5 Ways to Rediscover YOU While Surrounded by Diapers, Milk and a Sea of Fatigue
In the introduction to Purple Leaves, Red Cherries, Andrea and I wrote:
“Looking back, we now understand that becoming a mother required a radical reinvention; we not only held a new baby, we owned a new identity. Motherhood demanded that we change in complex ways; no part of our lives was left untouched. We slowly redefined who we were – to ourselves and to others.”
With this in mind, I am delighted to welcome Stacy Boegem to our Awesome Tips for New Moms series. Stacy is a Certified Coach Practitioner and the author of the “Happy Mama Manifesto: Guiding Principles for Dynamic, Fulfilled and Vibrant Modern Moms.”
Below Stacey has offered some excellent tips to help rediscover YOU in early motherhood.
Woman With Flowers by Nomi Melul Ohad
5 Ways to Rediscover YOU While Surrounded by Diapers, Milk and a Sea of Fatigue.
As much as you planned and prepared, and thought you had a good handle on what to expect once your little one arrived, your level of exhaustion still seems to be way beyond anything you thought imaginable, or what you remember going through the last time around.
You’re madly in love with your new baby, and you’ve embraced your new role as mama to your little bundle of love. You’ve surrendered any proprietary interest you once had of your bosom, and you’re trying to learn to love your new “mufﬁn top” for now, until things settle down and you can focus on getting your body back.
You’ve become so accustomed to your pregnancy brain that these days it doesn’t even bother you when your new mommy brain can’t think of the word for that machine that washes dishes.
You know that this phase is, well, a phase, so you’re not getting too stressed out about it, but you do wish you could at least sorta kinda feel a little bit like yourself again, even if only for a couple of minutes.
When you’re surrounded by diapers, milk, and a sea of fatigue, rediscovering YOU takes a conscious intention to create space in your life for YOU.
The good news is rediscovering YOU while you’re navigating the new mama terrain is totally doable.
1. Get dressed.
Ever heard anyone say they felt like a million bucks wearing a stained nursing bra, maternity sweats, an oversized college t-shirt, greasy hair, and spit-up?
Just the littlest thing you can do to “put yourself together” can go a long way when it comes to feeling like yourself. So even if you’re not going anywhere today, put on a little lip gloss, throw on a pair of pretty earrings… whatever it is for you that does the trick and makes you feel more like you – do it.
2. Make a new mom friend.
Pack up that little baby and get your butt out of the house. Go to a local Mommy & Me group and connect with another new mom in your community. Make a date to hang out. Talk about your babies, but also try to get a sense of who she is other than being a mom.
And share who you are.
Keep it real. No one will understand any better what it’s like to be you right now than another mom in the same stage of the journey. Don’t underestimate the power of these connections.
3. Break free from baby and home, and go do something you enjoy ALONE.
Even a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood can do the trick.
The idea is to create and hold space for you to breathe deeply, reﬂect on the beauty and joy in your life, ponder all that for which you have to be grateful, and just be. This meditative time offers peace, clarity, and supports your feeling of contentment and wellness. When you get out of your head and into your heart, you realize you don’t need to do any rediscovering – you’ve been right there all along. You just needed to show up to YOU and listen to your heart.
4. If you have a partner, prioritize your partnership.
Since your partner doesn’t have the same immediate demands as your baby, it can be easy to downgrade their needs to a very low priority. It’s virtually unavoidable. But for many of us, our connection with our partner has a lot to do with how we got into this situation, right? Our connection with our partner often draws out so much of what makes us – us. So even if it’s just committing to a consistent bedtime routine for your little one so you can have an hour of TV time with your partner, do it. Make it a priority to nurture your romantic relationship so it can continue to thrive, evolve, and breathe. After all, you are more than a mother, you are a woman.
While you may not have time to take up a crafting hobby, you do have opportunities throughout the day to open the channels for creative juices to ﬂow. Whether it’s making up songs to sing to your little one, experimenting with blending fruit purees for your little one, or writing in a journal, the experience of creating elevates our sense of clarity, power, competence, and overall energy. Stop telling yourself you’re not creative. Just create. It doesn’t have to be good.
Creating is good even it’s just for the sake of creating.
Most importantly, allow yourself to truly indulge in this time. It’s true what they say – you won’t get it back. So whatever it is that you most love about it, indulge in it full force. Be in the moment and be joyful with it. The more joy you experience, the more love and laughter you put into mothering, the more rewarding it will be, the happier you will feel, and the more you will feel like you. Oh – and when that little demon guilt tries to sneak up on you – let her know you have no room for her in your life – you’re busy being the best mom can you be.
Stacy Boegem created The Happiness Agenda to support and inspire modern moms to live joyfully and on their own terms. Stacy provides one-on-one coaching packages and group workshops that propel clients into living the life they truly desire for themselves. From relaunching a career, to finding your calling, to getting through the day’s to-do’s with joy, Stacy’s coaching takes the stress and overwhelm out of the equation and ignites the inner fire to get her clients living like they mean it.
To learn more, and to get a free copy of Stacy’s Happy Mama Manifesto, visit www.stacyboegem.com.