“The next mom I meet I will recommend that she prepares a nice space for herself…”
These words jumped out at me as I read through a client review I’d recently received.
Although there was not really a question on the form asking for advice for other parents my client felt it was very important to note this realization she had about her own time on maternity leave.
“I had this weird image that maternity leave would be this amazing time when I would be able to explore the city with my baby! I quickly realized that maternity leave meant catching up with sleep and staying home a lot. I think I needed a reality check in that area.”
Here is a brand new first time mother taking a step back and reflecting on her expectations and how they changed with time and experience.
She initially imagined her maternity leave of 6 to 8 weeks would be filled with lots of down time to get out and about with her baby.
When she was pregnant and imagining a world with her new baby, she did not know that she would be postpartum. She did not realize all of the new routines and experiences that come with the transition from a maiden to a mother.
In my work with her, we focused primarily on nighttime parenting in the form of overnight visits. But our nights were filled with long conversations about becoming a mother and a parent and realizing how momentous that shift is.
How we, generally, focus so much on baby baby baby and not enough on mother.
So when I saw those words as I read through her review of our time together something really stuck out to me.
“The next mom I meet I will recommend that she prepares a nice space for herself.”
The number one thing that this brand new mother recommends that all new moms should do to prepare for her postpartum time is to create a comfy and cozy space for herself.
And this is especially true for first time moms and parents who may have a hard time seeing realistically, what their maternity leave will look like.
why does this matter?
Typically, during pregnancy, the focus is on preparing a nursery or a separate room for baby and all of their things. But the reality is that you will be spending A LOT of time all over your home.
Your baby will not be confined to the nursery and you will want to be in your comfy spaces while doing a lot of the new parent things.
You may even discover that you prefer to have your baby cosleep or room share. You may find that it’s easier to change a diaper on the bed or floor. You may have to do everything in one space due to a difficult birth. The point is your whole home will be affected.
It’s important to do this before baby is born or as soon as possible. You want to come home to a warm little nest (and meal!) so that your postpartum recovery can get off to a smooth start without worrying about chores and cleaning.
Lastly, clutter and chaos at home can make us feel overwhelmed and expose us to a lot of unimportant stimuli. This can make it hard to fully relax mentally and physically and in turn take our focus away from the really important things like getting lots of rest and taking care of yourself and your new baby.
how to create a cozy space just for mom:
Think about your top two chill spots. Usually your bed and your couch.
How can you make them and the areas around them even more cozy and welcoming for you? The perfect timing is now. You may feel that urge to “nest” or prepare your home for your baby. Don’t forget to prepare for your postpartum recovery as well. What things bring your mind peace or make your smile? Include lots of those things.
clear away clutter
Think about your vision of yourself as a new mother. Do you have items in your chill spots that don’t align with your vision for yourself? What things make you anxious? Remove those items, place them where they belong or donate them. Clear out items that don’t aid your journey to motherhood.
think about function
What are the primary uses of this space? For example your bedroom is your number one spot for sleeping. After baby is born this may become family nap central or baby’s room too.
Your living room couch may be your primary chill destination. After baby is born this will become a breastfeeding spot, diaper changing station or tummy time play place.
decide what you need
What do you need to make the space as functional as possible? For sleeping, you might want to keep a sleep mask, white noise machine, and water bottle at your bedside in addition to bringing in an infant cosleeper or sidecar crib. Don’t forget a cozy blanket FOR MOM and maybe even some fuzzy slippers for a touch of luxury. MOMTIP: red light bulbs can help give you a soft light at night without the brightness of a typical light
You don’t need to go all out in these spaces. Think about the items that are essential to the spaces main and new purpose and find a balance.
Create a cozy breastfeeding space with a simple basket filled with all of your breastfeeding necessities next to a comfy chair.
Challenging birth? Keep postpartum essentials at your bedside for quick use. Keep your postpartum pads, witch hazel wipes, your peri bottle, cooling spray and sitz herbs in a bin in the bathroom for ease of use.
As always with motherhood, stay flexible and reach out for support. There is no predicting how your birth or postpartum recovery will go. But if you plan ahead, stay flexible and tap into your support network when challenges arise you can navigate this messy, wonderful time with ease, grace and peace.
How have you prepared you home for your new baby and new life? Need help getting started? Let’s work together to create a cozy and warm welcome home for your new family.