January 5, 2016

3 Things Every New Mom Should Do: A Guest Post

I'm so excited to have Janeen from Loving Littles on the blog today. Aside from providing families with the tools for financial success, Janeen also has a great perspective on parenting and mothering in general; and being a mom of 5, her insight is on point and honest!  Read on to find the 3 things her thoughts on the 3 essentials for every new mom...

Ten years ago my life changed dramatically. Within the span of a few days I had become the happiest, most excited, most exhausted version of my former self. What drastic event occurred to provoke this change? I had a baby. 

If you've welcomed a new baby into the family, congratulations! This is a wonderful and amazing time in a person's life. Amazing, but often also overwhelming. Probably even a bit tiring too. I experienced all of those emotions and more as a new mom. Now that I've had the joy of experiencing this wonderful miracle time five times over, I’ve learned a few small changes that can make a huge difference in your health and attitude for those first few weeks.

1. Stop Cooking and Cleaning

The world will keep on spinning even if you're not keeping the house in perfect shape or presenting four course meals to your family. During times like these, it's important to give yourself a break. Let your husband or family member help cook. If someone asks for help, give yourself permission to be honest and exclaim,  “Sure, there's the vacuum!” 

One of my favorite meals during difficult seasons in life is to simply put a large portion of meat in the crockpot along with your favorite herbs or spices. Let your slow cooker do the work for you. Your spouse can heat some frozen veggies for dinner. This meat and veggies, along with a slice of buttered bread, and your nutritious meal is ready. If you're wise and double, triple, or even quadruple the batch, you'll be able to eat off this meal for the whole week. 

2. Help Your Baby Understand the Difference Between Day & Night 

This is one of the single most important things that the parent of a newborn can do. Newborns aren't very moldable for sleep training. Trying to get a new baby on a consistent napping schedule? You’ll have more luck catching a greased pig. The one thing that you can do is to help them understand that darkness indicates a time for sleep and that daylight or bright lights communicate daytime. 

Parents can easily accomplish this task by not purposefully darkening the room during the day, and by keeping lights off or dim at night. Does following this guideline mean that your baby will instantly fall sleep soon as you turn the light off at night? No, of course not! But this will set your baby's biological clock and be a huge help for them as they learn to understand sleep times versus awake times.

3. Go to Bed Early 

I didn't realize the wisdom of this smart tip until I had my fourth child. Going to bed early makes a huge difference in my attitude. Even though it's incredibly boring, getting into bed nice and early means that you can get a cumulative good nights rest. Even though parenting a newborn means waking up several times throughout the night to feed your sweet baby, going to bed early allows for plenty of total rest. I discovered that I needed to be in bed at 9 PM in order to get enough sleep before my kids woke at 8 AM the next morning. This extra measure of sleep made a huge difference in my attitude, and is one of the best habits that I can recommend for new moms.

Becoming a new mom is an amazing, rewarding, wonderful, and tiring experience. Do yourself a favor and don't try to be superwoman. You'll enjoy your time more and be able to focus on what’s most important, your family and new bundle of joy.

Bio: Janeen is a joyfully homeschooling mom to five rambunctious children. She enjoys snuggling on the couch with her little loves while getting lost in a good book (preferably an adventure). Discover rest, as well as more useful mom and baby tips, inside the pages of Help Baby Sleep: TheExhausted Parent’s Guide to the Restful First Year

Follow along with Janeen's adventures in combining personal finance with parenthood at Loving Littles. You can also reach her on Facebook  or on Twitter.  
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