Navigating life in the weeks and months after having a baby can be challenging, whether you are a first-time mom or a mom with little ones at home already. There is a brand new, tiny stranger living in your house. You don’t know what to expect from them. You’re sleep-deprived. There were many days (and nights) where I didn’t know which way was up! Those days will pass, and I am living proof! However, sometimes we need some extra help to get through it. Using postpartum affirmations is one way that I managed some of my anxieties, along with meditation. Here are some affirmations that I used in my postpartum life, and I hope they help you too.
Postpartum Affirmations to Help You Cope
I am more than just a mom.
You are a mom, but you aren’t just a mom. Don’t lose sight of who you were before baby. It is so easy to get lost in the identity of “just mom.” When my son was 4 weeks old, I craved my “old life” so much that I told my husband that I was ready to go back to work, to a job that I didn’t particularly enjoy. At that moment, I realized that I needed to remember who I was before I became “mom.”
I deserve this time for myself.
It is important to take time for yourself, doing things just for you, even if you only have five minutes. I found it particularly hard to relax during any spare time in those early days. But it is important to acknowledge that most of the chores can wait (not all of them, but most of them).
Try and do one thing every day for yourself. Some recommendations: put on a sheet mask, binge watch a funny TV show (I’d like to suggest Workin’ Moms on Netflix), treat yourself to your favorite dessert, take a nap. While my newborn peacefully slept, I rushed to finish as many chores as I could fit in. I was running myself ragged and not sleeping at all, which certainly isn’t healthy for anyone.
I will let this go.
Before having a baby, I kept my house neat and tidy at all times. After we came home from the hospital, I expected to keep the house in that condition all the time. I was wrong. I had to learn to let some things go. Bottles had to be washed, laundry had to be done, and dogs needed to be fed. Otherwise, it’s important to remind yourself that you can let some things go to protect your mental and physical health.
My feelings are valid.
After having a baby, your hormones are running wild. I would cry at the drop of a hat over anything and everything. Let yourself feel all of those feelings, and please don’t feel silly for having those feelings.
I cannot spoil my newborn.
Our pediatrician gave us this advice when our baby was very young, and it is an incredibly helpful reminder. Do you want to hold that baby for every nap? If that makes you happy, you should do it (make sure you follow safe sleep guidelines). Newborns want to be cuddled, changed, and fed, and you cannot spoil them! Do not ever feel guilty for soaking in those precious newborn cuddles.
Fed is best.
Perhaps you are struggling with breastfeeding, or perhaps you feel (unnecessary) guilt over your decision to formula feed. There’s so much societal pressure and so many opinions when it comes to breastfeeding versus formula feeding. Feeding your newborn is one of the most challenging things you’ll do. However you decide to feed your baby, you’re making a great decision.
I will honor my body.
Many women struggle with postpartum body image. Social media doesn’t help, especially celebrities who create a very unrealistic perspective of what postpartum looks like. (I am looking at you, Kylie Jenner.) Women are rushing to get their bodies back after giving birth, but don’t forget that your body carried your sweet child into this world. Your body is strong, powerful, and the creator of little miracles. Your body is enough!
I will accept the help that I am offered. I will not be afraid to ask for help when I need it.
It’s easy for new moms to feel as though they can do it all themselves, but that can quickly lead to burnout. Please do not feel like you are inconveniencing your friends or family when they offer to help you. If they didn’t want to help, they wouldn’t offer! During these unprecedented times, people still want to help! They just have to get more creative. If you have a partner, make sure to lean on them during this time as well.
Do you have any affirmations to share with other moms navigating postpartum life?