CBD is something that’s been a part of my routine for the last five years, but ever since my husband and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl [Presley] into this world, it’s been more useful than ever in helping me maintain balance of mind, body and spirit.
In the early days, my routine was simply to put a few drops of CBD oil underneath my tongue before bed; hoping it would provide a more restful night's sleep. Honestly, I can't really say how well those products worked, as I tended to fall asleep before they set in and I didn't really experience a noticeable difference in how I felt when I woke.
Much like my life, the CBD products available to me have changed over the years. There are now hundreds of brands and a multitude of ways to consume. What's more is that, now that I'm a new parent, having a routine that's dialed in is infinitely more important because I have so much more to stress about on a daily basis.
The weird thing is that the most stressful part about becoming a new mom wasn’t the twenty-three hour labor, the difficult recovery period, or even the lack of sleep. It feels like it’s more stressful than ever to be a new mom, simply because my baby was born in 2021.
Let's Backtrack to Before Presley Was Born
I used a registry checklist to purchase every gadget imaginable. I researched each brand and took accompanying notes. I even used a label maker to organize her freshly washed clothes.
In addition to the traditional birthing class, I also took one on breastfeeding, another on infant CPR, and another on newborn sleep. I had a doula, a postpartum doula, and a lactation consultant ready to go (a luxury that I understand many don’t know about, or can’t afford). In other words, I was READY.
Then she arrived. My beautiful, alert, little daughter was staring at me, looking for all of the answers I had supposedly researched.
This is the point where I can note that it probably felt the same for every new parent since the beginning of time. We all think we know what to expect, only to find that we had no idea.
Someone once told me that parenting would be the hardest job I’d ever love, and they couldn’t have been more correct. When I look into my daughter’s eyes, I know that I would do absolutely anything for her.
They say it takes a village, but in 2020 and 2021, new parents have been left to their own devices. And in addition to the usual responsibilities of a new parent - keep the baby safe, warm, and fed - parents in 2021 are faced with another task: protect your newborn from a highly contagious, potentially life threatening virus.
Of course, becoming a new parent in 2020 must have been incredibly frightening, but when they locked down with their newborn, the rest of the world did it with them. In 2021, many are back to work in person, restaurants are alive again, and (with the help of vaccines) many have set out to rebuild their pre-pandemic normal.
But the pandemic is still very real, and parents are trying to find the line between their mental sanity and keeping their baby safe. And even if new parents tried to find their pre-pandemic normal, it would look very different from their normal with a baby.
I read somewhere that a mother’s brain physically changes after having a child in order to best meet the child’s needs. So quite literally, parents in 2021 went into lockdown as one version of themselves, and are currently trying to re-enter the world as someone completely different.
It’s also worth noting that everyone’s nervous systems are at a heightened sensitivity. Our brains aren’t wired to take on the load of every tragedy taking place in the world, and yet on social media we have a front row seat, in real time. So how can we best manage all of this collective stress? To be honest, I’m not quite sure, but I know what works for me!
What Works for Me
About a year ago, I was introduced to HOLISTIK Wellness' CBD Stir STIKs. I was immediately attracted to the multitude of options for relief, as well as the other natural ingredients [besides the CBD] within the STIKs. I loved that they added things like melatonin in their sleep STIK or collagen in the beauty STIK. And now that I'm on 'mom duty' 24/7, I’ve found myself reaching for the stress STIK more than ever, but it goes beyond that.
I find small ways to take care of myself so that I can best show up for Presley. Prior to pregnancy, I loved the STIKs themselves, but now, I love that they’ve become a part of my routine. My time to take care of myself has been minimal, so when I create small moments, like adding a stress STIK to my nightly tea, it helps my body and mind relax.
The more time I have, the more self-care I layer into those moments. The bare minimum is the STIK in my tea, but if I have an added moment, I’ll layer it by playing music. If it’s a really great night, which lord knows we could all use a bit more of those, I’ll throw in a face mask for the ultimate relaxation.
I also lean on the old friends who know what I’m going through, understand that my normal is unrecognizable, and call to check in anyway. I’m grateful for the new ones that can relate directly. I make careful decisions about where I go and who I see based on what makes me feel safe and fulfilled. And I never leave home without some HOLISTIK in-tow.
I know that I can’t be perfect, but there’s so much power in knowing that when push comes to shove, I can trust my mom gut.
New parents, I see you. Tickle your babes, enjoy the snuggles, take a breath, and remember that babies don’t keep! You’ve got this.
This is a guest post by Julia Stern. Julia Stern is a trainer at Rumble in NYC, a former math teacher, and new mom. She thrives while busy and is consistently looking for ways to lead a healthier life. She also has a podcast called Not My Best.