Carolyn Sinclair is the co-founder of Fifty-Seven Family Learning & Wellness Centre, offering family-centered education and support from pregnancy to preschool. (Where I took my awesome prenatal parenting class!) She’s mom to two-and-a-half-year-old Benny and six-month-old Lucy.
Carolyn’s tips for new moms:
1. Slow down and embrace baby’s schedule
As a mother of two little ones I now firmly agree with the cliché sentiment “it goes by way too fast.” When you’re in the thick of baby vomit, the witching hour and nighttime feeds it can feel painstakingly slow, but I promise in hindsight it will feel like the blink of an eye. Having a baby is such a huge life change. The first few weeks and months as a family are filled with so many new experiences and amazing moments, some joyous and some challenging. I encourage you to take some time to slow down and take it all in.
Since babies don’t arrive with a set schedule it’s nice to limit social engagements and to-dos in the early weeks. Allow yourself time to follow baby’s lead and meet their needs. This can be very difficult for strong, independent women who are used to having control over their schedule and most facets of their life. Having a baby is a huge lesson in surrendering control. It can feel like everything will fall apart if you take even a moment away from your routine, but most of us have worked hard to surround ourselves with a network of caring and supportive people who can be relied on. Accept the help that they graciously offer. People genuinely want to help, and you and your family deserve some time to settle in.
As a mom and business owner you will have triumphant days. Days where feeds go smoothly, baby sleeps, and work gets done. These days will keep you going. They will remind you why you started your business and why it works for your family. There will also be days that you feel like you’re falling apart and losing control. Days where baby refuses to eat, only naps in 12 minute intervals, and your to-do list gets longer and longer. Caring for yourself, a newborn and running a business is a huge undertaking (add a toddler in there and you have complete chaos!). You won’t be able to do everything that you used to do, but that’s ok!
Transitioning to your new role as mother and business owner can be difficult. It’s important to remember to be kind to yourself and give yourself time. Meeting moms like yourself who are balancing this busy lifestyle is vital. Venting to one another and trading stories of tough times and amazing accomplishments can be very comforting. Some of the best support I’ve received since starting my business has been from fellow mompreneurs. Women who really understand the crunch for time and money, and can help you find a balance that is right for you and your family.
3. Babywear, Babywear, Babywear!
I found that my little ones (and most of the newborns I have ever met) would wake up every time I tried to put them down to sleep. It was sometimes overwhelming how much they wanted to be held in those early weeks. By embracing babywearing I was able to keep my little ones happy while still being productive. It gave us extra time to cuddle and bond too! I answered tons of emails, did website edits and had many conference calls with Lucy cozy against me in her SleepBelt or Ergo carrier. Plus if she got fussy I could easily nurse her. I don’t know what I would do without babywearing.