It’s been a year since I had Oliver, and I can’t believe how fast time has gone by, and how much has changed. When he was first born, my life was consumed with nursing, changing diapers, trying to get sleep, and getting to know him. Now we’ve settled into our routine, he’s becoming his own little person, and I’m able to focus on myself a little more.
I knew it would be so easy to stay in the mindset of being all about the baby, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose myself in the process of taking care of him and being a mama. As an introvert, I need lots of time to myself to recharge and feel sane, and being at home full time with the baby doesn’t leave a lot of time for that. It takes a lot of effort and planning to make sure that I do take care of myself so I feel fresh and nourished to be able to be the best mama I can to my little one (and a great wife to my husband).
Here are the 5 things that helped me get back to myself so I feel taken care of and refreshed.
Exercise- Right before I got pregnant, I was tired of feeling lazy and out of shape, so I joined Orange Theory. A month later I found out I was pregnant! I worked out till I was 5 months pregnant, but it got too hard to do a lot of the exercises so I took a break. When I was 8 weeks post-partum, I started going back to Orange Theory because I missed it, and missed how good my body felt. It was hard getting back into it, but I kept going 2-3 times per week. I can’t tell you how good it’s been for my physical and mental health! And just this past weekend I realized that my pre-pregnancy jeans fit again!
I got my hair back. Post-partum hair loss is for real! My hair had already been thinning before I got pregnant, and it was really devastating to me because I had always had so much hair before. And then 3 months post-partum I started having even more hair loss. Being a new mom, I felt like I didn’t have a lot of time to do my hair and makeup to feel pretty, so having the thick pregnancy hair helped me to still feel somewhat like myself. But having bald spots in my hair was really hard for me. I decided to try something new and I started using a luxury hair care line to get my hair supercharged and healthy. And within a month my hair started growing in like crazy. Having my hair look thicker again really helped me to feel more confident and pretty.
Spent quality time with my husband and friends, with no baby. Most of the time Oliver is my constant companion for meet ups with friends or early family dinners. But having time alone with friends, even if it’s just a quick coffee date, or date nights with my husband is so important. It helps me remember who I am as a woman, a friend, and a partner, and be able to connect better with friends. And time alone with my husband helps us connect as romantic partners, not just parents in for a crazy ride.
I got ready and put time into looking nice, even if it was just a trip to target. It’s so easy to just throw on some leggings and run out the door with no shower because the baby wouldn’t let you have time to get ready. I’ve always made sure I had time for a quick shower, because that is the one thing that makes me feel like a real person. And putting on a cute outfit, and taking a little time to brush my hair and put on foundation helps me feel better about myself and more confident, even if everything else that’s going on feels like a mess.
I spent time with myself. I need lots of alone time to feel sane, so I made sure to take some time to do the things that I loved. I went to the movies by myself (such a treat with the new luxury recliners theaters that serve wine!), went shopping by myself, got my nails done, and even escaping to the bedroom to lose myself in a novel feels amazing.
If you’re a mom, it’s so important to take care of you! You spend so much time taking care of others, that it’s easy to let yourself be taken care of last. But by taking time for self care, alone time, and doing things that make you feel happy will keep you from feeling lost, depressed or depleted.
I’d love for you to share with me in the comments below what has helped you get back to yourself after having a baby. Or share with me one way you can commit to taking better care of yourself.