This post is for both the novice (postpartum) mom with newborns and for veteran moms with children of any age in the house. This post was mostly intended to give tips to a mother who has recently (within the last year) given birth, but lets be honest, moms everywhere are exhausted and running around like crazy trying to keep up with their children. So, all moms alike can benefit from reading this post.
We hope that by the time you are done reading this post you will have few great tips that will give you immediate results. Anyone can tell you what you need to do for the next 2 weeks, 5 months, 10 years, etc. However, what people don’t tell you is how you can start feeling more like you today. Let’s find out!
- Stop Entertaining Unrealistic Expectations: First of all, it is important as a mom to keep your expectations about yourself and your appearance realistic. If you are expecting to look like you didn’t just have a child, you are setting yourself up for failure. DON’T DO THAT. If you are expecting to look like you get all kinds of sleep when you don’t, STOP. If you are expecting to look like you didn’t just run around the house trying to get three kids dressed, fed, and out the door for school in one piece, QUIT. You are a mom. Now I am not implying that we don’t want to live for excellence and look and be at our best at all times. What I am implying is that you are not the only mom, so it is reasonable and acceptable to think that “your best” is doing what you are doing (BEING A GREAT MOM). There isn’t anyone out there who would, in their right mind, expect you to walk and talk like a duck when you aren’t a duck. Does that make sense? Be a great mom, take pride in how you look (cause it makes you feel good), but also find a new love for the slight bags under your eyes, or the lightly wrinkled shirt. Embrace the mom in you.
- Stop Fighting Time: Similar to the unrealistic expectations is the idea of not fighting time. Stop trying to have today what has always and will always take time to get. If you have had a child in last 1,3,5 or even 10 months don’t expect to look like the Barbie doll next to you. Some people take more time to get back to their pre-pregnancy body. It’s OK. Enjoy the time that you have to be ok with looking ways that you normally would not accept. It truly is a blessing in disguise (if you can embrace it).
- Laugh, Laugh, Laugh: There are so many great things that happen when you laugh. I recommend laughing at everything (well maybe not everything). Seriously though, especially on the days when you feel like laughing is not at all in the realm of “what will happen” right now. Force a laugh until you feel so silly you are laughing for real. As this moment takes over, find humor in the everyday chaos that being a mom can sometimes feel like. If you need to, cry first, and then laugh. You will feel better at the end.
- Stay Informed: If you are experiencing something postpartum and don’t understand it or know what it is, get informed. Talk to other mothers, talk to your doctor, or do your own research. It is important to stay on top of anything that seems foreign to you. This might be pains, thoughts, feelings, reactions, etc. Basically, if you don’t already know what it is and/or you have never experienced it before seek information. Staying informed can make you feel more like a participant in your own life then a vessel just going through the postpartum motions.
- Find Support: Finding other moms who can share their stories and experiences will help as you can all feel that you are in fact not alone in your struggles. If you don’t have any friends that are moms sign up for a group where there will be some. Take your child to baby/children play dates and socialize.
- Get Ready: It’s tough when you are a mom to find the time to get ready. Most of time it’s not just a time issue too, it’s a “do I have the energy to shower when I could take a short nap right now”. When it’s a toss-up between sleep and getting ready it would be hard to tell you not to go with the sleep. We need sleep. It is so important. However, I would like to argue just one point. If passing up on getting ready for a few extra zzz’s is causing you to wear yourself out all day thinking negative thoughts about how terrible you look, you might as well have gotten ready and skipped the nap. So, if at all possible, wake up even 15 minutes earlier and get ready. You will feel so much better for it.