Have you heard the fable of the farmer and his magic goose?
One day, a poor farmer discovers a golden egg in the nest of his pet goose. The farmer takes the egg in to be appraised and finds out that the egg is pure gold! The farmer is amazed and rushes to find another golden egg in the goose’s nest day after day. He becomes extremely wealthy, but as his wealth increases, so does his greed and impatience. Eventually, the farmer becomes too greedy and impatient to wait day after day. He decides he will kill the goose and get all the golden eggs at once. The farmer eagerly kills the goose and opens it. To his dismay, the goose is empty. There are no golden eggs, and now that the goose is dead, no means of getting any more golden eggs.
What does the farmer have in common with a new mom?
As magical as the experience is, motherhood can be daunting. Especially for new moms. Mothers often juggle cleaning, cooking, and looking after a whole family. Their love and service to their family are their golden eggs. And just like the goose was the asset that produced the golden eggs, the mother’s health is the asset that enables her to serve her family.
Most mothers make the same mistake the farmer made; they destroy the asset that provides the golden eggs when they don’t practice self-care. They forget that without enhancing their energy, reducing stress, and preserving their overall health, they will be unable to serve and provide for their family adequately.
Here are some simple but practical ways new moms can reduce stress and maintain their health:
1. Prevent Decision Fatigue Using these Methods
An average adult supposedly makes about 35,000 decisions a day, and most of these decisions are small, insignificant ones. Making a high number of decisions can cause decision fatigue in a person, which adds to their overall stress. Decision-making may be especially difficult for new moms as they don’t have experience managing mom duties or a set routine to follow.
Decision fatigue is the idea that a person’s ability to make decisions deteriorates after a sustained period of decision making. Since mothers must make countless decisions each day, their willpower depletes over time, diminishing the quality of their decisions and leaving them feeling drained.
The best way to avoid using up mental energy and prevent decision fatigue is to limit unnecessary and insignificant decision making. Like Barack Obama, powerful leaders are known for wearing the same (or similar) outfit every day to avoid wasting their cognitive energy on insignificant decisions. This helps them save their energy for the important decisions.
Since as a mom, you are the powerful leader of your home, you too can prevent decision fatigue using these clever methods:
· Have about three or four basic outfits to rotate between daily. You may even buy the same clothes in different colors and assign a color to each day of the week. That way, you can grab the outfit for that day without thinking about it.
· Do the same for your baby – have a few basic baby outfits to rotate between.
· Have a weekly meal schedule, so you don’t have to decide what to cook for dinner each day, you can just look at the meal schedule. The whole family can make the schedule together.
· Make the important decisions in the morning when your decision making quality is at its finest.
2. Have a ‘Retreat’ in Your Home
The former monk turned author, podcaster and purpose coach, Jay Shetty, wrote on Instagram, ‘Location has energy, time has memory. You can create energy in your home through changing the sites, scents and sounds in a space.’
The energy of a space can influence how you feel. Appoint a room in your house as your ‘retreat’. This can even be your bedroom. Make that your calm, balanced and peaceful space, whatever that looks like to you. If it means you need to remove all baby-related objects from that room, then do just that.
Create a space that you look forward to entering where you can release tension, relax, and refresh. Everyone needs a little peace of mind sometimes, and as a new mom, you must create that space for yourself.
3. Maximize Your Movements
Most new moms don’t have the time to go to the gym every day. Instead of beating yourself up about not getting in a full workout, focus on optimizing your daily movements. This can be as simple as setting a goal for the number of steps you take in a day or dancing to your favorite song at home.
Here are some ways you can optimize your movement as a new mom:
· Aim for 5,000 steps a day – go on a daily walk with the baby in the stroller to achieve this.
· Every time you go to the toilet, do 15 push-ups against a wall or 20 squats.
· Do 20 lunges as you push the stroller on your daily walk, or you can even do this as you hold your baby at home.
· Put your baby in a walker and let them watch you do Zumba or dance to the Cha Cha Slide.
· If you’re lying down with your baby, do about 20 leg-ups, one side at a time.
If you’re a new mom, remember that self-care isn’t luxury, it is necessary. If you don’t practice self-care daily, you cannot be the source of strength, support and love your family needs you to be.
Gamb, M., 2021. How to Identify When You're Experiencing Decision Fatigue. [online] Forbes. Available at: <https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2019/05/13/how-to-identify-when-youre-experiencing-decision-fatigue/?sh=681917337fb4>
Optimizely. 2021. Decision Fatigue. [online] Available at: <https://www.optimizely.com/anz/optimization-glossary/decision-fatigue/>
Clear, J., 2021. How Willpower Works: Decision Fatigue and How to Avoid Bad Choices. [online] James Clear. Available at: <https://jamesclear.com/willpower-decision-fatigue>
Shetty, J., 2021. Jay Shetty on Instagram: “Location has energy, time has memory. You can create energy in your home through changing the sites,… | Create energy, Instagram, Memories. [online] Pinterest. Available at: <https://fi.pinterest.com/pin/792844709389327383/#:~:text=More%20information-,Jay%20Shetty%20on%20Instagram%3A%20%E2%80%9CLocation%20has%20energy%2C%20time%20has,and%20sounds%20in%20a%20space.>
M, K., 2021. 21 Fun Ways To Workout With Baby Post Pregnancy. [online] MomJunction. Available at: <https://www.momjunction.com/articles/exercises-you-can-do-with-your-baby_00330708/>