I am writing this blog post as I am currently carrying our second baby girl. In fact, my due date was yesterday, so the labor could practically start any minute now while I’m typing this haha! Isn’t this exciting?
The title of this blog post is such a cliché but I have been having these thoughts running around in my head for a couple of weeks actually (maybe even more) and feel in deep need of letting them out. I have come across articles about the important things or facts you should know before having a baby. There are tons on Pinterest when you search for “having a baby” or “second pregnancy”. When I was having our first baby all I did was read the books and articles about everything, from essential baby products to sleep routines, etc etc. Almost two years have passed now since my first pregnancy and I have to admit, some things are definitely forgotten. I’m glad all mom bloggers share their experience and know-how about this topic so we could all learn from each other.
Not all that’s on Internet must be taken as gold though, so I saved and memorized the suggestions I liked, skipped the ones that I didn’t and added my own thoughts on this. And that’s what you should always do because everyone is different and what works for others doesn’t have to work for you.
So, as I have been on this topic for a while now, I decided to write about the 6 simple ways of preparing your mindset and how to become less stressful during your pregnancy and before having a baby. These are my thoughts and again, shouldn’t be taken as gold, but maybe reading this makes you think more about the topic and generates new ideas and thoughts YOU think are helpful. I’m only writing about six as I find these to be the most important ones. For me.
6 Ways to Prepare Your Mindset and Become Less Stressful Before Having a Baby
1. Sleep as much as you possibly can or need
You have probably heard about this a million times by now but let me just say it again. Prepare to sleep with the baby and as much as you feel your body needs. I know, I know, when you are struggling with finding time to do anything not related to kids, you feel like you are wasting precious time by sleeping. At least I totally felt like this before I started listening to my body and its needs. When you have a million things on your to-do list you might think sleeping is the last thing you should do and you feel pressure to check tasks off your list. It might be helpful if you actually add sleeping to your to-do list. You will feel more energized to do the other tasks as well after having proper sleep.
2. Let go of household chores
By this I mean your house doesn’t have to look brilliantly clean. Let go of cleaning after each mess your kids are making. Are they spilling food all over the place again? Is the floor flooded with toys and stuff? Do you have a mountain of laundry to do? That’s all ok, let it go. Don’t feel pressure about getting all these things done at once. Choose the one thing that bothers you the most and only do that. Or don’t, whatever. A messy floor hasn’t killed anyone yet (I hope) and well, the laundry gets done eventually anyway. I know it might sound cliché but try to look at the positive. As soon as I started letting go of stuff I totally felt more calm and released.
3. Less social media and Instagram
One of the many reasons of the stress lies in the comparison. If you spend an hour on Instagram each day scrolling and watching happy moms who seem to have a perfect life, have gorgeous clean houses, dress their kids in cute clothing brands and look well rested and stylish themselves, then no wonder you start looking at yourself as a failed or unsuccessful person or worse, a bad mom or wife.
I could talk and talk about the fakeness of social media and how it has a major influence to our lives if we let it, but instead I suggest reading this book “Kindfident” by S. R. Braun. The author mostly talks about raising kids to be kind and confident but among that writes about the instascam (a word she came up with putting together Instagram and scam). It’s my favorite book about parenting that offers a humorous perspective of parenting and the crazy world we live in.
4. Accept help from family and friends
It’s helpful to talk about the hopes and wishes already during pregnancy. Surround yourself with a support group. Have one person to call to when you have a meltdown. Find someone who is willing to help with grocery shopping from time to time. You can also turn it a fun game by making little coupons, e.g. someone to babysit once a month for three hours so that mom and dad could have a date night, someone to take baby to a walk once a month, so you could shower or sleep. Get creative!
5. You are as important as your baby!
Don’t feel obligated to be a perfect mom, wife, daughter, sister or daughter-in-law. You are not supposed to satisfy other people’s needs. Give yourself more time and don’t act on other’s expectations. Set your needs and desires higher. If you don’t do that you will most probably start to feel trapped in other people’s lives and get used to make a good face like everything is great when it’s actually not. Your close ones may not know what you are going through, so, tell them. If you feel like you lack the power of attending a special event, you need to say it and surely your friends and family will understand, because that’s what loved ones do.
6. Plan time for your own personal needs
This one is closely related to the previous paragraph. Taking time for my own needs is something I didn’t do enough when I had my first baby. I always felt like my needs are not important when in fact they are extremely! Spend more time in nature either alone or with other grown-ups, work out, do yoga or meditation, get together with girlfriends, read books, watch movies, work on your hobbies. If possible, invest time and money in activities outside of your home such as theater, movies, concerts and museums. Go to a spa or have a massage! I still remember the first time I got to go to a spa alone for an evening. These three or four hours I spent there worked like magic!
I now realize these thoughts not only apply to having our second baby, but actually having any baby. I wish I had this blog to collect ideas and to analyze my thoughts already during my first pregnancy. Because reading about is one thing, but writing down notes and thoughts is much more efficient. Maybe we should write down a list of how to maintain sanity and be less stressful and keep it somewhere visible? What do you think? Share your thoughts below in the comments.
PS. I am still not in labor yet. Damn it. I was hoping gathering thoughts about having another baby would stimulate the process, lol.
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