A special thanks to The Postpartum Coach, Lizzie Langston, for writing this absolutely perfect blog post and sharing it with us this holiday season. Mamas, we SEE YOU! And we are here for you.
Cheers to Holiday Magic, The Sleeper Teachers + Lizzie, too!
December with a Newborn
I had my daughter on December 14th, 2015.
I slept a lot more than usual that December… (#4thtrimester)
And because of my fuzzy brain, I feel like the Christmas lights twinkled just a bit brighter than year.
To be honest, as I allowed myself to take in the new chapter of my motherhood, and to slow down at Christmas to facilitate this delicate 4th trimester, it was the best Christmas ever.
But there were some moments where I felt some FOMO (fear-of-missing-out!). I love me some Christmastime! All the fun memories to be made, right?!
Well if you’re feeling torn this Holiday (not referring to your postpartum lady parts here….) not to fear.
Today I’m going to give you some tools to help you enjoy this holiday and enjoy baby. I’ve designed this article to be more of a DIY/self-help guide, as every mom has different preferences on how she spends Christmas with a newborn. So I’m not going to tell you what to do, but the goal is to help you get clarity on where your priorities are at the moment with all you have to do, so that you can be as guilt-free and present as possible to feel the peace and happiness of this Holiday season (and snuggle that best gift ever!).
One: Rate your Priorities during the 4th Trimester
To help keep your Holiday free from feeling conflicted between newborn mamma duties and all the fun holiday stuff going on, we need to get you some clarity.
Below is a list of a lot of things you could spend your time and energy on during Christmas. Rate yourself 1-10 (1 being not important to you at all, 10 being ULTRA important to you, can’t miss it), and then meet me in the next section having done that.
Keeping up with family traditions
Pleasing my parents/in-laws
Having Holiday decorations all in place at home
Wrapping all the presents
Staying within the budget
Taking care of my body
Eating healthy for me
Eating healthy for baby
Lots of cuddle time with a sleeping baby
Getting a gift for every single person
Making this christmas just like last christmas
Getting out and about for Christmas-y stuff
Seeing Concerts/Making Memories
Keeping a journal of my baby’s first Christmas
Doing a Christmas Card
Now gather all the 8’s, 9’s and 10’s together. Those are all you will be doing this Christmas. Trust the intuition you accessed as you rated those, and commit to simplify by only doing what’s most important to you (the 8’s, 9’s, and 10’s.) If you’re struggling with fear or obligation from people-pleasing, visit this podcast episode.
Two: Get Even More Clear…
Now, I bet you feel relief just by getting clearer on what you will and won’t be doing. And if any unexpected things happen (like the weather turns nasty or baby has tummy troubles), those ratings will help you navigate your decisions.
But the human brain has a tendency to overestimate what it can get done.
So to avoid that during this busy 4th trimester time, answer two questions:
- Can you do all that?
- If you think you can’t, remove the ones that aren’t 9’s or 10’s. (Just for this year, there will be more Christmases!) IYou don’t have to do this, but it’s a good precaution. Things always take more time than we think with new baby around!
What I want you to do is now go through and adapt each thing you’ll be doing to make it as simple and easy as possible (just for this year). You’re going to make your to-do list postpartum friendly.
-Shop in-store for the best deals until you find the perfect gift.
-stayed up late to wrap presents beautifully
-Every year go with the extended family to see Christmas lights display
4th Trimester Holiday
Shop Amazon, or give gift cards
Avoid crowds and cold weather. Watch a fun musical or classic Christmas movies at home.
You get the idea? There is a lot you can still do, that doesn’t have to make you CHOOSE between baby’s health and your time and experience with baby, or your holiday fun.
Three: Some Thought Offerings on Holidays during the 4th Trimester
Last but not least, I love to offer thoughts to new moms that will help their lives to feel easier and more doable. I want to empower you, mamma.
Here are some of my favorites, you can take any you love and leave the rest!
“My experience of Christmas is my attitude. I can create the experience I want to have no matter what.”
“This timing was worked out from the divine/the universe”
“With a new baby, I can better feel the realness of The Nativity and relate with Mary.”
“With a less active Christmas season, I can center myself more on the things that matter most.”
“With a baby at the 4th Trimester at Christmas, I am forced to slow down, which will add to my experience of my Holiday.”
Wrap it Up (in a gift bag, of course)
It’s tricky that Christmas and the first three months of our new baby’s life is all something that feels so fleeting. They’re both cherished and special opportunities!
But truly, you can personalize this Christmas experience during your 4th trimester by getting clear on your priorities and making space for them!
You’ve got this! And happiest Holiday Wishes,
Lizzie Langston, The Postpartum Coach