When you become a parent, suddenly your whole life revolves around someone else. Babies and young children are completely dependent on you so your days are often just about keeping them alive. Everything you do and every decision you make has to have somebody else’s needs factored in first.
Which is all fine, I mean, you kind of know that when you get the job but I think it’s all too easy to completely lose who you are amongst the chaos.
It can be so difficult to have little control over your body when you’re pregnant. It is miraculous and incredible and such a blessing but that doesn’t mean that it’s also easy. I really struggled physically with sickness and heartburn but also mentally as my body was changing and I was putting weight on. This was even harder with my second pregnancy as I’d worked so hard to lose weight after the first time so seeing myself getting bigger again really upset me.
You spend approximately 40 weeks growing a gorgeous baby and then, obviously, it’s time to get them out. It doesn’t matter how you go about that, I think whatever happens your body is left in a right state afterwards! I had two completely different labours but both times I was left with stitches, bruising, swelling and a sad looking, deflated belly (NOT deflated as in small, you understand. More like a 6 month pregnant belly but saggy. Lovely.)
In the early days you obviously have this new person to get to know and look after whilst healing from the birth and dealing with insane hormone fluctuations. Naturally, you’re probably not putting your heels on or hitting the gym (but fair play if you are!) and nobody would expect you to, you’ve just had a baby! But I think it’s so easy to continue like that until you feel a bit lost.
At some point, whenever it feels right, you need to start finding yourself in that postpartum fog and do things for yourself and not just your children/partner/house/job.
It took until my baby boy was about 9 months old for me to remember myself. I started just by buying a book and actually reading it. I know. Shocking. And it felt great. A few evenings a week I would have a long shower once the kids were in bed, use a face mask and lie in bed with my book. It seems so trivial but it’s almost like it kickstarted me making myself a priority every now and then. That famous saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ is so true.
When you’re feeling good, you can give your best to your family.
I was still wearing a lot of maternity clothes just because they were comfy and convenient so I packed them all away and forced myself to actually look in my wardrobe and buy things for me when I was shopping. It wasn’t anything expensive, but it felt good to shift some of my focus back onto myself.
I walk at least 40 minutes every day now as my daughter is in nursery but I also like to try and get a couple of workouts in throughout the week. Again, it’s good to focus on myself and look after my body as it’s served me well over the last few years! I also find I’m more positive and patient after a bit of exercise which is always useful when I spend my days refereeing a cruising baby and a threenager.
This is something that is obviously different for everyone, it’s just my personal experience. I’m not writing this to ‘show off’, I just hope it can encourage one mum to ignore the laundry for an hour and have a long bath or buy that bag that you loved but put back on the shelf.
Basically, you’re important too, Mama!
Thanks for reading,
Knight Mummy x