Mama Monday: Self Care

Self Care
Today is all about Self Care. Yes, mama, you DO deserve that "me" time because it's more than well earned.

Mom Care
Over the weekend I got to indulge in a little mama self care time. It wasn't anything too crazed, but a few hours away from Ben and the responsibilities of the mom life to get my hair done. This got me to thinking about "self care" and how these little moments away from the duties of motherhood are so important.

Trials and tribulations of the Mom Life
The mom life is amazing. There's nothing like it, there's love, there's smiles and there's more than enough times in a day that your heart can fill over with pride. But there's also another side... the stress, the worries, the frustrations, the loneliness of the stay at home life, the exhaustion. It all goes hand in hand for what it means to be a mom.

I still vividly remember my first month as a mama. It was a time that everyone was saying "oh isn't this the best?!". It wasn't. For everything we had went through to get to our miracle rainbow baby, I was feeling exhausted, stressed out, in pain from my first major surgery with my C-Section and just plain overwhelmed. I just didn't feel like myself. There was a disconnect with who I was as a new mom compared to who I was before. I remember feeling that pang of longing for the "old life" and the guilt? Oh the guilt was all too real because I had wished to be a mom so bad and here I was with this beautiful baby boy who was more than a blessing... and there I was feeling all these negative and overwhelming emotions.

I was suffering through the "post baby blues". It's actually a common occurrence that many new moms face after giving birth and is contributed by the fact that your body is still recovering from major trauma with birth (C-sections are NO JOKE), your hormones are all out of whack and making your feel crazy. And the lack of sleep doesn't help either. It's a lot to deal with, then add in a newborn baby you have to care for on top of that? It's a lot of pressure and it's no wonder why so many more mama's are being diagnosed with the more serious condition of Post Partum Depression following birth now too. There's just so much that is expected of you after your have a baby and it's tough.

But this blog post isn't about Post Partum feelings, it's about SELF CARE. So how does giving birth and Self Care connect? Well in my case it did...

I just want to brush my teeth
In those days of struggle after giving birth, I felt so far removed from myself. Part of me just wanted the "old me" to re-emerge, but spoiler alert: the old me was gone and the new me, the "mama me" was just like my tiny newborn, just trying to figure out a new way in life.

What I learned from those early days is the importance of self care. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and one day my family just asked me "what can we do to help?"... I just blurted out "I just want to brush my teeth and get ready!". It was the smallest request, probably unnecessary for that moment since I'm pretty sure we had no where to go, but it was the most necessary step to finding myself again.

So I got to brush my teeth, I got to "get ready", put on a few swipes of concealer, brush my hair and manage to not look like the mama monster from an abyss. In the strangest ways... it made me feel better. Those dark clouds hanging around my earliest moments of mama hood? Started to part and I could see the brightness coming back through.

In order to take care of others, care for yourself
Some may read what I just wrote above and think "you're a mom why do you even need to get ready?" or may even think "how selfish that you'd do that for yourself", but honestly, just because you become a mom doesn't mean that you have to give up the things that make you, YOU. In fact, I firmly believe that in order to be able to take care of others fully, you need to make sure you're taken care of, too. It's a misconception that when you become a mom all of your entire being has to change or be sacrificed because you've now entered motherhood. I thought back then that being a "good mom" meant having to redo myself, all the time, the energy and focus on Ben and nothing else. But I then learned quickly that method of thinking was so wrong since it just made me feel all those negative feelings I mentioned at the start of this post. Being a "good mom" is about doing the best you can to make sure your child, your family and loved ones are LOVED fully and to the best of your ability. Yes, there's sacrifice, yes there's many, MANY times you'll put your own wants and needs aside to make sure everything is taken care of. But on the flip side, every mama needs to take care of themselves, too.

Rounding back to my own first few weeks navigating motherhood.... It's amazing how 10 minutes of "me time" helped so much mentally. It was the needed little charge to push through the next crazed diaper change or sleepless night. Having that little piece of "me" back or getting to do something that made me feel a little more at ease, like getting myself ready made all the difference.

Do you mama
So for all my mama's out there: Do you mama. Take care of yourself. Ask your other half, a relative, a friend or someone who you can trust to keep on eye on your little so you can have that "me time". There's no shame in that, in fact, I'm sure your child will appreciate the fact that you'll come back recharged, ready to go and most of all happy. In fact, this was confirmed by my OBGYN, too! During my post partum check up she asked how I was doing and I bluntly told her that it was tough, but getting through it. She even said to take that time out of the day for yourself. So mama, go get that cup of coffee if you need it. Go get that run or workout in. Go and sit in a quiet room to just chill, if needed. Go get your hair done. Go watch that Lifetime movie on DVR. Do you. You're an amazing mom and realizing that you deserve that "me time" too? It's all part of being an awesome mama. 💜

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