Your body, free time, and brain function may never be the same after becoming a mom, but at your core, you are the same amazing, wonderful, and beautiful you! I think it took me about six months post-partum to get my head above water and exit survival mode, and maybe a full year to not feel guilty doing things for myself. There were certain activities that really helped me get in the right head space, and I’d like to share them with my fellow mamas. Some of these may not apply to you, but I’m hoping anyone who stops by to read (hey you!) will find a few of these tips helpful.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but please make time for you and your significant other to be alone. I remember the first time me and my husband went out without our daughter Petra, she was about two or three weeks old. My mom and brother watched her, so I knew she was in capable hands. At that point, I honestly couldn’t wait to get out of the house. I didn’t miss her, and if anything it just felt weird to not have her with us. As Petra got older, I remember telling my mom one night before heading out for a date “Bye. Love you. Don’t send me any pictures.” I was becoming very attached to this little girl that rocked my world, and being away from her was hard to do, but necessary for my relationship. We also had to plan date nights in advance since I was breastfeeding and had to pump to store up enough milk for our time away from her.
Even now that she’s 19 months and I enjoy going to the movies or dinner with just me and my beau, I have to make an honest effort not to think or talk about her the entire time. You may not have a sitter, but you can still create a date night atmosphere by taking time for yourselves while the kids are asleep. Reconnecting and enjoying conversation can help revitalize your romance and remind you “Oh yeah, that’s right. I’m super into this person.”
I’ve had mommy friends for several years, but I think Petra was almost two months old by the time I had my first play date. Being able to bring the kids together while us moms asked each other questions and shared about our motherhood experience was a sanity break for me. There are some things my husband will just never understand, and some things I don’t want to talk to him about. Our first few play dates were at each others’ homes, but eventually we would go to a park or fun outing with them.
I know it can be hard to reach out to other moms at the park or online, but you can also look up fun activities that are happening in your area, and you’re bound to find one or two other women who have the same interests or kids in the same age group. Church is also a great place to meet other families and allow your kids to make new friends.
It’s amazing how much you will enjoy a hands free meal on the odd chance you get to have a ladies night. One of the best things about this is anyone can come. You can reconnect with some friends you haven’t hung out with in a while who aren’t moms yet, and surely the mommy friends you do have will enjoy a night of grown up conversation.
I will issue a warning though. Time literally flies when you’re kid free and we have had the restaurant or venue close down while we’re still chatting it up. Lol.
Me time looks differently to all moms. I remember being envious of my husband because he had nights where he would play sports with friends, and I literally had nothing going on outside of family life. I sat there one night contemplating what I would do if I did have time to myself, and I couldn’t think of anything. Not one thing. I don’t go to coffee spots and hang out, I don’t pick a shady tree at the park and read books under it, and I didn’t really care for window shopping (or actual shopping) at the mall.
The one area I felt was the most starved at the beginning of motherhood was my fellowshipping with other Christians. Fortunately for me, I know a lot of Christian women from church, mutual friends, events, etc. and we started a women’s bible study that still meets once a week. After our first meeting, I remember feeling revived and more like myself than I had been in seemingly forever. My identity wasn’t in my husband, Petra, the laundry, or anything else. I had a purpose and a mission that I needed to take up again.
Me time also meant getting back to my career. I started writing again to slowly get into work as time permitted, and soon after that I was modeling and acting again. Whatever it is that keeps you true to who you are, don’t lose it or allow it to go dormant for too long. Your family needs you to be fulfilled so that through your joy your love can overflow onto them.
Updating the Wardrobe
I posted before about my complete closet overhaul, but I’ll mention it here as well since it applies. Having very little clothing that fits, and realizing you’re going to have to get rid of some of your favorite shoes and jeans can make anyone feel a little frumpy. Instead of focusing what you’re losing, it’s a great idea to dress your new body…and dress it well!
Sure, your boobs may be saggy, you might have a belly pooch, and the stretch marks around your thighs are taking a while to fade, but you could totally get some spanks and a new dress that takes the place of the one you sent to Goodwill. It doesn’t do any good to be ashamed of your body as you lose the baby weight. Or maybe you have no plans to get back to pre-pregnancy size. That’s ok too. Just make sure you have a wardrobe you want to wear…now.
The first real pampering I did was get a birthday haircut about seven months after Petra was born. Up until that time, I kept putting things off for myself because the effort just didn’t seem worth it. Fortunately I have a husband who cheers me on and wants me to be taken care of and have the desires of my heart, so that helped me to actually do it. Since then I’ve gotten manicures, pedicures, gone shopping, bought makeup, etc.
Just the idea of beautifying yourself or getting a massage may be a key to waking up your inner queen that says “Hey you! You deserve this!”. I’ve even felt great after taking time to paint my own nails or take a long hot shower. It’s the small things.
I hope some of this has inspired you to get back to the woman you were before your baby or babies came. You deserve it!
So, that’s that for now. Be blessed and take time to make your dreams into your reality.
Here are some cool date ideas.
Here are some fun ideas of things to do during your playdates.
Here are some creative ways you can pamper yourself.
Here are some tips on saving money while building your wardrobe.