Every Christmas we celebrate with our loved ones, and as the family expands and introduces new members, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed.
Picture this – it’s Christmas day and your little one’s first Christmas, you arrive at the family festive lunch and are swarmed with “can I hold the baby?” “Let me take him and give you a break” or “it’s good to get the baby used to other people, here let me take him”.
This may be a welcome reprieve, but what if your inner mumma bear rages inside and tells you that you don’t want to hand your baby around like a sparkly new toy? You don’t want everyone’s saliva kisses on their head and you especially don’t want your uncle carrying your baby in one hand and a beer in the other. But it’s Christmas and they’re family, so you override your inner mumma bear and keep telling yourself it’s okay.
Now, aren’t you meant to be enjoying yourself? Yes. Are you enjoying yourself? No. You spend the entire Christmas lunch watching your baby, following them around, wishing they would cry so you can have the excuse to take them back.
The guilt sets in, you shouldn’t be feeling like this, they’re family and your baby’s family, right?
People tend to forget that you carried that little bundle of joy in your belly for nine months. You’ve gone through the gift and maybe the trauma of birth. You’ve bonded, cried and loved more than you ever have before.
Saying no is often seen as being selfish or rude. It is especially hard to say no to family and friends, and even harder when you fear you’ll dampen the mood of the family’s festive get together. But it’s important that you say no if that’s what you need at that moment – your own mental health comes first. Saying no allows us to value ourselves more and help prioritise our needs. Offering a simple explanation of why you have made that decision should hopefully be met with understanding and kindness.
So cast out that guilt and enjoy the day, whatever you decide!
Happy Mum Means Happy Baby
Here are some self-care tips for new mums:
- Sleep when the baby is asleep.
- Go at your own pace.
- Eat well and stay hydrated.
- Allow others to help you – You’re not a bad mum for asking for help.
- Attend Mums and Bubs activities – Bond with your baby and meet other mums and bubs.
- Fresh air – Go for a stroll with your baby to get you and your baby some fresh air.
- Make time for yourself – Take a long warm shower or bath and enjoy this time to relax and refresh yourself.
- Sharing is caring – Share the responsibilities with your partner.