As a parent, it can be hard to maintain your self of self after having a baby. Your life is so taken up with this new little person that it can be difficult to remember who you were before they were born, and as a result you may feel some unhappiness that you’re only seen now as your baby’s mother and not as a person in your own right. Especially if you’re a stay at home parent, you might find that your entire life revolves around your child, and although it can feel wonderful to dedicate yourself to your baby in that way, it might also be a struggle at times. You may also worry about when your baby grows up – what happens when they get older and start to make their own friends and have their own interests? It’s important that you keep something of yourself back when you’re a mama, for your own sake in the future. Here are some tips that might help you stay in touch with who you are as you go through the journey of motherhood.
Stay In Touch With Fashion
First, it’s important to stay in touch with fashion. Obviously right after you’ve had a baby, all you really want to do is wear yoga pants, and the concept of doing any self grooming other than a three minute shower is completely beyond most of us. When your baby is tiny, that’s perfectly okay – it takes a while to get into the groove of being a parent. But for many people, once their baby is a few months old, they look in the mirror and think: who is that person? If you’ve reached that stage, don’t worry – there are plenty of low maintenance things you can do to feel more like your old self. First, get your eyebrows shaped and tinted. This will add shape to your face without you having to bother to fill your brows in every morning. Secondly, focus on skincare – put on sunscreen before you go out, put on serum before you go to sleep, and wear lip balm. Thirdly, make sure you buy clothes for your new life and your new body instead of the way things used to be. Being comfortable in what you’re wearing is key: buy clothes that are easy for nursing, that you can throw in the wash without having to iron afterwards, and that you can crawl around on the floor and play in. Natural fibres are a good idea, and fabrics that skim your stomach are also ideal as you might be a little self conscious about that area of your body.
If you have always loved fitness, now isn’t the time to stop exercising! You may not have tons of time but there are definitely still things you can do to make sure that you feel at your physical best. After having a baby, it’s important to get back into exercise at a slow, gentle pace so that you don’t get exhausted by your first spinning class back and feel discouraged – or worse, get injured. Start with a yoga class or some swimming and work up gradually to the levels of physical exertion that you’re used to. If you’re wondering about childcare while you do this, you could always go jogging with your baby – even if you have twins there are jogging strollers that work excellently. Googling ‘what are the best double jogging strollers of 2019?’ will pull up the best results for you and ensure that the strollers that you’re looking at are recent models. It’s also good to remember that a lot of gyms provide creches and daycare centres so that you can drop your kids off while you get back in shape.
Make Sure Your Partner Is An Equal Parent
It’s crucial to ensure that your partner is every bit as involved in parenting as you are. If you’re a stay at home mom, this may be a little more tricky, but it’s important to make sure that when your partner is home, they are fully involved with your kids. This will build a great relationship between them, and will also make sure that you don’t feel as though you’re the only person who’s carrying the burden of parenting. It is, also, of course, a huge joy, but the stresses of it shouldn’t be underestimated. When your partner gets home from work, it’s important that they spend quality time with your baby – they should work out your little one’s quirks, loves and dislikes, so that you feel confident leaving the baby with them for an evening so that you can go out and enjoy spending time with your friends or doing something for yourself.
Maintain Your Friendships
Finally, it’s absolutely crucial to make sure that your friendships stay in place. When you become a parent, it can be difficult to keep your old friends in your life, for multiple reasons. If they don’t have kids yet, it may be difficult for you to understand each other’s priorities in life – you can’t stay out until 1am drinking margaritas any more, as you’ll have an early morning feed to do. Meanwhile, your friend may feel that you aren’t paying them enough time or attention. If you both have kids, chances are you both have very busy schedules so it can be difficult just finding a free evening where you can both meet up! But making sure that your friends are in your life is a great way to feel like yourself. Renegotiating the friendship is important – make sure that you keep baby-gushing to a minimum when you’re with your single or childless friends (and remember that childlessness is not always a choice, so you may be hurting feelings if you talk about your brand new baby too much). But also remember that if your friends don’t take any interest in your new mama life, your friendship may not last. Finding that balance is crucial.
It’s important to show your kids that you live an interesting and varied life – maintaining your self of self is the perfect way to do that.
It’s so easy to forget about yourself when you have kids. My oldest is almost 7 and I STILL pretty much just know myself as MAMA! I’m getting there though. I finally drastically cut my hair so I don’t have the excuse to just put it in a ponytail… that’s going to go a long way.
Exercise, even in small ways, makes a big difference.