Bringing my first daughter home was an amazing feeling. My husband and I were so excited to start this journey as parents, but no one prepares you for the sleepless nights, the engorged breasts, healing from a major surgery (an emergency C-section), and a new life solely reliant on you.
Becoming a mother was like entering a battle I had not preparation for.
My husband tried his best to be helpful, but as you know, we live in a country where paternity leave is almost non-existent. He was able to use his days to take two weeks off and then he had to go back to work. He felt terrible going back, but we needed the money.
It was hard and grueling, to say the least, but what maintained my sanity was the help of my mother.
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Mom to the Rescue
My mom is an early retiree, so she was able to pack her bags and stay with me for two months postpartum. She literally was the best thing that happened to me during that time. I was able to rest, bond, and not worry about household chores while I recovered.
She also was able to create a special bond with my daughter that they still share today. I am forever grateful for her willingness to come and create a space where I could really thrive.
Who to Lean On for Postpartum Support
Motherhood is hard work. Those first few months are extremely difficult. The lack of sleep alone can drive a person crazy, so for all the new moms-to-be, I am pleading with you to find someone who can offer postpartum support. It’s not a job that you can do alone.
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I am blessed to have a mother that will move mountains for me, but if that’s not your situation please find someone who you feel most comfortable with to stand beside you during this time. Here are a few options:
- Your spouse/partner: If your partner has paternity/maternity leave at his or her place of employment, USE IT! Your partner is the first line of defense. You have almost 10 months to save for the loss of pay. Plan and be intentional with your funds. If you are so blessed to work for a company that has paid leave, you are truly a unicorn!
- A parent: My in-laws were extremely helpful as well. Once my mom left, they would visit once a week and watch the baby while I went to the grocery store or ran other errands.
- A close friend: I read a story of a woman who was pregnant and recently divorced. After giving birth, her best friend who had a very flexible job situation came to stay with her for two months. This is what good girlfriends are for. They step in during those difficult times.
- A doula: If you have the means to hire help, please do. A postpartum doula is an amazing way to find the help you need right after giving birth. She can assist with breastfeeding, cooking meals, cleaning, and watching other children if you have more than one. The rock star doula is the “night doula” who comes in and takes the night shift for very sleep deprived parents. It’s a complete Godsend!
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I just recently had another baby. My mom was there again to walk with me through the journey and provide postpartum support. She stayed with us for two months caring for my first daughter and helping me transition from a mom of one to two.
Mamas, this is hard work and work that sometimes goes unnoticed, but I see you and am rooting for you. Take the time you need to get better, to adjust to this new life you now have, and find the right people to help you along this path.
We’d love to hear about who you enlisted for postpartum support. Leave your comments below.