Mindfulness + Motherhood: A Guide for New Moms Everywhere
There’s no doubt about it - being a new mom can be tough. Not only are you learning how to take care of a new little human, but you’re most likely doing it with very little sleep, while healing from the birth process, and while still juggling other pre-parent responsibilities.
So with all the emotional highs and lows that come with being a new parent - how can you stay grounded and present with your little one? The answer: mindfulness.
Why Mindfulness is Important
Having a growing family means more responsibility and, for many parents, less “me” time. When this big shift in lifestyle occurs, it’s easy to go on autopilot and throw mindfulness out the window. But here’s the thing...mindfulness is the magic key that keeps us present with our kids, allows us to tap into joy during times of stress, and keeps us in tune with our bodies. What’s more, and this is the best part for new moms, staying mindful doesn’t take a ton of time!
While it may seem like practicing mindfulness as a new mom is like to trying to fit another pair of jeans into an already overstuffed suitcase (because who needs another to-do right now?), the reality is, there are plenty of mindfulness exercises that take very little time and are still incredibly effective.
If you’re a new parent and are looking for quick + simple mindfulness techniques to incorporate into your life, keep reading for four of my favorite exercises that are sure to spark joy and cultivate consciousness during this busy time.
Four Fast, Easy Mindfulness Techniques for New Moms
When your baby is having a meltdown, none of the usual suspects are at play (diaper, hunger, etc.), and nothing you do seems to soothe your little one, it can be easy for frustration to creep in. The thing is, as I’m sure you know, frustration doesn’t help you or your baby in this situation.
This is the perfect time to practice gratitude. This takes just a few seconds and all that’s required is asking yourself, “What am I grateful for?” Your answer doesn’t need to be big, although it can be! Maybe it’s some flowers outside your window or the tea your partner made for you that morning. Although this may not change the immediate situation (the meltdown may still be in full swing) practicing gratitude can shift your mindset and affect how you handle the situation.
Take the Next Right Action
In the early days of motherhood, it’s completely normal and understandable to feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of this new role. But - thankfully - there is a great mindfulness technique to use when new-mama-overwhelm starts to get the best of you. When you haven’t slept in three days and can’t imagine getting up to change another dirty diaper or do another feeding, just take what I like to call “the next right action.”
When you take the next right action, you’re only focusing on the task directly in front of you. No need to stress about when the baby’s going to wake up again or if they’ll be fussy on your next trip to the grocery store. Having this sense of presence in what you’re doing helps keep you grounded, calm, and motivated.
I’m sure you’ve heard it from friends or family members who are parents: kids grow up fast. I can’t tell you how many friends have said, “Didn’t I just have a newborn?” And I get it! With all the new responsibilities that come with a baby, it’s no wonder time starts to feel like a blur.
So what can help you enjoy these special moments as a new mom? Self-reflection. With self-reflection, you’re able to appreciate what’s going well in your life and recognize anything you’d like to work on. This doesn’t need to take an hour. You can self-reflect in a journal for five minutes after your baby’s gone to bed or maybe fit in a fifteen-minute session once a week. There are no rules here - it’s all about making it work for you.
P.S. Want to try self-reflection but don’t know where/how to start? Check out Vertellis Chapters. This unique journal takes the guess-work out of the self-reflection process, which is perfect for new moms who don’t need one more thing to figure out!
Tune Into What You Need
I think the biggest myth new moms are fed is that their needs no longer matter. You know that phrase “You can’t pour from an empty cup”? Well, I think that definitely applies to new mothers.
Although some of your needs as a mom may shift (remember when you thought you couldn’t function without eight hours of sleep every night?), you still have needs and they do matter. The trick here is figuring out what your needs as a new mom are. To do this - take a moment and tune in with your body. Do you need anything right now? If so, can you meet that need by yourself? If you can’t, can you ask a friend, family member, or your partner to help you? Never be afraid to ask for help. :)
Any Tips for New Moms Out There?
Do you have a favorite mindfulness technique? If so, leave a comment below! Community is a huge part of parenthood, so let’s give each other a helping hand.
Tessa is a US-based Vertellis team members with a penchant for writing. When she’s not typing away on her laptop, you’ll usually find her studying Shakespeare or spending time in nature. Three things she cannot live without: good food, good coffee, and good conversation.