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Advice for New Moms:
4 Steps to Save Your Sanity

The amount of advice for new moms on the Web is daunting. 10 tips here...15 ideas there...

The substance of this mom advice is basically this: Know Thyself. You are a finite being with limitations you need to understand.

Even Super-Mom has weaknesses.

At the end of the day, you have to have a way to fill up what was taken out. Learn to identify when you are just short of "hitting the wall" and how to set up the support you will need to climb over it.

Consider the motto of my free monthly newsletter, The Merry Mother: Merry mothers make merry babies.

I've noticed, over the years, how much my attitude influences the emotional tone of the rest of the family. If I'm angry and frustrated, it isn't long before I see that reflected in my children (yes, the baby too) and my husband.

Although I'm not always, at least in attitude, a Merry Mother, I've learned there are few things I can do to help become more of one.

Advice for New Moms Step One:
Have a Quiet Time

advice for new moms 1
{Photo by Nico Maessen}
A Quiet Time is time you specifically set aside to strengthen yourself for the day ahead. For me, it is rising early to read Scripture, pray, and journal. I also try to do a little exercising.

The simple act of being alone for a few hours has a huge impact on my emotions for the rest of the day.

Before you start admiring me for having that kind self control at 4 am, let me confess that my children are late sleepers (8 to 8:30) so I'm up at 6:30 - which isn't unreasonable.

Make time for the Quiet Time. If your baby rises with the rooster, take your QT when she is napping.


Starting the QT Routine

  • I start giving my children a QT as soon as they can sit up. Everyone benefits from a little space once in awhile. Once a day, when Elena is rested and well-fed, I put her in her crib with some safe toys to play with and some soft music playing

  • Starting in 15 minute increments, I slowly build up so that when she turns one, she can happily play safely in her crib for an hour. This teaches her autonomy and builds her confidence to be without me.

  • Lauren (who's 4) still has a QT in her room every day, which is even more important since she dropped her nap. I'm amazed at what a little time apart can do for everyone's attitudes.

Advice for New Moms Step Two:
Build Up Relationships

In our mobilized society, many mothers have had to move away from their friends and family (me being one of them). The Internet and telephone can only offer so much encouragement and comfort.

You simply cannot replace the joy of having a friend physically present during trying times.

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{Photo by Levi Kiraly}
Good advice for new moms, as well as a great way to gain those physically-present friends, can be found in a mom's group. Here are some of them: Don't feel limited by these groups. If there isn't one in your area, just start your own. Chances are there are other moms in your area who are looking for the same thing.

Don't forget your local church! Locating a good church is an excellent way to provide for your spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Here's a list of some great churches hopefully in your area. Can't find one? Let me help.

Advice for New Moms Step Three:
Anticipate and Ask

A piece of wise advice for new moms is to anticipate times of hardship and ask for help when it finally arrives.

By building up your relationships (Step Two) you begin to lay a foundation of support for inevitable "tough times".

I'm a former Iowan and my husband a Nashvillian (Tennessee). We live in in the beautiful state of Wisconsin.

This places us 5 hours from my family and 12 from his. Without family to fall back on, those "tough times" seem even tougher. When Elena was born, I fully appreciated the importance of strong relationships and a local church. People who cared for us provided meals, gift cards, babysitting, even toys for the "forgotten" big sister.

I'm so thankful for the practical care we received in that wonderful, but "trying time" of adapting to a new baby. It made the adjustment and lack of sleep so much easier to handle.

Advice for New Moms Step Four:
Date Your Husband

A new baby means less sleep which means shorter tempers. Anticipate this! You will definitely need to get away from that precious bundle and back into the world of adult-to-adult relating.

Getting out with your spouse provides uninterrupted time for you to talk. These times alone will provide greater intimacy and less arguments. Good communication is so important in a healthy relationship, so be deliberate and "date" him all over again.

After 10+ years of marriage and three beautiful, yet distracting, children. My husband Cameron and I are still consider ourselves "boyfriend and girlfriend". The enjoyment of our marriage has gone through several storms and has come out diamond. For more romantic tips on how to thrive in your marriage with a new baby, click here.

Since we don't have family in the area (and friends can be over-used) we turn to good babysitters to help us out. Babysitters are, in essence, "temporary parents" so the decision on who to choose is vitally important. gives you everything you need to find an excellent sitter in your neighborhood.

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For me, being a mother is a constant see-saw struggle for balance. On one hand, I have the needs of my children. On the other, I have my own sanity. I use the four above pieces of advice for new moms to keep me on track.

Learning to juggle the two responsibilities of baby care and mommy care is an art I will probably never perfect. Luckily, I'm stubborn enough to keep trying.

All the photos on this page can be found at and were used
according to licensing requirements.

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