This post is sponsored by FAGE; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Back in February I asked for blog topic requests on Instagram. I received many requests to write about topics like “managing taking care of Finn, working and working out,” and “self-care as a mom,” and “navigating single motherhood” to name a few.
With Finn’s first birthday fast approaching, it’s crazy to reflect just how much my life has changed in a year, but I also wouldn’t change it for the world. LONG gone are the days where my time and schedule were my own. Having a baby has forced me to change so much about how I approach everything from family to friendships to working out to food to my career to what a “productive” day looks like…but they have honestly been wonderful lessons for me to learn.
But I won’t romanticize it all because as is popular to say these days…”that ish is hard.” I am here to validate that there is nothing easy about the transition into motherhood or taking care of a baby and if you can make it through the first year with your sanity and the ability to laugh as much as you cry, you’re doing great.
In the spirit of that, here are five ways that I have stayed sane as a new mom!
ACCEPT THAT I CANNOT DO IT ALL AND BELIEVE THAT NO ONE EXPECTS ME TO
My view of what constitutes as a productive day sure looks different than it did a couple of years ago. Sometimes (most of the time) it can feel like a monumental challenge to find the time to answer emails, fold laundry or run errands. Babies are time intensive little things and often require your 100% full attention, whether they are newborn and spending hours on end feeding or nine months old and playing and exploring. I am rarely able to crack open my computer if Finn is awake.
Oh and then there are the days that you think you are going to get things done during nap times but naps are skipped or a struggle. Or you have to put off running errands or reschedule an appointment multiplies times because of nap schedules. These are things that I truly never understood until becoming a mom.
I have had to adjust my expectations of what is possible in a day to give myself a whole lot of grace. As I have done so, I have been amazed by how loved and supported that I felt by others when I do wave the white flag of not being able to do it all.
RELAX MY APPROACH TO FOOD, EATING AND MEAL PLANNING…FOR ME AND BABY!
I have blogged a lot over the last year about how much eating and cooking have changed for me since becoming a mom. I have really relaxed my approach on all things food and it’s been a huge tool in helping me stay sane. I find it hard to find the time to meal plan, prep and cook the way that I used to so I have eased my expectations around it.
In Finn’s first year I turned much more to what was easy and what I felt like eating. I find it extremely helpful to keep my fridge stocked with staples that I know, love and trust. These are my go-to, feel good, easy foods like ready-to-go veggies, eggs, fresh fruit, cooked proteins, cheese and Greek yogurt. I can always whip up a meal or a snack if I have these things on hand with little to no thought.
They are a lifesaver for everything from a base for an easy breakfast bowl to a delicious snack. The FAGE Total Split Cups are a great way to enjoy plain Greek yogurt with a little added flavor and variety…but not a ton of added sugar.
The split cups are available in 0%, 2% and 5%. In the 2% Blueberry Split Cup there are 130 calories, 11 grams of sugar and 12 grams of protein.
I eat them plain or loaded up with my favorite toppings like granola, fruit and nut butter.
Another thing that has majorly saved my sanity in Finn’s first year is feeding him what I eat. The decision to take a baby led weaning approach to feeding Finn has really streamlined mealtimes. 9 times out of 10, Finn gets some variation of what I am eating without me having to cook a different meal or go out and purchase baby food. Win for mom…and for baby!
One final thing that’s saved my sanity is embracing that my food will never be my own again…I’m not a good sharer but I’m really having to work on that…haha. 🙂
ASK FOR HELP (LIKE ACTUALLY, REALLY DO IT) + ACCEPTING HELP
I couldn’t have made it through this first year without help. Accepting it can be hard but man am I ever grateful for it. From my best friend driving me to an appointment with the lactation consultant when Finn was just 6 days old to asking a friend to watch Finn at the last-minute so I could teach a class to hiring help…help has been a necessity.
You also have to believe that people WANT to help you, especially those who have walked the journey of new motherhood. Just last week I was in a bind and reached out to a friend for help…feeling somewhat guilty for doing so. Her first response to me was, “I’m so glad that you reached out and asked.”
I’ve also learned to ACCEPT help. My M.O. is definitely, “it’s okay, I’ve got it” or “I’m fine” but I have learned a whole new level of humility when it comes to accepting offers for help from others…the associate at the pet food store who always offers to carry out the 30-lb bag of dog food because I’m carrying Finn, the countless kind strangers who have helped in so many ways while traveling with Finn, the person who offered to walk me to my car with an umbrella when I got caught in the rain with Finn.
I always feel that initial resistance bubble up to offers of help and then the moment I say “yes, actually that would be amazing,” it’s the biggest wave of relief.
MAKE TIME FOR ME
This might be harder than asking for help. What is it about becoming a mom that makes it so freaking hard to remember that it’s NECESSARY, NORMAL and HEALTHY to make time for self-care and nurturing who you were before you were someone’s mommy. <3
There can be so much guilt associated with this one but it’s not healthy guilt. I am working hard on this because I know that when I make time for me that I show up better for Finn.
I remember telling my dad early on that I felt so guilty for going to yoga when I didn’t have Finn because I could be using that time to get work done but he pointed out that the yoga was absolutely the best and most important thing for me.
CONNECT + LEAN ON FAMILY & FRIENDS
My relationships with family and friends have deepened so much since becoming a mom. Seeing my family and friends on a regular basis has 100% been the most important thing when it comes to staying sane as a mom to a baby. In addition to appreciating their company, love and support, it’s also been extremely rewarding to share Finn with people that I care deeply about.
Another thing that has helped me to stay sane when it comes to relationships is cultivating friendships with other new moms. I am so lucky to know a LOT of awesome ladies who have also had babies in the last year so I have been making an effort to make plans with them. I can’t tell you how normal it makes you feel to spend time with someone who is in the thick of it just like you are.
These are just a few ways that I navigate the challenges of being a new mom. The thing that I’ve heard from others more than anything is “soak it up because it goes so fast” or “blink and they’ll be teenagers.” So an overwhelming acceptance that this phase of life is really hard but also short and so sweet has been a great space for me to be in.
How do you manage the pressure to “do it all?”
What makes meals, food and eating easier for you with a baby?
How do you do with asking for and accepting help?
What’s your favorite way to make time for yourself as a mom?
Have your relationships with friends and family changed since having a baby?