Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, it’s the most important job there is, but that doesn't make it simple. But what about you, the woman who use to spend Saturday night out with friends going to late night movie dates, drinks on Friday and sleeping in late on Sunday morning. The girl who only stressed about buying clothes for herself or indulging too much during a weekend getaway. When did you lose the ability to live carefree.
It was amidst the diaper changes and colicky nights, the number learning and ABC milestones. All the joy centered solely on the tiny person your world revolves around. You wish that while everyone was giving you advice on being a mother, someone offered advice on how to keep you around. Here's my advice to you, learned after two years of motherhood with rambunctious twins and balancing two families. These are my 7 ways to keep the old you after pregnancy:
7 Keep a Journal
It sounds non-important to write down your thoughts, but keeping a journal is beneficial. Some days will be hard and your thoughts will be all over the place. At some point someone will be making you feel bad about your parenting or the doctor's office messed up a prescription. You will be trying to keep track of diaper counts and bottle feedings. Or you want to document important milestones that happen in your babies lives.
Maybe your financial hardships are so bad, but you don't want to talk about it. Keeping a journal lets it all out. You can b*tch, moan and complain about life and feel better afterwards. Date night went awesome, or no date night in months--maybe leave that page out on the table for someone to read--either way a journal allows you to look back and remember who you were and what you were experiencing at that specific time.
A journal just might save your sanity on those crazy days
Depending on the contents, you might even be able to save them as graduate gift for when your baby finishes high school. Kinda like a prepare for life, or motherhood gift when they have kids. You're making it a keepsake for them and you, but also it can help encourage them in their lives.
The best thing about a journal is that it can capture all your feelings without judgement. Allowing you to let go of what you are worried about and move on. Think of it as a cheap therapist who's always on call.
6 Stolen Moments
As a new mom this is hard to accomplish. Your time is spent feeding, changing and rocking a baby to sleep 90% of the time. The other ten you're probably trying to clean the house cook dinner, or sleep.
Sometimes you need to take a seat and do nothing. I call these stolen moments, where you’re able to finish a cup of coffee or tea before it goes cold. It's hard to accomplish sometimes since we move at the speed of light to finish everything.
Take a small break and just relax for a tiny moment
The good thing is they can happen at any time; end of the day, before everyone wakes up, when the baby is sleeping or occupied with themselves. Just sit and breathe, access your mental and emotional health. Take two minutes out to breathe without a worry, it's almost like resetting your stress switch.
5 Plan a Big Party!
This is YOUR day. There are special days throughout the year. This day, maybe your birthday, is to be reserved to celebrate all that you are. Get glamoured up and enlist friends to help set up and party! Drink too much, laugh the night away and make sure the babysitter knows what time you’ll be picking up the munchkin in the morning.
But enjoy the moments as they come and remember you deserve to be the center of attention for awhile. Set a budget and make it as extravagant as you possibly can and smile. Rejoice in another year of being awesome!
I know, everyone is always trying to cram healthy living and working out into their life, but really, once you have a baby you'll want to. Besides all the important medical stuff on lowering your chances of getting ill, there's a chance you'll lose that baby weight too. Your mind could really benefit from the release of endorphins which come with exercise.
Having a really bad day? Try doing a few lunges or squats. Start small by picking an area to work on and pick a number. Each day that passes increase by 5 or 10. You’ll build up your strength, feel good mentally and physically and look great in a little black dress.
3 Reconnect with Friends
We all do it. There's the whirlwind of finding out your’re pregnant, then preparing and figuring out the next year at the very least. Sure some friends may try and be involved as much as possible, perhaps by throwing you a baby shower or helping with your weird cravings.
Once the baby is here they might show up at the hospital and at your home for a few weeks. But once you really start getting in the groove of your daily routine, you lose time with them, you’re busy running your house, job, relationships and caring for a tiny person. It's understandable.
Your friends will remind you who you are
After things get settled, reconnect as soon as you can. Invite your girlfriends over for brunch when the baby is napping or hit the mall for some gossip time. Make sure you pack everything you might need to keep your baby happy. Stroller for when they are content to just look around and maybe a baby carrier for when they’re getting fussy.
Bottles, or cover-ups for us breastfeeding moms and snacks and cuddle blankets for the slightly older babies. Maybe a walk around a garden or park could be an option. All women understand each other’s journey in become a mom. Women also like to keep their friendships for those moments they want to just enjoy being themselves!
2 Date night
I know some of women may be financially handicapped at the moment, but being financial strapped family doesn't mean you can't have one night or two with your honey to remind yourself how the relationship started.
A date night could be at home after the baby is asleep, but let’s be honest, it would be way more enjoyable out and about town. Get jazzed up and put on heels, have him give you flowers and have fun. Give each other the emotional nourishment your relationship needs to grow, smile and flirt like you use to. Be a couple for a few hours and not just mom and dad.
It's tricky to work in a hobby if you’re super busy. There also might be a chance that you don't have one. That's okay! Get on the internet and search for new things, it's a matter of seeing something that interests you. Find something you have a fun doing, who knows, maybe you can find a way to turn it into income. Through I wouldn't make that the goal when you start. It's to give your mind a break and allow you to enjoy being in your own world for a few.
Don't put much pressure on yourself, instead relax and live in the moment. As a new mom sometimes you’re so consumed with being perfect you neglect yourself. you think having something that is just yours is selfish. You beat yourself down for any moments you spend away from your baby.
It's a process every new mom goes through and it's hard to find balance some days.
Don't ever believe that taking time for yourself means you’re a bad mom. In fact it's the opposite. Think of these 7 things as a refresh button. We all get overwhelmed, stressed, and feel like we aren't important. The truth is, moms are the glue that hold the family together. If you forget who your were, your baby won't know what is possible. So nourish yourself, bring the woman back that started your journey and have her remind the mom you are now that you got this!