Gemma McCaw on navigating the first few months of motherhood

Motherhood is joyous, wonderful and overwhelming, but there are plenty of moments of doubt too, as Gemma has learned first hand.

By Gemma McCaw
The first few months of parenthood can be the most physically and emotionally demanding.
Motherhood is joyous, wonderful and overwhelming, but there are plenty of moments of doubt too. I've found that being grateful is the best way to centre myself and shift my perspective during those tough times as a new mum. For example, instead of saying, "I have to do this," I say, "I get to do this."
We can also draw strength in knowing that many other mums are sharing similar struggles and joys. And remember that there is help available – we just need to be brave enough to ask for it.
Oh, and bless all you new mums. You are doing a great job!

Save time

Try to schedule a time when you will check the apps you use most, say 10-15 minutes in your day, then go back to focusing on what you need to get done. Be disciplined – if you're checking emails, don't be tempted to go off track and get sucked into the vast vacuum of the internet.

Eat well

To ensure you're at your best for your baby, make good food choices and cut down on processed foods, while keeping up your hydration too! Be organised and always carry some healthy emergency snacks to keep you going when you're busy.
A good breakfast is vital – try kickstarting your day with two boiled eggs for long-lasting energy.

Walk it out

After a hard day or night, head outside for a brisk stroll. The fresh air will lift your spirits and hopefully, the gentle rocking of the pram (or the front pack) will send your little one off to sleep!

Ask for help

It's not always easy to approach others, but the reality is, people love to lend a hand. Give practical suggestions when friends come to visit, such as bringing around food, helping fold washing or even taking the baby for a walk around the block while you grab a shower.

Sleep deprivation

Lack of rest is one of the hardest parts of life with a newborn. It's key to take every opportunity to sleep. Your baby won't care if the housework is done, but having energy to engage with your little one is vital. Try taking naps where you can and leave your phone out of your room – even if you don't nod off, it's important you are resting.

Me time

Don't feel guilty about taking some time for you. If you have someone willing to look after your baby for an hour or so, take the opportunity to go for a massage, get your nails done or meet a friend. Remember that the woman you were before you had children is still in there!

Cherish the moment

A baby's first year flies by so quickly, so don't forget to treasure this special time. Print off your favourite photos, take lots of videos and keep special items, such as their first lock of
hair and their hospital name tag. Buy a journal in which to record early memories and milestones – your kids will love looking back on these as much as you do.

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