Becoming a mom has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. My little girl is my whole world & I couldn’t imagine life without her. But being a first-time mom hasn’t been the easiest learning curve for me.
After the postpartum care ended, the baby blues subsided, & I managed to get into some vague semblance of a routine, I realized I was still struggling. I wasn’t necessarily struggling with PPD, but I just felt… not me.
I felt like a mom, and that was it. And believe me, mom is my favorite role, but it had become my only role.
I was neglecting the other parts of me that weren’t mom.
And it was causing me to feel depressed. It took a ridiculous breakdown to my poor husband for me to realize that I needed to nurture myself as a whole because a well-rounded mother is the best mother I can be to my EK.
It’s hard to focus on anything other than your babies: I know this all too well! But please, from one learning first-time mama to another, take some time for you.
If you aren’t sure where to start because, well, you’re so deep into the mom role you can’t see any other side of you, then go through some of these suggestions & implement them slowly into your daily routine!
You can also check out these Self Care Tips for New Moms
Talk to Someone About your Feelings
Remember how I said I broke down to my husband? Yeah, it wasn’t pretty. I was a blubbering mess. BUT I got all those negative, lost, trapped feelings out into the open. And guess what! I felt so much better!
Holding those feelings inside is only hurting you, even if you think you’re doing the right thing by not causing an issue. It will eventually become a bigger issue if you keep it to yourself!
So please, open up to someone near & dear to you! Whether that be your spouse, mom or dad, sibling, friend, or even an email to me if you have no one else, those who care want to be there for you! So let them!
Take a Shower Every Single Day
Even a quick shower makes me feel so refreshed & rejuvenated to handle whatever chaos comes my way. And chaos comes at least 3 times a day.
No ifs, ands, or buts. Bathe. Every. Day. When your spouse gets home from work, hand that sweet angel over and take care of yourself!
If for some reason you have no one to watch the baby, drag a bouncer or pack n play into the bathroom & take a quick 5-minute shower!
I absolutely promise you’ll feel 10x better once you get cleaned up. And don’t forget to wash your hair a couple of times a week at least! You wouldn’t let anyone else in your family go without being clean. Don’t let yourself believe you don’t deserve that same privilege!
Let Someone Watch the Baby for an Hour
I have my daughter 24/7. As a SAHM, she’s mainly my responsibility. And that gets hard. She doesn’t nap unless I’m holding her. She goes to bed late despite any schedule I try. She doesn’t self soothe. And I hold her and soothe her and love on her during all of that because I love to be that person she wants & needs.
But sometimes I get so run down & I can’t be all she needs me to be. Sometimes I can barely hold my eyes open & she’s still wanting to play. During those moments, it’s best for me to let her dad watch her for an hour and just veg for a while. Whether I nap (if my body will let me…) or just lay on the couch & scroll through Instagram, I’m able to let my brain kind of reset & relax.
Plan a Day to Yourself
Plan a You Day at least once a month! Make it a non-negotiable date with yourself!
Get a pedicure. Go shopping at Target. Chill out at Starbucks or the library. Go for a walk at a nearby park. Whatever you love to do and miss doing, do it!
Taking a You Day will help you reconnect with you!
Get Dressed & Comb your Hair Every Day
I’ll admit, I struggle with this one big time, though I have improved quite a bit lately.
I’ve noticed that when I actually get out of my pajamas & brush my hair, even if it’s just brushed into a ponytail or a non-tangly bun, I get sooo much more accomplished! I feel more like myself when I put actual clothes on.
Pick Your Hobby Back Up
I used to paint watercolors, bullet journal, & bake quite often before becoming a mom. Since then, I haven’t done any of those things. My creative side has always been important to me & I’m realizing that I shouldn’t let myself lose it!
I realize that not all hobbies are easy to work into a baby’s schedule, but as they get older & easier to watch (does that ever happen?), take time to reconnect with those old passions!
Alternatively, find a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try! You may discover an entirely new side of you!
Reassure Yourself Daily
When life gets rough; when the kids are acting wilder than ever; when you’re feeling like a failure because dinner isn’t ready when your spouse gets home & the laundry is still wet in the washing machine because you forgot it again, just remember it is okay.
I recommend writing a list of things that describe you. And don’t use the word “mom”. Because, while it is our greatest & dearest lot in life, it isn’t our only lot.
And when you can rediscover the rest of you, you become the greatest you for your children, your spouse, & for you.
What’s your greatest struggle as a first-time mom? Is there something you take the time to do for yourself? Let me know in the comments!