Now that I’ve been through the whole New Baby stage for the third time, I have started to realize a little more how to take care of myself emotionally during those first couple of months or so after having a new baby. The most important thing for me is making sure I get enough rest and don’t feel overscheduled.
I think I’ve come up with a simple rule–for me–for deciding whether or not I will say “yes” to an activity: If doing this will threaten my ability to be kind to my husband and calm with my children, I need to say “no.”
I have struggled with some serious Baby Blues after all three of my babies. I will share that my personal rule includes being kind to my husband because I have struggled, after all three births, with being unkind to my husband.:) After the second two babies, I have also struggled with staying calm and collected with my other children.
We certainly cannot live as slaves to our feelings and emotions, but right after we have a baby isn’t the time push ourselves to some kind of emotional martyrdom in the name of self mastery.
This may be a real no-brainer for some of you, but it surely took me a little while to realize that in those first weeks post partum, we just can’t give an automatic “yes” to every birthday party, playdate, or family event–even if that means disappointing people sometimes. We may even have to temporarily disappoint our husbands or children by nixing our personal or family participation in a handful of things.
Yet, wouldn’t we disappoint them more–and perhaps create an occasion for sin on our part–by giving a “yes” that would probably leave us feeling exhausted and short-tempered?
When it comes down to it, I have to preserve myself within reason, first and foremost, to do the everyday work of my vocation with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galations 5:22).
Since Gianna’s birth, little sleep and whacky hormones and Baby Blues and all the rocky-ness that can come with adjusting to a new baby in the house have made me hunker down and pour what energy I have into making sure I can be a happy “heart of my home.”