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Happy Mama, Happy Baby

Self-care is not something I thought about before becoming a mama. It’s just something I did. I would get my hair and nails done, relax on the couch after long, rough day. I would pluck my eyebrows…the list can go on and on. These past nine months, I forgot what all that was like. I thought it was normal to just give all of yourself to this little person who requires ALL of your attention. I was literally spreading myself thin.

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The happiest day of my life

As a new mom, I worried about how to do everything for my baby. The constant anxiety (especially after her breathing episode), the exhaustion, sea of hormones, and spending every waking minute with her was all catching up. I felt unhealthy, lonely and resentful at times. (gulp) I never thought I’d feel this. I love my baby girl more than anything in this world. But I was slowly just fading away. I don’t remember the girl I was before.

Many friends told me that I need to stop, and take care of myself first. And it made sense, I just felt so guilty about it. There were a few nights in the first few months that we got to sneak away for a few hours. I honestly couldn’t enjoy my fancy dinner date because all I wanted to do was be home with her. And then there was the mom guilt creeping in. “Why I should I deny my baby nursing sessions just for a night out?” I started to wonder how all these mommies have it together so well and have perfect schedules to go out and let loose. While I envied it at times, I was also perfectly content at home cuddling and nursing my sweet baby. I begged for time but the reality was, when I actually got some free time, it was hard to enjoy because of my mom guilt. I’m slowly working on this. (baby steps)

 

Yesterday, my husband, Eric,  surprised me by taking the afternoon off and treating me to lunch and a manicure. It was amazing! He took Chloe for a stroll as while I got a much deserved mani.

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Daddy and Chloe Grace (9 months)

I sat there as the ladies at Amber Day Spa pampered me. I know that a One hour manicure doesn’t seem like much, but it was so dreamy, and more importantly, I felt recharged. I was so excited to see my baby girl afterwards.

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Mamas, it is so essential to practice self-care. When you are not getting enough sleep as a new mom or even as a seasoned mom (because let’s face, we are never really sleeping again).

I waited to long to put myself first. Recently, Eric has been helping me make a plan to myself first. At the moment, that means he takes Chloe for an hour in the AM while I sleep in, or go to the gym or just take a shower. We are working on creating a schedule where I can fit in time alone at the gym, yoga or pampering sessions. Also, maybe a monthly ladies night?

It’s easy to let your self go, to be all consumed with your new baby and wanting to do it All. But eventually it could lead to physical illness, anxiety depression and ultimately, not being able to manage and care for your children. Just like your children need self-care, love, and sleep, so do we! Self care should be a priority.

What is self-care anyways? It’s simply caring for yourself. Doing the things you love, caring for yourself, and just taking time to relax. That could be reading book, going for a walk, yoga, meditation, dinner with girlfriends, or spa time. Trust me, this is so important. Don’t wait as long as I did. Ask your friend or mom, neighbor or speak to your husband. Start with even just 10-15 minutes. When you are settled in a routine with baby, you can work out a Day that you can go to yoga class or have a monthly date night.

For me, just one hour of pampering was all I needed to feel recharged! I’m starting small, but at least I’m taking a step in the right direction. Next, making a schedule to get regular workout routine with my husband.

Are you a new mom? What is something you have done for yourself recently? What do you do to recharge? Any seasoned mamas want to give us your advice?

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Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for more baby training. We had a few bumps in the road and will starting over.

xo,

Vanessa

This Joyful Life

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