I’ve gone back & forth about writing about this topic since it’s a touchy one — but, I feel strongly about it so I’m just going to go for it! If you’re a super judgy mom-shamer, this post is not for you.
“Ain’t no ‘hood like motherhood.” While motherhood is so very beautiful & unlike any other experience, it can (but mostly likely will) also be the scariest & hardest job you’ll ever have. While, of course, having a baby is rewarding and gives you all the feels you never knew were possible, a lot of people just don’t talk about “the other stuff.” The toll of a poor night’s sleep, the constant anxiety of wondering if you’re doing it “right,” and the ever-present mental battles of all the controversial topics that lead to mom-guilt one way or the other: breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, co-sleeping or letting your kid cry it out and all the way down to how big or small you cut your baby’s first solid foods, etc etc etc. So why do we, as new moms thrown into a 24/7 role that nothing could ever possibly prepare you for, have to also feel guilty and ashamed about needing/wanting a smidge of time to ourselves to do whatever we please? Calling total BS over that one and I think it’s even crazy that we have to call this “self-care.”
In my opinion, take it or leave it, self-care is so necessary when you’re given the new title of “Mom.” A happy mom equals a happy baby and I can totally call myself “Exhibit A” & attest to this one (a badly refluxing newborn can make even Wonder Woman cray). Self-care can be ANYTHING that you do for YOU – spending time mindlessly browsing Pinterest with a glass of wine in hand, reading a non-baby/motherhood related book in the tub, getting or giving yourself a manicure, going hard in the gym for an hour, or even taking a class in something you’re passionate about. Taking a nap also counts, by the way.
Before you roll your eyes at me and say “but who has time for that and who’s going to watch my child?” I’m not saying you need to take a weekly spa DAY, but I’m sure everyone has a significant other, family member or friend who wouldn’t mind spending time with your sweet angel (because they’re always angels for anyone other than mom, right?) or if you can afford it, have a sitter that you trust come over for an hour or two. Isn’t that worth your sanity? Another option is to say f*ck the laundry/dishes and do whatever you want during that #naptimehustle! Whatever you gotta do, DO IT! You’ll be a new person afterwards.
Becoming a mom is truly the best thing ever. But there are definitely still moments where I need to breathe, decompress and regather my thoughts (and I can only imagine this is intensified with more than one child). Cooking a meal or baking a loaf of paleo banana bread, taking an Orangetheory class, blogging and doing a solo grocery trip to Whole Foods are all my “indulgences.” I also make sure to have a cup of chamomile or other calming tea every night and diffuse my stress-relieving essential oils to make sure I get a *better* night’s sleep.
The moral of the story? You will feel so much better after taking a little time for you. I know I’m a better woman, wife & mother when I come back after a little recharge. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel guilty for needing a break every now and then, mama!
All photos taken by Coco Prop Shop