Finding yourself after you have a baby is so important! We all know that having a baby is so consuming emotionally, physically and mentally. It can take months and even years to feel like you are strong again. The feeling of being drained, overwhelmed and stressed out is a common and often accepted way to feel, but I have to wonder is it acceptable? Caring for ourselves after having a baby is so important.
How do we break this cycle and feel strong again without feeling that nagging guilt. I thought by the time I had my third I would have figured this out, but I actually think it has become worse with each child. Not only am I balancing the needs of my new baby with household and work needs, I am also balancing the needs of my other children. It is hard. This thought crosses my mind multiple times a day.
There are simple solutions that you can implement and focus on to help with this transition. If you make a habit of doing these 5 things from the beginning you may find your transition into motherhood and to feeling less overwhelmed is possible.
- Take at least 15 minutes each morning or evening for yourself. This may not seem like very much time, but it will make such a big difference in how you feel. Have your cup of coffee, tea, wine, beer or whatever takes you to your happy place and do whatever it is that makes you you. Reading, journaling, twitter, a phone call with a friend, meditation, etc. Sound impossible? Wake up before the kids or get a bedtime routine set that ensures you this time. It is possible.
- Have at least one sit down and hands free meals a day. Aim for more, but have a minimum of one. When baby naps spend 15 minutes eating a nice meal. It sounds silly, but it is so easy to rush around during nap time trying to accomplish everything and miss a meal completely. If it is easier for you to wait till your partner gets home than wait, but make it happen for yourself.
- Make time for your friends and your partner. It may feel that it is impossible to get out of the house the first few weeks or even the first few months after you have a baby, but you can plan for visitors and adult time. Have your friends visit while the baby naps or your partner is with him/her. An hour conversation over dinner or a cup of coffee, even in your home, can make you start feeling like yourself again.
- Invest in yourself. I waited too long to do this with my third and I wish I would have done it 3 weeks out instead of waiting 5 months. Get a haircut, get your nails done, buy a new outfit, do something to show yourself you are worth it. I went to One Salon in Oak Brook and made an appointment with Nicole Kass. She made me feel like a new and improved woman.
- Exercise and eat healthy. This seems simple, but can actually be difficult to implement. Make a routine of exercise starting once you have the go ahead from your doctor. Start with short walks and build from there. Prepare meals and have freezer meals ready to go. This makes eating healthy so much easier.
Getting back to feeling strong after baby is not an easy task. It is most certainly a process but starting with these small steps can make the task seem less daunting. Good luck. You are not in this alone!