Wondering how to feel like yourself again as a new mom? I can't pretend to have all the answers, but here are a few things I've done to adjust to my new normal!
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I see you, Mama
People tell expectant moms that "having a kid changes everything," but I'm sure I speak for many new moms when I say...I didn't even remotely appreciate how right they were.
How could one (and often two!) functioning adult(s) be constantly outnumbered, out-manned, and frankly out-witted by 10 pounds of cuddliness? Surely *I* can manage this without losing myself!
HA! Well, here I am, 14 (I think??) weeks in, and I confess I have struggled to get back to feeling like "myself" after baby. And not for the reasons I thought I would. But, I'm trying to implement a few strategies, and I figured I'd share, in the event that they help anyone make quick progress!
Overall advice that I want to give myself of the last few weeks and months: cut yourself some slack. You created an entire human being who now relies on you for their very survival. When you say it that way...
Accept Your New Figure and Do Some Shopping
A lot of new moms think they'll feel "like myself" once they're "back in my old clothes." While that may be true for many, I not only just plain wanted to buy new clothes, but also felt more "like myself" wearing clothes that fit my new shape. I wouldn't say I look drastically different, but certain pieces of clothing just hit in places they didn't used to. Putting on new clothes that actually fit was a great way to get me feeling a little bit more human.
Streamline the Beauty Routine
Before I had a kiddo, I never understood how moms "don't have time for make-up." Well, I get it now.
Oh do I ever get it.
I pick one thing per day, that makes me look and feel better. Usually, it's washing, drying, and styling my hair (and I can get two days out of it), but somedays it's eyebrow pencil and mascara. It's never all of these things combined, unless it's date night.
LEAVE THE HOUSE
Take baby around the block. Leave baby with your sister and go get a cup of coffee. Load baby up and go for a drive in the car. You have got to leave the house. It's a massive pain sometimes, but it's always worth it.
Do One Thing for Yourself Each Day
I am still working on this one.
Literally this instant.
Being a new mom (and, I imagine, a mom at all, but I have only limited experience), is all about giving. And it's always you - you're the point person, the go-to, the back-stop and the front line. Find one thing everyday that's just for you. For me, it's often working on my blog or online shopping. Early on, it was often drinking coffee outside for 20 minutes. Whatever it is, find one thing per day, that's just for you.
It can be wine.
Salvage What Still Works
Don't try to recreate your whole "old" life. Don't sit around lamenting all the bar hopping you could be doing. But don't "give up" on your old life entirely. Pick a few things from your pre-kids life that still work. For us, it's going out to eat. The minute our little one was old enough for us to pop out and leave her with Grandma for an hour and a half, we were hitting the foodie scene.
Phone (ok, text) a Friend
Adult interaction is key to staying sane in the early days and, I'm finding, as time goes on. Make time during your day to talk with (if you're lucky!) or text a friend. Whether they're a mom friend in the same situation or someone you can chat with about something non-kid related, I promise it'll lift your mood.
Cut yourself some freaking slack
You're doing great. Your baby loves you, thinks you're perfect, and doesn't know you put the dirty dishes in the oven when company comes over. There will be time to get "back on track," but for now, letting go of the pressure you put on yourself will make all the difference.
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