The following day I woke up with a different mindset. I knew that no matter what I had to ‘fake it ‘till I make it’ and I did just that. My baby didn’t know that I was winging it, or that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I trusted my instincts, and so far they haven’t led me wrong.
I grew more and more confident until I could change a nappy with my eyes closed. My boy had mastered the boob and I had mastered my mind. I made a conscious effort in the morning – my new routine was to have a shower whilst my baby lay in his bouncer on the bathroom floor (also getting him used to the idea that mommy needed time to do things for herself) and get myself dressed…although I kept my boy in sleep-suits even when we went out as he just looked so darn cute!
I had decided the best thing to do was to fill up my time. Sitting at home with a newborn was exhausting – and even though I was so tired, spending my days sleeping when baby sleeps was driving me crazy. In less than two weeks I had suddenly limited my life to sleeping, feeding and changing nappies. I could feel the isolation creeping in and I had to fight it. Almost every day, once I got myself ready (granted it was probably already 10 o’ clock), we went out.
Now sometimes we had a specific outing planned, like going to Rhyme Time at the library or meeting a fellow Mom-friend for coffee, but a lot of the time I would just go into town. Pushing the buggy all the way into town and back was a great workout, and combined with breastfeeding I was slowly losing my pouch! But more importantly, getting out in the fresh air and making myself leave the house was so good for my mind. Even when the weather was a bit rubbish and I decided to drive, just making myself go out was doing wonders for me.
Don’t get me wrong, there were days when just the thought of leaving the bed was horrifying….and so I didn’t. I would feed my boy, change his nappy and curl back into bed. Because I had managed to get myself to a place where going out was not scary or stressful or intimidating, I could indulge in the odd day where the most I did was wander through to the kitchen for a drink and a bite to eat.
One of the hardest things to do as a new Mom is to brave the outside world. Nothing is the same as it used to be. For one you have a gigantic nappy bag stuffed with every possible thing you may need attached to you at all times, but also because you can no longer just nip anywhere. Everything requires a certain level of planning. You also have that subconscious worry that your baby is going to start crying. And cry and cry and cry and everyone will look at you and be thinking you’re a bad mom and can’t console your own child.
In reality you have to put on a brave face and get yourself back out there. I’ve come to realise that if you can find the strength to do that, to go out and face the world, then you’re doing great!