lunes, 22 de octubre de 2012

Lesson 2: Don't stop being yourself

Although having a child is the most beautiful thing in the world (sounds like a cliche, but it is true), sometime it can be too overwhelming, tiring or even absorbent. Most books about babies will recommend you to try to keep calm (we will talk about this on another lesson), but my recommendation will be to be yourself.

This is not as easy as it sounds, having a newborn is like a vortex, you end up being as dependent of the baby as she is of you. If you don't ask for help or for some time for yourself, you will probably end up feeling bad and not knowing the reason, and this is the start of some PND.

Two weeks after the baby was born, it felt pretty difficult to leave the house, my family had already gone back home, my husband was back to work and I had to face all the feeds, nappies and sleeping routines by myself. That made the simple job of getting ready both of us and going for a walk as as tremendous effort.
Let's get out of here!!!

Fortunately for me, I had met during my ante-natal classes a group of mums with babies born very closely and my GP has a "First Time Mums" group that the midwives really encourage you to attend, I felt really good after each meeting and soon it became a "must" every Monday and Friday to see this lovely people and share my feeling and adventures. Furthermore, the baby was sleeping or feeding better after each meeting, and that was mainly because I was feeling better.
I was getting ideas of what to do and lots of great advice from all the mummies. We were sharing tips, recommendations for baby stuff, new family issues (grandparents, parents-in-law, husbands...), recipes and most importantly a great friendship that still lasts!

My week soon had a routine that went more or less like this:
  • Monday morning: First time mums group
  • Tuesday morning: Caterpillar music for babies & Post-natal exercise classes for mums (allowing babies inside)
  • Wednesdays: Relaxing at home
  • Thursdays: City centre shopping and lunch with colleagues
  • Fridays: Brunch at the family friendly pub with some of the mums.
This kept going for almost 7 months and then it was time to go back to work. It looks pretty busy, but believe me I still had the afternoons for long naps, and still had time for preparing dinner, doing the housework and having normal conversations with my husband or friends. I think the key was to keep the TV off during the day!!
Not us, but close enough ;)

By the 6th month, my first time mums group was closed to most of us, and I felt again that pain for leaving my home and being something else apart from a mum. My husband and I soon realized of what was the problem and we started planning for my return to work.
Nowadays, I still meet most of the mums for walks, swimming plans or simply dinner or coffee during the weekends or Mondays off.

So, this is my second lesson: Don't stop being yourself. Get out of home, do things that you liked before having the baby, meet new people and talk about everything. And always remember that you are something else apart of being a mum.

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