No one tells you that you will lose yourself after having a baby. No one.
What they will tell you is how wonderful it is, how in love they are with their children, how your intuition takes over, and how you just know what to do.
I was a very well rounded person before I had my son at 28. I was working at a dream job. I was very physically active with many different activities such as rock climbing, beach volleyball, and biking. I had a big group of friends and we went out often. My husband and I love to travel and we took every opportunity to fly off and have a new adventure. We lived in the city and loved to keep up with new restaurant openings and summer festivals. You get the picture.
When my son was born, I didn’t know it yet, but my life had changed forever because my ‘old’ self died that day and I was reborn as a mother. From that moment on, my life revolved around him, and later, around my second son as well. One thing they said was true; I fell in love and nothing could ever compare to the love I felt for my children.
From the second I became a mother, I basically never slept (that’s how it felt). I was trying to figure out what to do with a crying baby that kept me on a three-hour eating and sleeping cycle. This didn’t leave me much time to do any of the things I used to do. I slowly felt like my old self was dying, and I wanted her back! After having my second child, things only became worse, because now, I had zero time to do any of the things I used to do and I could feel my identity slipping away.
It has been six years almost to the day that I became a mother, and only now am I starting to feel like I have more time to find myself again. The last six years have changed me drastically and so I am left to rediscover myself as a human in the world, and not just as someone’s mom. I realized just how important this process is, because if you don’t come back to yourself, you can start feeling resentful and lack confidence. I wanted to share five things that helped me to rediscover myself in the hope that you will start that process sooner than I did.
Let go of the guilt
Guilt is a bad trap that can keep you immobile for a long time. We all feel the guilt of not being there enough, of not spending enough time with our kids, maybe forgetting something important, or missing an important milestone. But when you free yourself of guilt, tell yourself you are good enough, and realize that you don’t have to be perfect all the time, you release yourself from an unattainable state of mind that could destroy you.
Take time to yourself
Now that you have no guilt (see above), you can take some much needed time for yourself. Taking care of kids 24/7 can be a black hole for the person you used to be. If you don’t take the time to reconnect with yourself on a daily basis, you will inevitably feel like you are drowning.
Taking care of your body can have incredible results not only on your health but on your self esteem, your overall attitude, and your daily happiness. Now, I know that after you have a baby, the last thing you want to do is put on some tight clothes and do Buns of Steel. The beauty of today’s Internet is that you can do almost anything at home (while baby sleeps), from Yoga to Pilates, or just have a nice stretch.
Meditation does not only mean that you have to sit on the floor cross-legged for an hour, doing nothing. Meditation is bringing awareness to oneself and can be done in so many ways. It is guaranteed to alleviate stress and anxiety, enhance self-esteem, and bring control to your life. How can you say no to that? In only three minutes a day, you can change your life.
Spend time with your spouse
Remember that time before you had kids? When it was just you and your spouse cuddling on the couch and having long talks into the night? Well, things sure changed after having kids, and we tend to forget about the most important relationship. Even when you are tired, take the time to have some quality time with your spouse. Do whatever works for you and your schedule. You might have to wake up 10 minutes earlier to have a cup of coffee together, or meet up for lunch. Reconnecting with your spouse will help you find yourself again and remind you of the great pre-kid times you used to have.
Get in touch with your creativity
Another great way to unwind and enjoy some quiet reflective time is to create a baby collage. By now you’ve surely racked up dozens of adorable baby photos. Instead of letting them gather digital dust on your phone or computer, choose your favorites and turn them into a heartwarming collage you’ll smile at every time you see it. You can print and frame it for the baby’s room, or share it online with friends and family (or both!). To get started, simply pick a baby collage template that you love and use our baby collage maker to customize it.
As a busy parent, you don’t have time to update everyone who cares about your little one on the latest milestones and development. That’s where baby slideshows can be incredibly useful (and entertaining!). Show how your child is growing, the books and foods they love, the words they’ve mastered, and much more in a touching baby slideshow. Use photos, text, music and more to illustrate your little one’s personality and charm. Plus, your kid will love to watch it when they are older! Choose a baby slideshow template for your youngster and create something you’ll always treasure.
Remember that finding the new you takes time but if you do the work you will be amazed by what you find.