Example, I went to Toys R Us to return a fitted sheet I got at my baby shower because it didn't fit my playard. Well, they wouldn't take it because I lost the gift receipt and my shower was more than three months ago. That set the mood for the rest of my outing. Returning another item at Lowe's, the cashier rudely "reminded" me that they have a 90-day return policy, just, you know, "for future reference." THEN, I had the genius idea to try on skinny jeans at Old Navy. (Hey, they were on sale.) Do I really need to tell you how that went?
Today, I decided I had enough and I really needed to make an effort to turn my mood around. I had to put on my BGPs and snap out of it. I mentioned Monday that I want to throw ninja stars at the people who suggest in parenting magazines to "make sure you get enough sleep." I can assure you, that is NOT possible in my house. But there are a few things I (and you) can do to get out of what I consider the New Mommy Rut.
- Stay hydrated. One study suggests that dehydration may cause mood swings, anger, and fatigue. When you're hormonal and sleep-deprived as it is, making sure you are getting enough fluids is that much more crucial.
- Get out of the house! Natural sunlight and fresh air can improve your mood almost immediately. Pop your baby in your Ergo (or stroller) and go for a quick walk.
- Ask for help. Especially if you're having feelings of hopelessness, inadequacy as a mother, or inability to care for your child. (In that case, contact your OB IMMEDIATELY. You may be suffering from PPD.) If you just feel like you need a break, ask for one! If you don't have a family member or neighbor at your disposal, check Angie's List for trustworthy caretakers. Have someone watch the baby while you run errands (or treat yourself to a mani/pedi) or hire somebody once a week to do that one chore you can never seem to get around to, which for me would be laundry. I HATE doing laundry! I have two baskets full of clean clothes and a pile of dirty clothes sitting in my room as we speak. Diaper laundry, oddly enough, doesn't bother me...
- Exercise. Find a gym with child care you feel comfortable with or work out at home with a video while baby naps. You don't even have to buy any DVDs! I've discovered several short (as in under 15 minutes) but effective routines on bodyrock.tv. Even taking a walk around the block can help you feel better! TIP: Wear all black if you can, regardless of where you choose to work out. I find that it streamlines my shape and tends to hide the post-baby lumps and rolls (and lopsided boobies) really well. And I actually feel really confident in my body. :)
- Play with your baby. I can't think of anything that raises my spirits more quickly than snuggling up with my chunky monkey and kissing her over and over again on her belly. It usually makes her laugh, which makes me smile.
- Remember that it doesn't last forever. If I do this, it helps me get through the tough times (like the times when Baby Girl treats me like an all-night diner) and hold onto the sweet moments (like when she starts hysterically laughing at the ceiling fan or carries on a full conversation with Sophie the Giraffe.) She'll only be a baby for a year. If I spend it wishing the bad parts away, I won't be able to enjoy the good ones.