Every hear that old expression, “Happy Mama, Happy Baby”? Take it in. Write it on a post-it if you have to, and tape it to your diaper bag. Because, it is true–a new mother must care for herself first, before she caring for her new little one.
As a new Mama, I practice this classic mantra that I preach religiously because I am finding it’s ESSENTIAL to find balance and happiness in my own life.
I list this first on purpose. This is less about weight loss and more about sanity. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood with your adorable new baby, or you decide it’s been your lifelong dream to train for a marathon.
Once you’re medically cleared to move, JUST DO IT. Not only will your body benefit from the physical activity, but your MIND will thank you later. Between the massive ejection of hormones (hello, psycho!) and lack of sleep thereafter, I encourage you to embrace the endorphins and energy that exercise naturally generates. You will not regret it.
THINK – What did you do to treat yourself, pre-pregnancy? It may seem like a lifetime ago and pointless when you’re covered in poop and spit-up half of the time, but perhaps a hair appointment with your favorite colorist, a mani/pedi, a barre class, or maybe a massage at your local spa did the trick?
Whatever the case, pencil it into your busy calendar–once a month works just fine! Wandering around Target alone for 2 hours and eventually buying nothing (or everything) definitely counts, too. Anything to make you feel like YOU!
Who loves you, besides your new baby? I’d guess a whole lot of awesome people. For the first 8 weeks, go ahead and hibernate. Become somewhat human again, keep the germs away from the little one, and let yourself heal and adjust.
After that, game on. Accept or find help, and please lose the guilt! It is reasonable and in fact healthy to go out on a date alone with your partner and talk about things besides your newborn; or grab a cocktail and reminisce with your girl friends; or wander around target alone with complete strangers and never actually buy anything…even if it’s just an hour spent out of the house. Those rare yet important social excursions in the first few months will strengthen you!
There are MANY moving parts when it comes to being a new parent.
Constant learning through trial & error is exhausting and rewarding all at once, and I’ve been told it is a never-ending curve in motherhood. So try to relax, don’t sweat the small stuff, and be thankful for your beautifully changed life. Also if you are a spiritual person, I have found that strengthening my own faith has helped me tremendously in motherhood.
Do remember that you are just one, perfectly imperfect human being. Reality check–you simply cannot do it all, and most often than not, you won’t do it the right way, the first time anyhow. So cut yourself some slack, for your own well-being’s sake!
Finally, don’t forget that time is fleeting. I cannot tell you how quickly 10 months has passed in my home. It is incomprehensible, really. I am eternally grateful for every single moment, and wouldn’t trade ’em for the whole world.