Dear New Mom,
Overworked. Exhausted. Ragged. Harried. Stressed. Run down. All of these words could probably describe you right now, at this very moment.
There are many days where you feel like you are not much more than a helper. Solely on this planet to do the bidding of this tiny human who can’t even tell you what they want, and who never seems to want what you think they do. It’s funny, because you thought you’d feel more like a human once you gave birth, but it can often feel like the opposite.
I know, because I have been there. Twice.
You might feel like that at no point in the day is there any time to do anything for yourself, including but not limited to going to the bathroom, eating, brushing your hair, putting on makeup. Eating is important, of course we all know this, but when there is a tiny mouth that is screaming to be fed first, it becomes a fleeting thought. It no longer seems like an absolute necessity. Neither is showering.
There is so much to do, that the easiest thing is to make yourself as low maintenance as possible so it opens up the time you’d spend on yourself to be used on everything else except you.
I just have one word for you: Don’t.
I was having dinner surrounded by lovely acquaintances when I overheard the conversation of one, who just had a baby a few months ago. Someone had commented on her new short haircut and her response was “Well, I had a baby, so it had to go!” I cringed. So hard. I’ve been there, too.
Cut the hair off to make yourself easier to manage, saving yourself some time. Stop wearing makeup because that’s more time that can be used taking care of the baby. Just slip on sweats. Eat whatever’s left in the fridge, or the scraps from the kid’s plates. Just stop caring about what has made you feel good because you are no longer important.
Yes, babies are important. They are huge, life-changing creatures that forever alter your destiny, but what about you? You’re pretty awesome, too. And not just because you had a baby. (Even though that’s bad ass all by itself).
I’m not saying NEVER CUT YOUR HAIR, or YOU MUST WEAR MAKEUP! What I’m saying is don’t let go of YOU. Do what makes you happy. What makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t stop doing your hair because it’s the “mom” thing to do. Don’t stop reading because you can’t find the time. Take a break and exercise, or write, or paint, or sew. Take a moment for yourself here and there- JUST FOR YOU. You were someone before kids, and even though it might feel like you are “just mom” some days, I promise, you’re still a person after having kids, too.
Don’t give up on yourself and let your kids take over every aspect of your entire life, because one day–and it’s going to happen sooner than you’re ready for– your kid is going to stop and ask you about YOU, and you don’t want the only thing left about you to talk about with them BE them.
It’s my ONE piece of tried and true advice, new moms. Take time for you. You deserve it.
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