newborn. Even some random strangers can offer advice when you visit the mall and you probably need to change the diaper.

Guess what? You are at will to filter all the advice you receive because although most of them come from a place of love, there may be too many schools of thoughts on a thing. This is the best time to set mental boundaries and help keep your self sane. Shift through all that is being said or has been said and do what works for you and your baby. That is a sure way to protect your sanity.

 

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Prioritize sleep

Chronic lack of sleep can make you grumpy and uneasy and this is generally bad for your health. It eases stress, enhances cardiovascular health, boosts the immune system and enhances your memory, and so on.

When you don’t sleep and the stress of juggling motherhood and work-life gets the best of you, the likelihood of it knocking you out completely is high. Your absence then causes more harm than good. The moment your little sleeps, do well to catch some sleep too to rejuvenate your system.

 

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Trust your intuition

It is easy to fret about everything concerning your child, especially for new moms. Trust your intuition and know that you are doing great. Do not be anxious over things you cannot control like your child not taking as much breast milk as they used to. Children change at every stage; just be observant about the little changes and when you notice something out of the ordinary, trust your judgement calls.

Remember there will be days when you think everything is not working out; your colleague might step on your toes at work and your child will not stop crying when you return from work.

At this point, take a deep breath to reset your thoughts and know that you have got this. Call for reinforcement if you must because you need to be mentally and physically fit for yourself and your baby.