I was watching a Netflix comedy special by Ali Wong called Baby Cobra and while on stage, in her nearly seventh month of pregnancy, said that her main goal was to become a stay-at-home mom because as she puts it, “I don’t wanna work anymore.” In theory becoming a SAHM seems like a pretty sweet gig and I can’t lie that there was a big part of me that was ready to say buh-bye to the workforce for a little while to raise my daughter.
The first couple of months of being a new parent is a whirlwind. You are just trying to keep your head above water and your tiny human alive and nourished. But then more weeks pass by, you settle into a routine, and if you are anything like me you woke up one day and realized that you have lost some (or even most) of yourself in this venture. I felt privileged to be able to care for her in that way, and though my time with her was full of lots of happiness, I wasn’t as happy as I once was. I decided that to make it work, I needed to get back some of my pre-baby life and though at times I thought it was selfish (I was wrong, it’s not), it’s important to have “you” time.
- Build up your village: The more the merrier and the more chances you have to be able to get away for an afternoon to get that haircut or mani/pedi that you have been wanting.
- Take an online class: Whether or not you are pursuing a degree or certificate is irrelevant, taking a class in something that you find interesting (i.e foreign language, history, literature) is a great way to do something that is fulfilling and just for you.
- Ditch the unflattering clothes: Post-partum is hard enough on a body so wearing clothes that make you feel good is so important! If it has holes, stains, or has been lingering around just a little too long that the elastics are stretched out it might be time to upgrade.
- Join a gym that has daycare: Both you and baby get some new scenery; they get socialization with other babies and playtime away from you and you get time for yourself to boost those endorphins.
- Get back into your favorite hobby: Whatever it was, dust off the supplies and pick back up where you left off when it’s naptime, bed time, or when your child is with another caregiver for a couple of hours.
The very best way to ensure that you are able to juggle it all and care for your family the way you want to, is to first practice self-care.
Lisa is a babywearing, breastfeeding, cloth-diapering mama who lost herself for minute there but is slowly finding herself again.