Navigating Motherhood: How To Survive The First Year

Feyi Bello / Sunday May 8, 2022

Give Yourself The Same Energy:

You must be as alert to your own needs as you are to your child’s needs. 

I’m not saying try to be, I’m saying you MUST be! For the sake of the well-being of your family and the quality of your life long term. You must find pockets of time to assess your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. It’s easier said than done especially in those first few months but putting yourself on your to-do list is vital. When things start to slip, like your mental health…book an appointment with a therapist ASAP! Do not judge yourself, lean in to help where you can get it. Set healthy boundaries for yourself and others and abide by them. Do not be afraid to protect yourself by distancing yourself from negative energy. 

Always remember that happy mom = happy baby!

  • Feyi Bello

“Me Time”:

Surviving your first year can be scary because you literally are going off of what, nothing pretty much besides tv, google, and books. One thing I have learned is that you must have mommy time. Of course, you are worried about your baby, and always want to be with them at all times, you’re mommy it’s your duty right?! Well, actually setting aside time for “me time” is beneficial because you get to regroup. Treat yourself to the spa, a yoga class, step out for ice cream, or even take a walk around the block. Just something to help you regroup, and then carry on with your mommy duties. Believe me that little “me” time will help you be a better mom in the end! We can’t forget about ourselves, and our health is what I had to keep telling myself. I must be healthy physically and mentally for my children and through that first year, I learned just that!

  • Shay Mone.

The Power Nap:

Before you have a baby, you get to sleep for 6-8 straight hours at night. This becomes impossible as soon as you have a baby, and very likely for the entire first year of motherhood. Enter the power nap – where you learn to sleep for short periods of 30 to 45 minutes (max an hour!) Please sleep as often as you can, whenever you can. It seems surreal at first but i promise you, you will be extremely cranky if you do not get some sleep. You will be surprised how much strength you will recover from taking a power nap and you will find that this is an essential survival tool in the first year of motherhood!

  • Christine Okokon

Adjust Your Getting-Ready Schedule:

The first thing that I noticed in the first few weeks of becoming a mother was how all of a sudden, my 30-minute chicken-head bath and make-up routine was no longer going to cut it. I now needed an ENTIRE hour and a half to get myself and the little one all ready to leave the house. I immediately got super stressed out about timing, as I love to be punctual when God permits. (He does not often permit.) What I did was adjust my prep time before any and all meetings and appointments. I was late ‘because of the baby’ several times before I got into the habit of prepping the night before and giving myself more time in the morning. I am not a naturally matutinal person, so it was a really big adjustment for me. My advice is to go into your new-found job title of Super Mommy with the understanding that you will need to change your personal timing to accommodate your new little one. No worries, though; you will be up disrespectfully early every day now anyway. (Insert evil laugh.) 

  • Sugar Taylor

Embrace your new body: 

I almost became depressed with the various changes my body went through after I had Dara. Then I had an ‘aha’ moment – warriors wear their battle scars with pride. I’m a mother, my body has experienced the privilege of growing, birthing, and nurturing a beautiful human being! It took 9 months for my belly to grow, why should I (or anyone else) expect my tummy to snap back immediately? So what if your boobs lose their perkiness because you decide to breastfeed your baby?? Please embrace your new body. You can diet and work out to get things back in place but please please please do not put yourself, or let anyone else put you under pressure to snap back within the first year. If it never goes back to the way it once was, that’s really okay. You are a mother….your breastfed baby is happy….you went through pregnancy and came out of that battle a victor….wear your new body (which bears your battle scars) with pride. Believe me, you are still quite beautiful so love yourself!

  • Christine Sijuwade


Remember to have FUN:

We all want our little buggers to excel and be the very best that they can possibly be. There’s no shortage of “how-to’s “when it comes to molding that cutie into a baby genius. But sometimes it’s nice to just keep things light. Kids really do bring so much fun into our stuffy grown-up lives. They’re literally experiencing every single thing for the first time, so open yourself to the opportunity of seeing the world through their eyes, it’s such a happier place. The greatest gift my daughter has taught me is that there is wonder in the simplest things, so don’t forget to make time to play!

  • Nikki Miller

Visualize Your Happy Place:

When you’re in the throws of that first year of motherhood, it is so easy to get lost in it all. One thing that really helped me was to create a vision board of my zen/happy place. What my life would look like as my kids got older and I started to have more me-time. What I find is that in that escaping to that virtual place did bring me joy in the moment but it also gave me direction. I am literally ticking things off my happy place list as I’m going along and the feeling is so amazing!

  • Ibi Ibru

Ask all the questions in the world: 

Some ‘annoying’ veteran mums pass comments like “‎Ooohhh it’s your first that’s why you are asking all these questions”. Please ignore them and go ahead and ask all the questions you want to ask. You are a new mum, of course, you don’t know anything. And let me tell you this, no one knows everything. So please never be ashamed to ask a gazillion questions (but please ask the right people such as your pediatrician….)

  • Christine Okokon

Give yourself grace:

Motherhood is as new to you as life is to your newborn. Remember to give yourself the space and the grace to make mistakes as you find your way through this new life as a mother. Cheer yourself on when you finally get the hang of something and be patient with yourself when you don’t get it right. You will figure it out eventually so just take it easy.

  • Kunbi Odubogun