5 Ways to Keep Your Sanity After Giving Birth
If you were searching online or in the newspaper for a job and there was a description of a specific position open for employment that read: Must work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Organizational and Communication skills. Travelling every day, expenses not reimbursed. Will be the first to blame when anything goes wrong. Must be an excellent chef and deal with picky eaters. On call chauffeur. Must be good at hair styling, dressing any body type, cleaning, laundry, and event coordinator. Salary- $0 a year. Would you reply to the job ad? I’m going to go with a big N-O! Being a mother is literally the hardest job in the world. Although it may not pay you back in physical money, it does come with an abundance of rewards.
After giving birth it’s difficult as a mother to find life outside of a baby. Your life revolves around your child. Everywhere you go involves your child and everything you do involves your child. It’s easy to lose your identity as the person you were before becoming pregnant once the baby is born. For some, when we don’t know where to find ourselves we end up going down a dark path of postpartum depression, or similar. As a mother you make sure everyone around you is good and happy before checking in with yourself to make sure you too are “good and happy”. As we all know, in order to make others “good” we must first make ourselves “good” on the inside. So how do we do that? How does a mother keep her sanity after giving birth in order to project well-being onto her family and others? From my experience I found these five ways to keep my sanity, and trust me, it took a very long time to find it! Even till this day I find different ways to keep myself sane, yet still try and be a bad ass mom. 🙂
1. Get out of the house
I’m serious. You have to get out of the house, and I’m not saying to go to work, but somewhere that you can enjoy for at least one or two hours a day. I don’t care if that’s a hike somewhere, going to the mall, sitting at a park for fresh air, sleeping in your car, just get out of the house. This needs to happen on a daily basis, and if that’s not doable, then at least every other day. No matter the hour, whenever someone can watch the lil’ one, get out of the house. Plan your weeks to see who can watch your baby, when they can, and do it. Don’t keep yourself in the house with just you and the baby it will literally lead to insanity and depression and it will spiral out of control. Getting yourself out of the house is like a reset button. You can breathe, get your mind right, and come back home recharged and your fuel tank full. You cannot expect to constantly run on an empty tank day after day without a proper fill up. Alone time for mommy’s is our gas station.
2. Pamper Yourself
I’m pretty sure every woman out there loves being pampered here and there whether that involves your hair, nails, makeup, clothes, whatever. Even at the end of your month being pregnant you feel fat, disgusting, ugly, and ready to get back to your old body without an alien living in it and it doesn’t go away for quite some time. For some women it’s easy to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight and bounce right back in life with your appearance, and for others it’s not. Getting pampered makes you feel like a new woman and makes you feel like YOU again. It’s almost like we walk around saying “damn I look good” and those thoughts will radiate throughout the body and into the brain and make you feel so much better which in return radiates into the family in a good way. When you are getting pampered you are in a relaxation mode which then triggers the mind to settle down, recharge, and get back to “normal” levels. If you are constantly going going going, even in the middle of the night with an infant, you need a break and so does your brain.
3. Go out with the girls (or guys, or both!)
Dedicate at least once a month to a night out with your girls or guys, or both! It’s important to keep somewhat of a social life outside of the baby. You get a chance to tap into the person you were before you were even pregnant and it makes you feel so alive! It’s a chance to let loose and enjoy genuine conversation, actually warm food, and fun drinks that doesn’t involve a nipple at the end of it 🙂 . Again, it’s about changing your environment around you to recharge and feel as if you didn’t have to give up your entire personal life just because you had a baby. You don’t have to lose all of your friends after having a kid, you just need to make the time to get out and be with your friends. It’s difficult at times so just try your best and don’t feel discouraged if you can’t get out as much as you want, the time will come.
4. Exercise as much as possible
I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I exercise I feel SO much better afterwards about myself and also my mind is in a good spot. When the baby is sleeping take 20-30 minutes to do an at home workout, or even better, if you can leave to a gym or go run outside, then do that. Working out helps you mentally and physically. It keeps you agile for your child and also is a way to get out frustration in a productive way. When you add exercise into your life it shows you do care about yourself and aren’t willing to “let yourself go” just because a little human was growing inside of you and now rules your life. A lot of moms consider working out therapeutic and it helps them start or end their day in a positive way. Whether that’s being more productive at home (or work), having more energy with your child, or eating better throughout the day, it’s all positive and just what a mama needs.
It might go without saying and trust me I know it’s difficult to sleep with a baby, but you must do it for yourself or you will hurt yourself from the inside out. Studies have shown people who are exhausted when driving are comparable to drunk drivers. Although that’s when operating a motor vehicle, you can probably bet yourself it affects you in all aspects of life when you are at home or performing other tasks as a mother. Do you think you can be the best version of you with such little sleep and not being able to give your full potential to your child? Probably not. Even if it’s for 20 minutes a day, get some rest. I always call it “I’m resting my eyes”. Even if you don’t go into a deep sleep a little power nap can do wonders. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Leave the laundry and cleaning to be and just rest. If you continually drain your battery and only charge to 45% each night, yet use that energy up within a few hours of being awake, you will only hurt yourself more whether that’s physically or mentally. Lay your head down.
I know it’s easier said then done, trust me, I’ve been there. I thought to myself I would never get out of my slump and I would never get past postpartum depression, and although it took 3-4 years and sometimes I still find myself getting back into depression I try and think of these five simple steps and apply them to my life.
I hope all my mamas out there try some of these tips and know that you are literally not alone and you can conquer anything. I mean, you grew a freaking human in your body, there isn’t anything you cannot do! 🙂