Being a mom (or dad) is such a huge transition. Like, you know it is going to be a transition, but I honestly don’t think you realize just how much of a transition it is until you are living it. That is why today I thought it would be fun to share five of the best mom hacks I have learned so far.
Now, I can’t take credit for these myself. They are either something I learned from a friend, saw on Pinterest, or talked to my sisters and mom about, but I feel like they are absolute game changers if you are a new mom. Heck, maybe some OG mommas will even learn something! Regardless, as a new mom all you want is any and all ideas to give you back time, peace of mind, and simplicity. Let’s dive in shall we.
My first tip comes straight from my DMs. One of the biggest questions I get asked is how I get stuff done while also having a baby. Now, we all know I am by no means an expert, but here is what I have learned and can tell you that I do. First off, if you are needing to shower or clean something up or fold a load of laundry (heck, even eat), but your babe won’t nap I have found somewhat of a solution – we can’t guarantee our babe is gunna nap, but for most babies they are almost always super content right after a feed. So, what I do is plan to do these things right after a feed. For example, when I shower, I just put Arabella in her doc-a-tot on my bed or on the floor of the bathroom, shut the door, and go on ahead and shower. She typically lays there cooing and exploring perfectly content while I take my shower without a screaming baby or monitor to worry about. I have found that I typically have about a 15-20 minute window in this situation, which is the perfect amount of time I need to pull myself together, fold and put away a load of laundry, etc. Now, the other tip I have for getting things done is to baby wear. If you don’t know how to baby wear or don’t feel quite comfortable to do so, I feel you. I was nervous at first too, but honestly baby wearing is one of the best hacks and tips I can give you. This is how I grocery shop, vacuum, write during the day, dust, do dishes, etc. Most of the time Arabella will nap too which is a win win. My top recommended baby wearing products – a Solly wrap or a Baby Bjorn. We also have a Lillebaby carrier, but I feel like this type of carrier is better set up for males.
Tip number two is probably not much of a surprise but is 100% essential and that is to have multiple changing stations. This is especially crucial if you have an upstairs and a downstairs, but even if you don’t I recommend having at least two changing stations. This way, if you need to change the baby’s diaper, you don’t have to go all the way to the nursery. Some mommas that breastfeed, like to even make a station in the bedroom which I think is also a great idea if you plan on breastfeeding in bed. I could never get comfortable doing this, so I personally did not, but I think it would be well worth it for sleep purposes if you find that is something you feel good doing.
Tip number three is something I have recently had to learn and get comfortable with and that is to not taking everything you read to heart. Your baby is not a robot and therefore will not fit perfectly into whatever set standards you read in a book, hear from your doctor, watch in a class, or discover via social media. Everything is meant to be a guideline. Don’t get so sucked in that you forget about your motherly instincts because those, my friend, are your best and most important tool. I personally got really stuck on a fact I learned in a baby class. I started stressing about it and obsessing. So much so that I didn’t even realize I wasn’t paying attention to my actual baby. The joy of our day in age is that there is so much information out there. You can google almost anything and find what you need, but that is also a huge pitfall too. By gaining all of this information you can look into things too much or worry, so make sure that you remember that your baby is not a robot and will not fit some perfect, predetermined mold. All babies are different and it is so important to listen to your intuition.
Next up is actually a tip for you and your partner. Not only is the transition difficult for you as a mom, but it is also difficult for your partner, as well. Both of you are going through a lot. Add sleep deprivation in there and honestly, it can be a recipe for disaster. This is why John and I do a little check in at the end of each week with each other. It is our way to speak up about what we need, recognize and thank the other for helping in various ways, and adjust appropriately for the week ahead. Each week we ask each other three questions: 1. What worked well for you this week. 2. What didn’t work well for you this week or where do you need help and 3. What worked well or didn’t work well for Arabella this week. This check in has helped us immensely. It also allows for some time to reconnect and have some adult conversation with each other.
My last tip is probably my most important tip and also corresponds with your partner and that is to have a safe word. There will be times where you literally can’t deal any longer. You are either tired, frustrated, or straight up angry and if you hold that baby any longer or have to deal any longer, you may just about internally combust. This is where your safe word comes about. When those feelings come up, you tell your partner this word and they just know they need to step in. It isn’t a word you throw around lightly and it is to be taken very seriously if the other partner uses it. John and I actually got this idea from Ted Lasso, which means that it’s only appropriate that we made our safe word Oklahoma. I can tell you, we haven’t had to use it very often, but when we do we know the other person really is drowning and needs us to step it up.
Now, I know there are SO many other tips out there, but these are some of my top recs and will hopefully make huge impacts on your parenting at home. I would love to hear your parent hacks too! Feel free to comment them below so we can all share and learn and grow from each other.