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Navigating life as a new mama: Part two

Written by Maddy Bento | Wednesday, 24 August 2022

tips and advice

Welcome to part two of Maddy Bento’s series on navigating life as a new mother! In part one Maddy shares her advice on asking for help and reaffirming your own values. In part two, Maddy shares three more golden nuggets of advice – remember, you aren’t alone as a mum!

If you haven’t read part one, you can check it out here. But, for now, here are the rest of Maddy’s tips.

#3 What fills your cup?

You can’t pour from an empty cup! Repeat it, with feeling! You can’t pour from an empty cup!

Health practitioners and just about everyone is banging on all the time about self-care but it’s not just face masks and bubble baths. Which (let’s face it) can be hard to work with little people, especially as the toys fill up the bath!

What makes you feel good?

  • List five things that take 15 minutes…
  • List five things that cost nothing…
  • List five things that you can action immediately…
  • List five things that take some time but you can plan right now…
  • List five people that make you happy just by talking to them..
  • List five songs that make you feel great…
  • List five things that your partner, family or friends can do for you…

You don’t have to show anyone your lists, but I would recommend writing the list of things a loved one can do for you and leaving it on the fridge or somewhere they can see it. When you’re needing support you can direct them to this list. It can be something simple like bringing you flowers or even a household task that is often your responsibility that you need help with, or even asking for some quality time with your partner.

Sometimes it can be hard to show the people we love the most that we are struggling. Which is funny, isn’t it? The people who love us and want to support us the most are often the ones we find the hardest to ask to help us. A list on the fridge is an easy and gentle way to get help and for your partner to not have to be a mind reader. Please talk to your partner about the list and let them know what it is and how you want to use it. Even ask if they want to make a list too!

Write the list and have it handy.

#4 Talk to other mamas!

This is a game changer. Talking helps. Honestly, it does! You will feel less isolated, confused and overwhelmed. We were meant to be raising little people in a village, and you need to find your village.

Warning… it will take vulnerability and it may not happen straight away, but when it does it’s a magic feeling and you will feel more like you again. Being a mum can make you feel so many feelings. Sadness, frustration, anger and resentment are some of the not-so-happy ones. It’s important to talk to other mums and share this because all these feelings are completely normal and not talked about enough.

You’ll know you’ve found your tribe when you don’t have to start the conversation with “I love my kids but…”. Your tribe knows you love your kids, they know how you feel and will be right there to pick you up when you’re down. How do you find your tribe? Meet other mums! Talk to other mums! Find a playgroup, find kids’ classes in music, art, gym, talk to mums at the park or library, ask a Facebook friend!

Reach out! You may help another mother more than they can say….

#5 Book it in and write it down

Looking after ourselves is tough, “mum brain” is an actual thing, and your focus is distracted after becoming a mum. It’s crazy to think that we can spend all day thinking and planning so many details and forget some things! We all do it. My best tip is writing stuff down. Even basic health foundations such as food, water and sleep.

I try to write a list of what I plan to eat during the day as a loose guide so I know there are meals and snacks on hand, and to remind myself to eat. Also, I can check in that night and see that I ate my lunch!

Put a reminder in your phone for water during the day. I also set an alarm to take my supplements each day.

Don’t just put your supplements and medication in the cupboard and rely on yourself to remember. Support yourself. Put those reminders in your phone. It’s so easy to set up a reminder.

Speaking of health, here is a list of health checks to book in right now:

  • When did you last go to the doctor for a check-up?
  • Do you have a health concern that you need to check on?
  • How’s your mental health? Do you need support?  Call now and book an appointment or call Life Line on 13 11 14 or call PANDA on 1300 726 306.
  • Are you drinking enough water? If not, why not? Buy a water bottle and set a reminder.
  • Switch off your notifications at night.
  • Download the I Am affirmations app to remind yourself how wonderful you are.
  • Download Huckleberry to log any bottles, nappies or sleep times of your little person.
  • Did you eat today? Maybe see a Nutritionist or Naturopath to reduce your mealtime mental load!

You’re an incredible person! You’ve grown a whole person and you’re learning to be a Mum – be proud of yourself!

Sending much love and I hope that you’re doing well. The days are long, but the years are short. If you’re struggling and need some support please ask for help.

You can do this! There are so many other Mamas cheering you on, just reach out.

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Maddy Bento

Maddy Bento is a Nutritionist (BHSc Nut Med) who helps support women with their relationship to food, their hormones and their mental health. Using aspects from Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size in her clinic she aims to be inclusive, compassionate, empathetic, understanding and working with you to support your body in the best way you can.

Maddy is passionate about educating and empowering women about their health without dieting, restriction or damaging your relationship with your body or food. There is understanding and compassion for each stage you may be in of your life and Maddy aims to work with you and your health team in a collaborative environment to have the best outcomes for your health. If you would like to find out more about Maddy's work you can visit her website here or her Instagram here or Facebook page here.

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