Being a mom is never easy. Just like a roller coaster, there will be ups and downs. Here are 10 tips to help you out when you feel like your coaster is starting to tip downward:
1. Make a schedule. If you are pregnant and find yourself tired 95% of the time, make a non-restraining schedule mapping out what you need to do, when and what you should eat, and when to sleep. If you already have a child, meal prep for the week to save time, put them on a regular schedule. Having your kids on a schedule will teach them responsibility and organization at a young age.
2. Live a little. Being a mom is one of the most important jobs a woman could take on, but it does not define you completely. If there is something you want pursue, make time and do it. Having a child doesn’t mean your life is on permanent hold.
3. Remember to take care of yourself. It is already tiring to take care of a kid 24/7– imagine doing so while sick. If you don’t tend to your personal health, you can harm yourself and your child. You matter!
4. Block out judgement. What someone thinks of you isn’t your business. Outside opinions don’t matter. What’s important is that you are happy and trying your best.
5. Don’t try to be perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect mom. There are always going to be mistakes like putting on a diaper backwards, forgetting to warm the milk, not having a prepared diaper bag, not waiting for the baby to burp after a feeding, and the list goes on. The love you give defines the kind of mother you are.
6. Accept advice. If you are a new mom talk to someone you trust and gather information on how to better raise/care for your baby. Don’t expect to be an expert the day you give birth, you’ll need support. Books and blogs on what to expect are also great ways to expand your knowledge.
7. Budgeting. Creating a budget to get an understanding of your needs and wants is very helpful; especially for the moms that bring home new outfits and toys every time they go shopping. Remember to maintain emergency money in case something pops up. You never want to live the moment where you stare at the last diaper and wonder, “How will I get more?”
8. Know your resources. For most moms, it’s financially and emotionally challenging to get by. There are many resources for mothers such as WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) food and nutrition service and Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center. Lighthouse PRC offers counseling for moms and provides necessities for the baby. The nearest Lighthouse PRC can be found on Ellison Street, Paterson, NJ.
9. Postpartum Depression is common– don’t feel alone. Postpartum depression is a real condition that should not be ignored. If you find yourself anxious, depressed, angry, guilty, hopeless, lacking interest, or find it difficult to bond with your baby, seek counseling to get help. According to Mayo Clinic, there are more than 3 million cases per year. If you are diagnosed with postpartum depression know that you are not alone and it will pass.
10. Cherish every moment. Children grow so fast. Take photos and build a photo album you can use to embarrass them thirteen years later. Enjoy every stage of growth and grow bonds with your kids.
Bonus tip: Blend your life with your academics. After having a sit down with Advisor of Visions, Dr. Christine Redman-Waldeyer, I learned the most valuable lesson. You can use your current issues or situation to your benefit. “If you could choose a topic on your research paper, a speech or presentation, make the topic something that relates to your life,” Dr. Waldeyer advised. For example, if you have a toddler your research paper could be about how to properly discipline toddlers without physically punishing them. If you are pregnant, your speech can be about how to prepare for a baby mentally and physically. There is a wide range of possibilities you can take on. Give yourself credit! I commend all mothers who continue to challenge themselves and remain motivated in their academics.