Are you a new mom? CRAZY, RIGHT? Your friends warned you that life would be different but O-M-G, it is intense.

Mama, you’re not alone. Deeps breath, we’ve been there, we know. Here are some important things to remember when caring for yourself and your babe.

The Thought: I’m scared to look at my vagina.

The Answer: Woman, it’s beautiful and it heals. Be patient. Be proud. You can always consult your family doctor if you’re concerned that healing isn’t happening the way it should be.

The Thought: I can’t even bake a tray of muffins. What’s wrong with me?

The Answer: Nothing! Nevermind the muffins, Mama! You feel like you can’t accomplish anything over and above caring for your baby. This is totally NORMAL. Taking care of your newborn is demanding. It’s probably the most challenging thing you’ll ever do! Remember, you’re running on only a few hours of sleep, your baby is hungry all the time, you find it hard to even get thirty minutes to take a bath or wash your hair; emotions are overwhelming and everything is new. Don’t beat yourself up just because you tried to make dinner and failed. That email can wait, that closet organization isn’t important, you don’t need to be a superhero. It once took me seven hours to peel and cut a carrot, k? Relax. You’re doing a great job.

The Thought: I feel like a used dish rag. Seriously.

The Answer: Milk leaking from your breasts, baby puke on your achy shoulder, laundry hanging off your limbs – WE HEAR YA. I’ve preached this before, but I’ll say it again: a bold lipstick will make you feel better. It sounds silly, but sometimes when you’re floating around in leggings and milky shirts, you can begin to feel like a rag. Whether it’s soaking in a bath, blow drying your hair or putting on lipstick, little things can go a long way in making you feel better.

The Thought: I’m eating, like, three times as much as my husband. Oink.

The Answer: Being a new mom is a workout! Breastfeeding is a workout! Every time you nurse, you burn calories. You need energy! I kept a drawer full of granola bars and dried fruit in the nursery, right next to the rocking chair. A balanced diet is important for your nutrition and baby’s; if you’re hungry, eat. Smoothies are also great, and here are twelve smoothie recipes created for lactating new mothers.

The Thought: I’ll never have sex again.

The Answer: Yes you will! And it will feel good. But yeah, it might take a while before you do it, and it will take longer before you do it regularly. Vaginal dryness is totally normal if you’re breastfeeding, and even if you’re not, it’s sometimes tricky to switch gears from Mommy to sex vixen. Go slow and keep a bottle of K-Y® lubricant in your bedside drawer: think of it as a tool for both sex and communication with your partner. K-Y® is the intimacy specialist and is the #1 most trusted by couples and professionals and has a versatile range of products with a medicinal heritage. Take things at your own speed. Your sex life will return…small steps.

The Thought: My husband is driving me bananas. We’re fighting WAY more than usual.

The Answer: Difficult, but totally normal. Think about it: you’ve both spent your entire lives setting your own agendas and now, everything is controlled by when your baby sleeps and eats. It’s a HUGE adjustment for everyone! You can no longer just go to a film, spontaneously decide to hit the gym, sleep in and cuddle on a Sunday morning…nothing just happens. If you’re finding it tough to chat about intimacy, there are resources. Here are a few ideas to get closer from the intimacy section on the K-Y® site.

The Thought: Will I ever get dressed up and attend an event again? 

The Answer: YES. Plan for it and it will happen. Some new parents plan a date night early on, others take over a year to get out without the baby. There’s no right way, it’s totally up to your own comfort level. There are also a ton of ways you can get out with your baby, be it dropping in on a dinner party for an hour or going to a local restaurant that you feel comfortable bringing your newborn to. It’s not always easy, but with a little organization and imagination, it’s definitely doable! And hey, keep that K-Y® on hand, you never know!

Although this post has been generously sponsored by K-Y®, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect opinions of the K-Y® brand or the Reckitt Benckiser Corporation.