Being a new mama can feel overwhelming. There’s pressure all around you—people telling you how to be a “good mom” while you try to balance all the roles society expects from you.
But here’s the thing, mama: You get to decide what matters most to you. And most importantly, you don’t have to do it all.
That’s the message from Kendra Adachi, founder of The Lazy Genius Collective and author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Lazy Genius Way.
This is a time of huge transformation. So, give yourself some grace and start prioritizing the most important things about your new life.
How to Lazy Genius New Motherhood
Living in The Seasons of New Motherhood
Having a baby is hard. Being a mom is hard. But, like the earth, motherhood has many seasons—infant, preschool, kindergarten—and priorities and responsibilities change.
So, embrace and live in the season of motherhood that you’re in. And don’t hesitate to let others help you. You’ll weather the challenges more easily when you share your needs and ask for help from a trusted friend or family member.
You don’t have to ignore the difficulties, but don’t let the challenges run the show.
Beware Toxic Positivity
Have you ever had someone dismiss your feelings and tell you to “stay positive?” That’s toxic positivity. It’s okay to struggle with being a new mom. You don’t have to enjoy every moment!
Instead of offering you support, toxic positivity can make you feel like there’s something wrong with you. It can push you deeper into a negative mindset and lead to depression and feelings of anger.
It is the opposite of encouragement.
And you need to know that it’s okay not to be okay. Struggling with motherhood is normal—it’s okay if you feel like it’s complicated.
Don’t be afraid to open yourself up. If your social circle engages in toxic positivity, seek out support in other groups or places.
Set Boundaries with Well-Intentioned Family and Friends
Setting boundaries is about advocating for yourself and telling others what you and your baby need. It can feel uncomfortable as a new mama. After all, you’re transitioning into a brand new role and learning how to care for a brand new baby!
So, while it’s okay to ask for help (and accepting help is encouraged), sometimes you may not want to take a helper’s suggestion.
For example, let’s say a well-intentioned family member or friend offers to hold your baby so you can get some laundry done. But you’re enjoying your time cuddling with the baby, and maybe what you need most is for them to do the laundry.
Be honest and let them know you appreciate their offer to help, but you don’t need the support they offered.
Give yourself permission not to go along with what other people want because you don’t have to let them help at the expense of your own needs.
Use a Registry to Name What Matters to You
Setting up a baby registry can be time-consuming and overwhelming. As a new mama, you may not even know what you need. Other people can be quick to share their must-have new baby items. But the things that are important to them may not matter to you.
That’s where a baby registry comes in. You can use it as an opportunity to let others know what matters most to you.
Ask yourself what is important: What items do you think you’ll need? Maybe a diaper pail is high on your list of priorities, but a Pinterest-worthy nursery isn’t that important to you. Narrow down your list and prioritize.
Avoid choosing things randomly on your registry. You may not need the items or have the space to put them (and it could end up in a future yard sale, anyway).
If you are not sure what you need right now, it’s okay to ask for gift cards. Then, you can use them to buy your most wanted baby items when you identify those needs.
Anxiety About Being a “Good Enough” Mom
It’s normal to feel anxious about being a good parent! These feelings typically come from a place of fear where you’re afraid to lose control or make the wrong decision. But you don’t have to be perfect or even make the right decision every time.
The most important thing is that you honor yourself. For example, you may have wanted to breastfeed your little one, but it’s a struggle and not working out. It’s okay! You can switch to formula without feeling guilty.
You may be insecure in your role as a new mom. Expectations from others can bring enormous amounts of pressure. But you get to decide what works best for you.
And if you can’t kick the feelings of being anxious, alone, or sad, that’s okay, too. Just make sure to talk about it with a trusted friend. If they’re a parent, too, chances are they have been through something similar.
If your thoughts are unmanageable, find a therapist who can help you work through the root of your anxiety and find coping strategies.
Final Thoughts on Handling New Motherhood
Stay focused on your values and priorities because copying someone else’s parenting style will only leave you feeling frustrated and like you don’t measure up.
And here’s the key: You are already doing motherhood right. Your baby is going to be okay, and you’re going to get through each season as it passes.
Sure, it feels hard, and it is hard.
But everything that is tough now will change in six months. Do what’s best for you and be lazy about the rest of it.
What is most important to you as a new mom?