Today I want to talk to all the real moms out there. The one’s like, who was not kind to herself during pregnancy or after birth, those who forget things, those who do not always get it right, those who feel tired and burnt out, those who feel like a failure, whose winging it half the time and those who simply are not perfect. Yes moms, real moms, Lets talk.
From the very first sign of pregnancy, I however can relate to the , sore throat a sign of early pregnancy http://www.realparent.co.uk/symptoms-signs-of-early-pregnancy/
From that very first sign, it is so natural to instantly focus less on yourself and more on the life growing inside you. As the pregnancy progresses, this feeling intensifies.
My question today is, how well do we take care of ourselves as new parents? How kind are you to yourself, mama? Let me take you through my journey of being unkind and overwhelmed.
In 2009 at the tender age of 25, I was married (figuring out the wife life) to a loving and amazing man, I was a mom with 2 boys aged 3 and 1 and a half and a full time working mom, In January 2009, I was rushed to the doctors rooms with an upset stomach, just to be told I was 21 weeks pregnant, yes that’s 5 months. I was in complete shock, an emotional wreck and overwhelmed. This time I had no sign. Not one. Frantically we started preparing for our first daughter, the shortest pregnancy. She was born May 2009, happy, healthy and an absolute blessing. Just like that I was mom to 3 beings, all I thought of was being a good mom, a present one. Most times it felt as if my identity was wrapped up in being a mom. Ever felt that way?
In November 2011, things changed. Yes, we found out we were pregnant that sore throat a sign of early pregnancy, that was me. Second time round I fell pregnant whilst on a contraceptive. During her delivery in June 2012 my body went into complete shock. I cried and, At that moment, I said to God, I am done. That’s when the change came, From the very first day we arrived home, I told my husband I am taking care of me, loving myself more and that I am going to be kinder to myself., that’s what I did. It started with small steps. I spoke to myself with more kindness, I became more forgiving toward myself, told myself I am NOT perfect. My kids don’t need a perfect mom they just need a happy mom one who loves herself and takes care of herself. Time out for me became essential. By doing that, I didn’t feel so overwhelmed and I saved myself from going insane, honestly some days I felt like I was losing my mind.
Some Practical tips that helped me as a new parent cope:
- Take naps as often as possible while baby sleeps (housekeeping can be done another time)
- Don’t feel guilty, just get through the day
- Avoid isolation
- Visit a family member or friend for a cup of tea or glass of wine or take yourself out (date yourself)
- Say NO you don’t need added responsibilities or pressure
- Drink loads of water
- Step outside as often as possible to simply take a deep breath
- Write a mother journal
- Don’t be so hard on yourself
- My kids had to see me deliberately do something kind for myself (can be anything)
When we look for the many everyday ways that we take care of ourselves, we can and should give ourselves some Grace and realize that we are doing alright. Today I want to challenge you as a new parent or mom to work to maintain your identity even as your motherhood continues. Your identity is not singular just be the best mom YOU can be but also remember who you were before giving birth. That person’s identity is worth maintaining.
Yes, you matter mama.
You are enough.
You are worthy.