Taking Care of Myself as a New Mom
Over the years, I’ve come to realize how much new seasons of life change my approach to taking care of myself. There have been times in my life it was easy to do all the self care and wellness-y things, and times in my life where that was the last thought on my mind.
What I’ve learned through these experiences is that there is never a right or wrong way to approach self care and taking care of my body. Instead, its about doing what feels right, or intuitive, to me in that moment in time.
For example, when I was new to entrepreneurship a few years ago, my life was extremely hectic. I was still working an 8-5 job, seeing clients before and after work and on the weekends, and doing all the marketing and business running tasks in the small windows of time I had. Because of this, I basically stopped working out and winged almost every meal and snack I ate….and we ate a ton of frozen food because it was the best I could do with the mental space and physical time I had available. And you know what happened? My body survived. I was fine. I didn’t lose my health, and actually I instead gained insight into the resiliency of my own body. Despite what the health and wellness world tells us, you do not have to be extremely regimented with your behaviors to take care of yourself. I found as long as I was taking care of my emotional well being (and sleeping)…all was well.
Currently, I am completely in a new phase of my life: navigating becoming a (first time) mom and recovering in the postpartum stage.
I’m really thankful for all the different seasons of life I’ve had as I was able to use those experiences to decide how to handle this new season I’ve entered into (only 7 weeks ago!).
Here’s how I am approaching taking care of myself as a new mom:
Food is really, really important to me right now. Because I want to support breastfeeding as long as I possibly can, nourishing my body is one of the absolute best things I can do to support this goal. I have found something I had lost inspiration for years ago, meal planning and food prepping, has come back into my life in a completely new way. It has made my life SO much easier and I couldn’t be more thankful to the hour or two I spend weekly making sure I have food on hand.
Not only do I want to support breastfeeding, but food has to be easy, grab-and-go…I’ve never understood how important this is for moms until now. If I cannot eat it with one hand, or quickly grab it from the fridge, it’s almost impossible to eat. When I’m not being a mom I’m running my business, seeing clients, recording podcast episodes, dealing with my crazy animals, cleaning the house, trying to make sure the million tasks we now have as a family are completed…you get it. Taking a couple hours every week to quickly plan all meals and snacks, and then make them has been game changing. Meal planning and food prepping, I am so thankful for you.
Moving my body has a completely new outlook in my life, too. Giving birth is the most mentally and physically exhausting thing I’ve ever done. It has made me look at my body in a new, deeply profound way. While I’ve only recently been given the okay to exercise from my midwife, I’ve been easing in and really tuning in to my body and what it needs. Movement has been slower, as you could expect. And I assume it will be this way for awhile. But it feels good, and every movement my body makes I am thankful for. For its ability to take care of my daughter. For its ability to go on early morning walks before it gets too hot in the Florida sun. For its new look and feel as I slide into the bath for an act of self care. For the release of tension I feel as I do some yoga while Madelyn does tummy time next to me. I adore it so, so much more.
The last thing I’ve found that has changed, or rather evolved is my self care routine. As you know, I’m a self care junkie and I love doing all the self care things. I knew with motherhood it would change, and I think because of that anticipatory guidance- its been easier to be okay with than I thought it would be. Self care is super quick. I usually only have time for one or two small things a day. But I still take the time to prioritize myself. I want my daughter to grow up seeing her mother love herself and take care of herself. The easiest acts of self care I’ve found to continue are my daily morning and evening skincare routines, going for a walk daily and taking a shower daily (yes, I count a shower as self care!). But when I have more time, I’ll take a bath, drink an old fashion, leave the house to go to a coffee shop or schedule a massage (just got my first one last week postpartum and it was life changing).
Overall, taking care of myself as a new mom has a new feel to it. Its more appreciative for things I used to take for granted. Its quicker, but its still there. Its prioritizing new things, and letting go of other things for now. But it still, without a doubt, there. And something I hope Madelyn sees as an example of how she can also take care of herself.
Thank you to adidas for sponsoring this post. As always, all my opinions are my own.