There seems to be subconscious and conscious beliefs that moms need to try to get back to the women they used to be. For some time I believed this.
- 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 realized I was trying to use my hands to hold on to water. And the thing is…it doesn’t work.
The old me is gone (RIP).
The woman I was didn’t have a child. She hadn’t experienced pregnancy loss, she did not know the responsibility of raising a child.
The woman I used to be wasn’t a mom.
Motherhood changes us and although it’s human nature to resist change, the change from woman to mom can be positive.
HOW TO EMBRACE THE WOMAN YOU BECOME AS A MOM
Love your new temple
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 back in shape but in the meantime be kind to your body and cherish her for allowing you to carry and birth a child.
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 alive. 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.
I thought it would be simple adding a baby to my life but it wasn’t. Initially, I was barely functioning because I hadn’t found a new way to function. I was expecting my old routines and habit to work for new circumstances.
It takes 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.
Learn to let go
My comfort zone is cozy and warm. Letting go makes me feel uncomfortable and cold.
When I let go of things I get concerned about how I’ll manage without.
- How will I manage without that job?
- How will I manage without those people?
Letting go forces me to be an adult. It forces me to re-evaluate my path and my expectations. I no longer get to move through life in a predictable pattern. It frightens me. But here is a secret you should know about fear for yourself, it changes in motherhood; it becomes less potent. The fear you once felt for yourself gets displaced to the new people who we love and care for most – our children. You become more selfless.
Our culture teaches us that busyness 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 valuable. I don’t buy that logic
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 may be difficult initially, even when it’s from our partners or spouses, but it’s beneficial for us and our relationships.
It shows we trust our partners and loved ones to assist and we get time to do other things we enjoy (like sleep).
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? If so, share them below.