Make sure to practice self care, and make time to do the things you love.
This was the most annoying thing ever to hear when I first became a mom. Take care of yourself was like speaking a foreign language to me. How was I supposed to do that while taking care of a baby I just met? I wish someone would have told me It’s okay, and normal to lose yourself in motherhood. It would have saved me a lot of grief.
Not only was I unrecognizable to myself, I was just in complete survival mode.
I think somehow we have spread the message that being in survival mode is always a bad thing
But I have birthed four children, and every single time I lose myself a little bit. Survival mode is my normal in the first year of postpartum. I used to have a lot of shame around that, thinking that I needed to be sailing off into bliss 24/7 with my new baby.
My reality was that I only had interest in doing the absolute bare minimum in that time. My bare minimum was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to lay on the couch and watch movies all day while I snuggled that baby.
I craved quiet moments with all of my kids. Going out into the world and having adventures and outings was low on my priority list, and for some reason it took me until my 3rd baby to let go of that guilt.
I stopped feeling bad that I loved newborn survival mode
I let myself off the hook of feeling like I needed to advance my career while freshly postpartum. While I still think it’s unfair that women have a heavily skewed career adjustment after expanding their families, I embrace it now and recognize the privilege I have to do that.
I let myself just enjoy doing “nothing”. We all know caring for a newborn and other children isn’t nothing, though.
When I did this I felt a huge relief in my overall mood and daily experience. While I still experienced the postpartum hormonal swings, and it was hard a lot of days, it was easier than when I unnecessarily held myself to impossible expectations beyond survival mode.
I let myself fall apart, and know its normal to rebuild
Every single time you become a mom, you change. It doesn’t matter how many kids you have. Becoming a mom for the first time changes you. Having a second baby changes you again as a mom. Being a mom of three is different than a mom of two.
Every single time you give birth you change. That’s okay! Let’s normalize embracing that change.