“A bath, top and tail and we are now in our 5th clothing change of the day. The last change involved a pee, poo, snot and sick, most of which ended up on me! The house is filthy, I am supposed to be on a diet. but now She’s settled, so I have ordered a takeaway!”
What memories does this period of baby’s development create for a Mum? Mum and Baby forums are filled with accounts from tired and desperate parents/carers who share the reality of bringing up a baby, which is coping with a reflux diagnosis (and many other complications). Using words like miserable, frustrating or hellish is a clear indication that this time of life is actually not much fun.
In amongst discussions about the unpredictability of any day, the most frequently discussed topics are becoming more and more concerned with dieting and getting ‘back into that black dress’, despite the enormous pressures that are already present.
How can a person who is surviving on a few hours of sleep, unsure of what the next few hours will bring; even consider counting calories or looking up reds and yellow foods? Surely, it’s recipe for more stress and periods of low self esteem, when these plans don’t work out? There is a place for eating healthily and keeping your mind and body as strong as possible, but is there a place for dieting?
If we take a step back for one moment, and try not to set difficult goals on losing weight. Just stop for a minute. Stop in a way you have never stopped before, right where you are standing or sitting. It only needs to be a moment. Close your eyes, empty your mind of the trappings of facebook, the internet, your personal goals list. Prick up your ears…Listen for the sounds of your house, the noise of the street or back garden, traffic in the distance. Smell the atmosphere and sense the temperature of the room you are in, Listen to your own breathing.
This stopping moment is a way of being mindful. Investing in yourself, at the exact moment, for just a moment every day, will help you to rationalise things better and plan goals and targets in a way that promotes wellness and helps to remove anxiety. It opens your mind to the idea that not dieting is okay for the time being and not being in a routine quite yet is acceptable. Go at your own pace and make decisions that are best for you and your baby.