Congratulations, you’re a new mum! Whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, the first 2 years of your baby’s life are precious. With all of the responsibilities that come with being a new mum, it is easy to get caught up in all of the things that must get done, and simply being mindful and present in the moment gets pushed to the back burner.
You tell yourself that you’ll slow down a bit “later”, when you’ve finished cooking dinner and folding the washing.
The days spent with little ones can feel long, especially if your baby seems to think that night-time is for playing and eating. But the years have a tendency to speed right by you. Being mindful and present in the moment each day will help you enjoy your time with your baby while reducing your stress level.
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Theresa
Having a new baby comes with having many new tasks to add to your daily routine. Try focusing on being more mindful when completing these tasks and ways that you can make them more enjoyable.
When bathing or changing your baby, try putting on your favorite soothing or relaxing music and light your favourite candle. Think of this time as a way to connect with your baby, examine every perfect little thing about them. Focus solely on the task at hand and you will soon look forward to these tasks as much as your baby does.
Being mindful even when doing chores around the house helps make those chores more pleasant. Don’t multi-task if you can help it. On those days when your baby needs more attention, but you simply must get some household work done, try wearing your baby in a sling or a carrier.
Simplify your house keeping routine during this time. Let non-urgent tasks wait a bit, pop them on a list for later. Complicated, time-consuming recipes can wait as well. Simple to prepare, nourishing meals are best during this time. Take the time to sit down when you can and focus on enjoying a delicious meal.
Don’t feel guilty for holding your baby “too much”. Some days, the only thing you will accomplish is holding your baby and keeping him or her happy. We know that that holding newborn babies, particularly skin-to-skin contact, helps them cry less and sleep better.
These benefits also extend to you. Skin-to-skin contact helps mums reduce stress levels, have lower rates of depression, and better bonding with their babies.
So don’t worry that you are spending too much time just holding your baby. Being in the present moment as you hold your little one brings many benefits for you both.
If the weather cooperates, mindful walks are a great way to realize the benefits of exercising with your baby. Gentle to moderate walking, while letting go of the thoughts swirling in your mind, can help you connect your body and mind.
Whether you wear your baby in a carrier or push them in a pram, they will enjoy the time outdoors just as much as you do. The sights, sounds, and smells are all new to them.
According to the Better Health Channel, walking can help you maintain a healthy weight and increase your overall health. Being mindful while you walk and focusing on your breathing, your body movement, and your natural surroundings works similar to meditation in regulating your mood.
Being mindful leads to a calmer and more relaxed baby and mum. But don’t feel guilty if there are times that being mindful does not come easily to you. As Sharon Salzberg, author of many mindfulness and meditation books, said, “Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.”
For more information on how you can navigate and enjoy this exciting time in your life, contact Mindful Mum. Mindful Mum offers caring and personalised support for new mums with babies from birth to 24 months.