There seems to be subconscious and conscious beliefs that moms need to try to get back to the women they were before having children. For some time I believed this too.
- I believed that I needed to get back to my toned pre-baby body.
- I believed that I needed to resume my former role in the workforce.
- I believed that I needed to be an old version of myself.
In chasing after the old me, I was doing myself a disservice and missing out on the opportunity to be a perfectly worthy new version of myself.
The old me is gone. The old you is gone too.
The women we used to be didn’t have the experiences or the responsibilities we now have. Motherhood changes us and although it’s human nature to resist change, the change from woman to mom can be positive when we make space for reconciliation and growth.
HOW TO EMBRACE THE WOMAN YOU BECOME AS A MOM
Love your new body unwaveringly
Your body is a temple and if you were blessed to give birth or chose to breastfeed you’ll notice that gravity seems a bit heavier and the stretching may have left beauty marks. It’s proof that you have undergone a transformation. Yes, there is a season for trying to get in shape after giving birth but in the meantime be kind to your body and cherish yourself.
Establish new ways to function
Bringing my baby home was one of the most intimidating events of my life. I had never had the responsibility of keeping anything but a fish and a dog alive. I failed with the fish but excelled with the dog. Now, I was expected to nurture a baby, be a loving wife, work, keep a clean home, take care of myself, and maintain relationships and friendships.
Initially, I was barely functioning expecting my old routines and habits to work for new circumstances. It didn’t work out. It took some time but once I was willing to establish new systems and new priorities. It was easier to get out of my own way and I began to enjoy mom life more.
If you are in the early stages of new mom life, consider looking at how you are trying to function how you did pre-baby. You wouldn’t try to put a butterfly back into a cacoon. So. Figure out how to use the new wings you been given.
Learn to let go
Letting go is difficult. When I think of the things I’ve had to let go of since becoming a mom I’m amazed.
- I had to let go of eight hours of sleep.
- I loosened my grip on my desire to do things perfectly.
- I stopped prioritizing people who didn’t prioritize me.
- I let go of the need to be fully independent.
When we become moms, we have to learn to let go of the things that no longer serve us and our families. It’s hard but it’s necessary. Let go and you may notice that your thoughts were the only thing tethering yourself to that space you thought you needed to be in.
Our culture teaches us that being busy is success. If you have something to do, somewhere to be, people who are depending on you, and work to get done, then your time is more valuable. I don’t buy that logic and you shouldn’t either.
Your time was valuable before you filled your calendar with commitments and your time will be valuable when your calendar is empty.
- Make time for yourself because you are worthy of your own time.
- Make time for family because they shouldn’t be treated with less importance than the people outside your home.
- Make time to read because knowledge will provide new opportunities and insights.
- Make time to be creative because hobbies are just as valuable as jobs.
Time is our most important asset yet we often fail to make time for the people in our lives that matter most – including ourselves. I learning to take pride in having a short to-do list.
Have you ever watched someone do a task and take 10x as much time than required to get it done? It’s frustrating to watch. It more frustrating knowing that they could have used that time (that they’ll never get back) more efficiently.
If you have things in your life that you can simplify to save yourself time without sacrificing quality. Do it!
For me this involves:
- Meal prep
- Morning routines
- Night routines
- Go-to cleaning habits
What about you? Have you found ways to simplify some of the everyday family life tasks?
My biggest mistake in the fourth trimester was isolating myself. Why parent alone if you don’t need to? If there are trustworthy people willing to offer you help, accept it.
Accepting help was difficult for me, even when it was offered by my husband and our parents. I became a stingy mama bear and I didn’t want to share the responsibility of caring for my child in the ways that some may expect. It took hurting the feelings of someone I love to realize that my actions were harmful and isolating. We aren’t meant to parent alone and allowing people to help us doesn’t make a weak.
If you have a trusted people in your inner circle wanting and willing to assist you, use that time to care for yourself. You are worthy.
The popular saying is that “It takes a village to raise a child”. I’d add that moms can benefit from a village too.
Often, we enter motherhood without the support of other moms. This isn’t intentional, often times, we just don’t know other moms and our friends are in other stages in their lives.
But having a fellow mama to ask about baby sleep, toddler eating, or babywearing can be helpful. Find a way to connect to moms in similar stages and those further along. We can learn from each other.
Motherhood was the biggest change in my life and the time I wasted trying to get back into the body and headspace of a girl without the same experiences was a mistake.
Once I called BS on trying to move backgrounds, I became a happier person. I believe that you can too!
Do you have some techniques that helped you embrace becoming a mom?