Message for first-time moms living in New York City

When I had my son over 10 years ago it was such an amazing, beautiful, full of love experience. My husband and I would take care of him day and night. We would have family visits to see him and everyone was telling us how perfect he was. And then, my husband went back to work and I was left alone with the baby. It was a hard transition for me. I wish I knew then what I know now. I can’t believe that just within 10 years we look so differently at motherhood, default parent, and partnership. I didn’t have those resources, but I thought I would share them with you so that someone would not feel the way I felt.

Find your Village

It’s not as easy as it sounds in New York City. People constantly move, especially after they have a baby. One day you have a bunch of friends next day they all moved to Connecticut. When I had an infant I didn’t know anyone with the baby, so I joined all of Brooklyn’s local Facebook groups for parents and new moms. It was a great way to ask all the baby questions and get out of the house. We had monthly dinners, weekly meet-ups in the park, and daily hangouts. I found some great friends there (most of them moved out of NYC, but we stay in touch). That was my village.

Don’t be ashamed to ask for help

This is a big one. Women have this idea that we have to do it all. That’s not true. It’s too much. You need help. Ask for it, take it, and enjoy it. In New York it’s not the same as other places, you don’t have neighbors popping in with casserole or grandma giving you a break so you can take a shower. We often don’t know our neighbors that well and our family is far away. But there are other ways. Yes, order every night if that will make your life easier. Yes, have a cleaning person come and take care of the house. Yes, your partner is there to give you a break so you can take a nap or a shower.

Take care of yourself

Do you know how on the plane they say to put an oxygen mask first on yourself and then on your child? That’s exactly it. You have to take care of yourself so you will be able to take care of your baby. You won’t be able to show up for your child if you are exhausted and sick. For everyone self-care might look a little bit different. Some need to meet up with friends, some need to go back to the hobbies they used to have before the baby, and some will pick up some new hobbies. It’s important to find time for yourself. And even more important to take care of your health. I learned it quite late, but your pelvic floor after everything it went through needs attention. Do you cross your legs when you sneeze? Yeah, this is not one of the perks of motherhood, that can and should be fixed. You should go to PT and have it checked. I worked with Healing Motions In Brooklyn. You can ask your local Facebook groups for recommendations.

Instagram accounts for moms

I wish I had those when my babies were small. I follow them now and I still find their content very resourceful and helpful.

payalforstyle – She is teaching her sons how not to be dusty boys, haven’t heard of a dusty boy? Go check out her account

diaryofanhonestmom – A real, honest account about motherhood, mental health, and domestic labor

drbeckyatgoodinside – A psychologist teaching us how to be a better parent, how to heal ourselves, and break cycles.

drmorgancutlip – A psychologist talking a lot about mental load, motherhood, and relationships

biglittlefeelings – A fantastic account for parents with toddlers. Great tips, resources, real talk, and fun moms:)

mrchazz – Fantastic man, teaching parenting, breaking cycles. His videos where he explains behaviors and what could be done better without shame or blame are fantastic.

bigtimeadulting – Adds a sense of humor to everyday life with kids. She will help you go through hard times with her funny dance videos

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