Overcoming Overwhelm as a New Mom

Overcoming overwhelm as a new mom was hard, I won’t lie.  With help from family and friends, and trial and error, I was able to recalibrate and relax a bit.

Along Comes Baby

I was home for 12 weeks after N (and subsequently G) was born.  It was like a culture shock for me.  I was so used to getting up, getting myself ready for work and heading out the door.  Nights consisted of the hubby and I having dinner and then chilling on the couch to watch TV.  (Like clockwork, I would fall asleep and then stumble upstairs to bed.)

In comes a little baby and my whole life was turned upside down.  What do I do with this little being?  I remember shortly after I brought N home from the hospital, sitting on the couch in my family room while my mom and dad were in the kitchen.  I started crying because I didn’t know how I was ever going to be able to go food shopping again.  

overcoming overwhelm as a new mom

Would I have to only go for a few items at a time because I would either have to go into the store with the stroller or place the infant carrier in the shopping cart, leaving little to no room for the groceries?

What if he started crying/had an explosive poop/decided he was hungry while I was in the paper goods aisle?

This all sounds silly now, but it was REAL for me.  It took all of two seconds for my mom to respond with, “You’ll be fine.” She was right.  I was fine.  This was one of the many “challenges” I had to work through as a new mom.  

Below are some other challenges I faced and how I dealt with them.

Pre-Baby Planning

overcoming overwhelm as a new mom

Even before the baby comes home from the hospital, you are inundated with new “stuff”.  Preparing for baby is not easy.  My best advice on this is get what you NEED and not what everyone says you have to have.  Listen to your gut instinct when it comes to caring for the baby, and don’t forget about caring for yourself.  

Household Matters

Priorities change quickly.  It becomes more important to reassess what is most important, of course the baby being paramount.  If you can swing it, get a cleaning service to help keep your home in order.  Having someone help out with cleaning the house every two weeks was worth every penny.  

Divvy up the other chores, including (but not limited to) laundry, food shopping, and cooking with other family members.  Laundry most definitely piles up – it’s amazing how the number of laundry loads increase due to such a little person!  

Consider using a service like Instacart to deliver your groceries.  I’ve become a huge Amazon Prime fan.  Items that I could have delivered to my door in hours or get shipped in one to two days is golden compared to me having to rush from place to place, wasting time I could be expending on more valuable tasks.  

Self Care

One thing that I truly missed after coming home with the baby, was going for a manicure/pedicure/facial/massage.  I used to feel guilty for taking the hour or so, but I look back in hindsight and wish I did so more frequently.  

60 minutes would refresh me and make me feel a little more put-together.  Take the time to invest in yourself, and your family will thank you.

Proper Preparation

Picking out clothing the night before doesn’t only apply to kids.  As a new working mom, I would pick out what I intended on wearing the next day.  It saved at least 10-15 minutes from my crazed morning routine.  Not having to stare listlessly at what was hanging in my closet saved me time (and frustration).  

Prepare lunch and snacks the night before as well.  Put everything you need in your bag to avoid running back in to the house (possibly multiple times) because you forgot something.  Sunglasses, notebooks, 

Organization is KEY

I am a paper planner kind of person.  I think it is imperative that there is some kind of scheduling system in place.  Blame it on mommy-brain, too much coffee, not enough coffee – whatever it may be.  I need to document everything.  

I use two types of calendars, and if you were to speak with an organization specialist they would totally poo-poo that but it works for me.  I’ve tried out different planners and systems both paper-based and electronic and have finally found the perfect pairing.  This is more than likely different for each person – don’t give up until you find that sweet spot.

For the family and personal to-dos I use Cozi.  It is a super user-friendly app that combines a shared calendar with To Do lists, shopping lists and more.  I opted for the paid plan to not have to deal with ads and also unlock some other useful features.  

Regardless of how many times I have tried, I cannot get away with the old school paper planner.  There’s something about writing things down that keeps them “fresher” in my mind – and I do believe there is scientific studies that support this.  I also happen to love stationary, cool pens, and stickers.  

I would recommend two planners – the Happy Planner and the Passion Planner.  Both planners serve the same, but different purposes and I am actually trying to see which one I like most without making myself crazy. 

The Happy Planner is awesome because you can add and remove pages as you see fit.  You can purchase a plethora of additions to make your planner super cute and more tailored to your needs.

The Passion Planner is simpler, looks a bit more professional with its binding, and is much more goal-oriented.  

Overcoming Overwhelm as a New Mom is SO Possible!

Take each day, week, and month in stride.  Celebrate the little wins.  Give yourself credit and slack.  

What things would you recommend to help overcome overwhelm as a new mom?

About The Author

Dana Peller

Dana Peller

I’m a wife, mom, biz owner, writer, creator, and TV personality. My days are accomplished with a dash of flair, lots of style, and fueled by coffee.

About The Author

Dana Peller

Dana Peller

I’m a wife, mom, biz owner, writer, creator, and TV personality. My days are accomplished with a dash of flair, lots of style, and fueled by coffee.

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44 thoughts on “Overcoming Overwhelm as a New Mom”

  1. Mitch Chaitin

    As adoptive parents, we had no prep! We were told not to plan I case things fell through. Well, 16 1/2 years later all I can say is, I still get no sleep!

  2. Life changes when a baby (or 2!) is added to the couple. Times of uncertainty and wondering if you’re doing everything right…..It can be overwhelming. Everything you mentioned going through mentally, you weren’t alone in your thoughts! I think we moms have all been there!

  3. I was actually never really overwhelmed as a new mom because I was taking care of someone else’s life. I was overwhelmed because my MIL and FIL decided to surprise us the day my son was born and proceed to live with us for two weeks. THAT wasn’t something I wanted at all because I wanted to get RIGHT into the swing of things off the bat. I didn’t want to have to worry about entertaining them at all. It was rough. Also my MIL was trying to help me breastfeed but it only stressed me out that much more. All good in the hood now as my son will be 1 years old in about ten days, but man that first month was the longest month of my life.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this post. I have to make sure to share it with my friends who are expecting. It’s so important impanelment time for self-care.

  5. robin rue

    I didn’t find it as bad as everyone said it would be. New babies sleep like 20 hours a day so I got it all done.

  6. Michelle J Cantu

    I still haven’t recovered and my youngest is three. Bringing a baby into our world is definitely an adjustment. This is a great post.

  7. I remember these crazy days. So long as I got proper rest I was okay. But there were times when I didn’t, and that would be tough.

  8. With proper sleep, and a break I was fine. I did find it important to make sure I was well rested. It really helps. Great post! Thank you for sharing.

    1. I agree with you, Stephanie, about the need to be well-rested. If I was lacking sleep, I’d be cranky which wouldn’t be good!

  9. Wow, this is so helpful! I wish I had this article when I was a new mom. I’m going to share this with my new mom friends!

  10. Try as much as possible not to skip self-care time! You will always be grateful you did have it and your baby or babies will feel the inner joy in you as you take care of them. That’s all from me for all the new Mamas!

  11. Great tips! I love that you encourage moms to maintain a full, healthy and supportive life!

  12. Great tips! Yep, take each day as it comes and just enjoy every moment with your baby because they grow up so fast while also practicing self-care.

  13. I liked reading this post. I feel it can be very helpful for new moms, as some may not have family nearby to lend a hand if needed.

    1. I’m glad you liked the post, Audrey! I am grateful that I have family nearby to help out.

  14. Melissa Dixon

    I remember struggling with being a new mom. I didn’t trust anyone to help me and didn’t really have anyone there to offer any advice of substance, this is going to help so many.

  15. Matt Taylor

    Those are all great tips!! My friends who have been pregnant and family members have all done some of those things on that list and it really helped them!

  16. This is so important. My daughter was in the hospital with a virus that could have killed her at two weeks old. She was in the hospital for a month on medication That she responded well to thankfully. I could only take it hour my hour. Day by day.

    1. Ashley, I am so sorry that you had to endure that right after your daughter was born, but am super happy to hear that she responded well to the medication!

  17. I can still remember when my daughters were first born. It sure does get overwhelming at times. I’ve always thought it was nice to have others there to help when you needed some time alone.

  18. Stephanie Pass

    I don’t know if there is anything that can prepare you for the first baby. The thing I remember the most is the lack of sleep. I was not prepared for that. Now, we have baby #4, and while it’s an adjustment with a new baby, at least I know what to expect, lol.

  19. i’ve heard some tough things about being a new mummy. i am sure those ladies would have appreciated this blog post. i know as someone who loves a pretty journal that i’ve seen several really cute mommy journals. joy

  20. Having a baby can really change your world and it can be overwhelming. Glad you have figured out the strategies to overcome it.

  21. I remember being a new mum and a trip to the local store became a mission as I had to thin kand over think what I needed for the trip, just in case I forgot something as I had baby in tow. A list like this would have helped me then.

  22. katrina Kroeplin

    i had my first baby at 18. i remember how hard it was. great tips.

  23. I remember that feeling of being overwhelmed when my oldest was a newborn. It would have been so helpful to have posts like this to read. (But of course, the internet didn’t even exist back then!)

  24. Preparation does matter. I think the more prepared the more you wont be so overwhelmed in the process.

  25. I would have these tips when I had my daughter, as a new mom with nobody’s help and hubby working, it is not that easy for me. You shared wonderful tips.

  26. Melanie Walsh

    Out of all of my babies, I felt the most overwhelmed with baby #3. I think I just assumed I had it all covered since I had other children. But I was a hot mess. These tips are super helpful for all mamas!

  27. Ohh, I have to take note of this so that I could prepare myself when its my time to be a mom. Indeed a very good read.

  28. Being a new mom is scary and overwhelming. Once you realize that, you can feel better because you will feel less alone and less like a failure. Then do as you suggested here. take steps to get back control of your life and your time.

  29. Hi Dana,
    These tips are just so good, love how they sort of detailed e.g make friends, but ideally like minded ones. It felt like a sister give awesome advice

  30. I got a baby girl and this guide has helped me a lot. Organizing stuff reduces mental stress. When you need something and you know where it is present, it can make a ton of difference.

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