You’ve decided that you may just want to brave taking care of your tiny human by yourself. We’ve put together advice from other mums on how they survive with minimal help and how they keep their sanity in check. Afterall, a band of mums are a sisterhood and we’re all here to root for you and help you along the way.
Taking care of a child all by yourself is not an easy feat. And no, you are not weak if you decide to hire a nanny to help out. Those first few weeks (or even those first few months) with baby can be pretty intense and it’s easy to feel a little unprepared but don’t worry, mummy! We’ve packed pro-tips from mums on how to survive taking care of your child in the Big Durian. We spoke to three mummies; Nicole Parker, mum of Aoiefe (2 years old) and Declan (8 months), Farida, mum of Alin (5 years old) and Kenzo (3 years old) and Onie, mum of Marlow (3 years old) and a newborn on the way have all been there before and will help put your mind at ease with some sage advice.
Build a close-knit network of other mums
Being a new mum in a big city can feel lonely sometimes. It’s hard enough trying to align schedules with your friends as adults, never mind once a baby is in the mix. Nicole advises joining a Facebook group or getting together with fellow mums from school. Farida agrees, saying, “It helps to talk to other mums who have the same set of problems and know that you’re not alone.” Onie remembers how isolating taking care of a newborn baby can be and encourages mums to not be afraid of reaching out to your closest friends, “If you feel like it’s tough to get out of the house after those first few months of having a baby, have your friends come around instead!”
Keep your kids busy with a slew of family-friendly activities
All mums agree that kids need an outlet for all their energy. Managing your kids time table also means you’ll get a bit of time to relax. Nicole says she likes to “get out of the house for a change of scenery”, while Farida chooses to keep her 5-year-old busy with lessons. As a working mum, Onnie has been taking Marlow to meetings with her from when he was 3-months-old and although now has help, likes to keep a close eye on him when she takes him to the office while the nanny takes care of him.
Always plan meal-times ahead
They say the key to a man’s heart is through his stomach but they left out the bit that said that the key to non-cranky children is also through their stomachs. Nicole always makes sure food is sorted early so that she isn’t battling hungry upset children in the evenings. While cranky children are also easier to deal with when you feed them, Farida says napping them on the right schedule helps a great deal. She makes sure she and Kenzo go home for lunch after school, has a bit of play time and naps him around the same time. Onie advices mums with picky eaters like Marlow to always pack snacks wherever you go so that they can graze throughout the day.
Alone time is important – schedule time for yourself
It’s easy to lose sight of who you were before you became a mummy and equally important to keep remembering that you are your own person despite loving your tiny human. Onie empathetically agrees saying that “going out with friends is a sure way to separate the fact that you’re not a mama and maintains the little bit of the old you.” Nicole maintains a small piece of her peace by doing an at home gym routine and has coffee when Aoife is in school. While Farida doesn’t have a nanny, she does have help around the house with washing the kids, the cooking and getting them ready for bed and says that “any breather takes a load of her shoulders.”
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