Modern Parenting recently interviewed four first-time moms with no yayas. Here’s what they had to say when it comes to raising their babies and running a household.
Taking care of a baby can take so much out of a mother—especially a first-time mom. Apart from feeding, bathing, putting the baby to sleep, and ensuring their health, new moms tend to take on an invisible load (postpartum blues, mom guilt, and mom rage to name a few) that often leaves them depleted. But what about first-time moms with no yayas? We talked to four new moms—all with babies a year old or under—on how they’re able to manage everything on their plates.
9 Tips from First-Time Moms with No Yayas
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
“Yaya or no yaya, it really takes a village to raise a child,” Marla shares. “My husband, Enzo, is absolutely my partner in raising our 19-month-old daughter Zoe since day 0. Even if I’m her primary caregiver, he is still very hands-on with her and truly supports both of us. We’re also lucky to have our families who are always willing to babysit and help us out when we need to take a break or go on dates.”
“It is okay to ask for help,” Karina assures other new moms. “In the beginning, it was so hard for me to accept or ask for help. I felt like I wasn’t being a good mom for passing my baby or my responsibilities to someone else. But then I realized that by doing so, I was just causing more stress to myself. And it wasn’t good for either me or my baby.”
“It’s okay to acknowledge that you cannot do everything on your own,” Allysiu asserts. “Don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends. It’s a great bonding experience for them and you will get a chance to rest.”
2. Establish a routine and stick to it as much as possible
For Marla, a schedule really helps her stay on top of things. “Babies or toddlers need structure and repetition to feel safe and secure. Your routine will keep everyone happy and sane—on most days,” she quips.
“Babies thrive on routine,” Karina agrees. “Routines make your day a little more predictable so that it is easier to make plans. I schedule my errands during my baby’s nap time.”
Allysiu upholds this tip as well. “Stand your ground with your baby’s schedule. Sometimes, it’s okay to miss events because you have to stay at home with your baby.”
3. Follow mommy groups
Both Karina and Allysiu are part of a few mom groups on Facebook. “I love that there are so many mommy groups on Facebook,” says Karina. “I especially love joining groups for babies with the same birth month as my baby’s. These groups help me understand why my baby is acting in such a way—which makes me less paranoid that something is wrong and prepares me for the hard, fussy days. I also get a lot of tips and tricks for certain situations from these groups.”
“Joining Facebook support groups is one of the best tips I can give as a first-time mom!” Allysiu exclaims. “My favorite is my December babies group which consists of moms with December babies worldwide. We have been in the same group since we were pregnant. And now seeing our beautiful babies, we give each other tips and share the same experiences—which have been so helpful. It gives me comfort to know that I am not alone in this journey. I also joined a Filipino mom group called Glam-O-Mamas where I check recommendations on baby essentials from seasoned moms!”
4. Talk to your partner about arrangements
For Niña, gone are the days when the full responsibility of taking care of a baby is on the mother. “My husband is in charge of feeding solids, bathing, and cleaning up the baby after he poops.”
“Since it’s just us three plus two fur babies in the house, he does most of the chores and dog stuff—especially when I’m nursing Johan. I also tell him about my work schedule since we’re both work-from-home. When I’m on a very important call or I need to focus (with both my hands), he takes a break and looks after Johan.”
“Let your husband or partner help you in any way,” affirms Allysiu. “Teamwork makes the dream work! Let them bond. It’s priceless to see that your child has an amazing relationship with your partner.”
5. Invest in baby items that can make things a bit easier
As a full-time mom with a full-time job, Niña prepared some items before her maternity leave ended. “I asked friends how they managed to work from home and breastfeed at the same time without a yaya or helper. One of the tips that worked for me was to have a portable table on the bed so I can nurse and work at the same time. Nursing pillows help you become hands-free once your baby is groggy. We used a baby carrier, too—so we can move around. When he turned eight months old and was more active, we got a bed rail so we could keep him on the bed while we worked.”
For Marla, investing in a baby monitor was a must. “We have a Timeflys video baby monitor that doesn’t require WiFi. It makes us feel more comfortable to leave Zoe in the room when she takes her naps—so we can see and hear her. This allows me to do chores around the house and have a bit of me-time during the day. We also bring it with us when we go on trips or sleepovers.”
“If you have family and friends who had babies before, maybe you can ask them if they have second-hand things,” says Allysiu. “Hand-me-downs are the best! You get to help the earth by reusing baby things plus it feels more special because it came from a loved one.”
6. Follow your momstinct (mom instinct)
“You know your child the best,” Karina assures. “No amount of baby books and courses can prepare you for motherhood. Your connection with your baby is enough to let you know what to do or make you feel when something is wrong.”
Allysiu adds, “As a first-time mom, it can get really overwhelming—hormones, doubts, stress, lack of sleep, exhaustion. For sure, there will be a lot of unsolicited advice. Just take them lightly and don’t get pressured to follow everyone! Remember that you’re the mother and you know what’s best for your baby. Trust yourself. You will immediately have that mom instinct and learn everything along the way.”
7. Make checklists and do things the night before
Before becoming a mom, Karina worked as a top veterinarian for a well-known veterinary clinic. This experience allowed her to think fast and be quick on her feet. “Do things the night before. With a baby, it is so easy to fall behind your schedule. If we have something planned, I pack all that we need and prepare everything the night before. So that if anything arises, everything that we need is already ready and I wouldn’t have to cram or rush—which can also lead to forgetting things. Make a checklist, too! I have checklists for everything on my phone—grocery, things to do, things to pack, what she’s eaten, etc. Checklists make life so much easier!”
8. Choose your battles and learn when to let go
“Accept the fact that you won’t be able to fully maintain a squeaky clean house and perfect IG-worthy life. I think this is real talk and I struggled with it during the first few months,” Niña admits. “There’s this notion that you are a supermom or superwoman and you can do everything. Then suddenly, reality hits and you really can’t do everything. That is frustrating. Especially when you see other moms on social media who look like they’ve got everything together. It affected my mental health and I always ask myself, ‘Bakit hindi ko kaya yung nagagawa nila? Bakit siya nakakapag-luto pa ng lunch while working from home tapos ang perfect ng bahay niya?'”
“My husband would always tell me, ‘Hindi mo lang nakikita what’s behind those posts.’ So I started to accept that as human beings, even moms can only do so much and we need the support of others to be able to survive. I’m lucky to have a husband who is also my teammate in Ultimate. So we know when to tell each other, ‘Sub! Ikaw naman.’ I’m also grateful for our family members who help us when they visit or when we visit them. Most importantly, prayers work. Yung akala mo hindi mo na kaya, pero si God kakalabitin ka tapos sasabihin niya, ‘Gurl, kaya mo pa. Halika—sandal ka sakin.'”
Allysiu reassures other new moms as well. “Your life will change completely once you have a baby. It’s okay to mourn your past life. You will miss it a lot and it will take a lot of adjustments. Just remember that this is a phase and it will eventually get better.”
9. Don’t forget to pamper yourself
“As the saying goes, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup,'” Karina quotes. “It is tough being a mom. Sometimes you give so much of yourself that you feel empty at the end of the day. Try to find time to do little things for yourself so that you can feel recharged. I do this by getting a lactation massage, using face masks after my skincare routine, or even online shopping for myself—because most of the time I only buy stuff for my baby.”
“Go out and get some fresh air,” Allysiu advises. “Being home all the time can get lonely. Going out from time to time can help your baby’s development. Your baby will enjoy looking around since they get curious. Eat healthy food and sleep whenever you can because you cannot take care of your baby if you’re sick. Self-care is still needed for your sanity.”
If these first-time moms with no yayas can make it work, so can you!
Being a mom is undeniably tough. But these first-time moms with no yayas are able to survive!