Being a first-time mom is like joining a reality TV show -- you don’t get to eat, or sleep, or bathe properly; strangers judge your every move; and at times, you feel as if the reward isn’t worth all the effort. Worry not; here are some ways you can cope with the craziness that comes with caring for a baby.
On Mommy-time 1. Limit visitors “When I had my first baby, my husband and I made the mistake of allowing friends and family to visit us at the hospital. I say ‘mistake’ because it was really hard to smile and be pleasant when I was in pain, lacking sleep, and trying to get a colicky baby to latch. I hardly got any rest then. With our second baby, we knew better. Hospital visits were strictly for immediate family only. We asked friends to come visit us at home only after a few weeks, so that my baby and I had time to settle down.” — Jacqueline Tan, writer; mom to David, 5, and Kobe, 3
2. Let it out “Cry if you need to. Admitting you are overwhelmed doesn’t make you any less worthy of being a mom. Getting it out of your system can be therapeutic— much better than keeping it all bottled up inside.” — Abigail Falcon, yoga instructor; mom to Raj, 3
3. Let go—for now “For the first two months at least, let the room be messy, stop watching the clock, and subsist on takeout every few days or so. Your priority is your baby, and the only way you would survive is if you let go of the little things.” — Jill Chan-Sia, educator; mom to Evan, 4, and Elise, 2
On time management 4. Rethink bathtime “When my kids were able to sit up already, I took them in the shower with me and kept them busy in the tub with their toys while I bathed. I also cooked meals in big batches, and kept half in the freezer. So on days when I was too tired to cook, I still had something to serve for dinner.” — Rheea Hermoso-Prudente, freelance writer, mom to Raine, 5, and Breeze, 3
On parenting styles 5. Pick a role model “Find a friend or relative whose parenting style you wish to emulate and let her be your main source of answers to baby-care questions (aside from your pediatrician, of course). If you ask 10 different parents the same question, you’d most likely get as many different answers, leaving you even more confused. For your own peace of mind, limit your scope of inquiry.” — Allesi Fortunato, artist; mom to Giselle, 4