You've just had the most beautiful baby in the world. And you can finally watch their little chest rise and fall in blissful sleep. You can’t imagine how life was before you laid eyes on them. It’s everything you could have dreamed of and then you look around the room and say… “Now what?”
I say now’s a great time to put the focus back on you while you’ve got some time!
One of the most common things I hear from moms is that they’ve lost themselves. While making sure everything is running like a well oiled machine, they lost their "IT" factor. They’re breastfeeding (you can become a pacifier). The way they’ve tried to balance work and family is exhausting. It may be that staying at home is a 24 hour #momlife and they have no outlet to speak of.
Who wouldn’t feel lost and out of touch with who they are after a while?
So I came up with 7 Steps To Find Yourself In Mommyhood.
Let's dive in!
1. Acknowledge that you’re different now.
I know you want to do what you used to, but nope, not exactly. You have a husband and little people to watch over and that takes time and dedication. You need to realize that your life is different and that means you’re different. You have new priorities and responsibilities. Accepting this will give you a place to start planning out your idea of a balanced life. Your way of balance is going to be different from everyone else’s so don’t try to copy anyone’s lifestyle.
Now that you know you’re a different person now you need to adjust your life to fit your family’s needs. Then you can can acclimate your family to get your needs met. This way your family will understand that some changes are about to happen. Then you can begin to find yourself again.
2. Write down 3 activities you need to do to be 100% you.
Okay think of what makes you smile. What raises the hair on your arm in excitement just thinking about it? What do you need to do to live a fulfilled life? Take those answers, there must be at least 3, and …
3. Work through the guilt.
This can be the most difficult for some of us moms. Sometimes we’ll have a little voice, nagging us in the ear every time we leave our precious babies. GUILT. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting, needing, or desiring to feel like you again. Nothing. It’s actually necessary! However, if this is a serious mountain you need to overcome ask yourself these 3 things.
If the answer is no to any of these questions, keep them in mind as you take actions to figure out who you are now.
4. Look in the mirror.
Yes, stop picking the toys up off the floor and look in the mirror sometimes. Do you recognize the woman standing there looking back at you? Sure you might have some spit up on the collar of your shirt. Maybe you haven’t put on different workout pants in 2 days. Maybe your skin is blotchy and covered in sweat. BUT do you recognize yourself under all that? If not, let’s get to work!
5. Get out!
Yes, I’m throwing you out of your own house. (It’s a strategy that involves planning so you can’t make excuses on why you can’t leave your house.) Pick a day that’s not usually an insane one.
The night before pull out the kids clothes and yous, pump your breast milk if needed, stock the baby bag and place it near the door. Look up activities you’re interested in, from step 2, in your area and see if there’s one you can take the kids to enjoy as well.
A few days before, arrange child care. Dad (which I prefer), grandma, grandpa, or babysitter. Someone you can rely on. Get your clothes and anything else you need ready. Let your husband know that you’re going to leave the house. Alone… and he needs to prepare for you to be gone for at least 2 hours. This is not up for discussion. This is a sign of things to come.
6. Plan girlfriend time.
It’s a must. Women flourish with other women. That’s why it took a village to raise a child. It still does, except now the village doesn’t even say hi when you see each other in the driveway. Meeting up with your girlfriends is a must that you need to do at least once a month, preferably once a week. They will be your lighthouse in the night. Your girls will tell you knock it off and move your butt.
So plan a girls night out and dance out your frustrations. You can also use Skype, Facetime, or (one of my fav’s) www.appear.in to get together long distance. You can still gather and have a great talk while you’re out at Starbucks using their wifi. Yes for this one you still need to get out the house to talk over the internet.
7. Take action!
In whatever way you decide to get you back at one with yourself, actually take action! Continuing the day to day routine without giving yourself some kind of break is not cool. Your family deserve a happy mom not a bitter one.
Implement this check list to get started on finding the new you in Mommyhood. You can find the short version as a print out by clicking here.