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7 Simple Ways not to Lose Yourself After Baby

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Adjusting to motherhood is HARD! Here's 7 things to do so you don't lose yourself after baby.

Oh, goodness!  The motherhood!  There is a reason women say being a mom is the most important thing they have ever done.  And I am convinced it is because they forgot about all the other things they did. Kids have a way of stealing brain cells. {HA!}   Adjusting to mommyhood AND trying to hang on to who you are as an individual can be rough.

I was getting ready the other day after my bi-weekly shower (kidding…sorta) and I was thinking about what I should wear.  And I had to have that conversation with myself wherein I tell myself that my comfy pants and tank top are not a uniform.  I had to remind myself  my day wear should not seamlessly transform into bed-clothes.  Basically, I had to try.

I was convincing myself to choose a shoe with some height instead of my go-to Sanuks.  And I started thinking about how difficult it is to keep up with other people in your life; much less, trying not to lose yourself after baby.

After having three kids and going through the ups and downs of feeling connected and disconnected with myself through the early baby months (while recovering from a c-section), I have some ideas for not losing yourself in the motherhood of it all.  And I thought I would share them with you.  I warn you the tips are not all deep.  Some of them are quite shallow. But I am a little shallow, so indulge me while I remain myself after babies.

Wear High Heels

I wholeheartedly subscribe to this tip!  It was a lesson learned shortly after my first baby was born.  I had to go to a mommy group and I randomly decided to throw on a pair of heels before going.  Then I had to go to church a week later and decided to wear heels again.  There was something wearing a pair of heels and pushing a stroller did to my confidence I honestly cannot express.  It made me feel put-together.  Like I had this whole pushing a stroller with a fresh baby inside figured out – and that was something!

So, here’s the tip: Wear high heels to go somewhere with your kid(s) – once a week.  Honestly, it does not matter where you are going or how long you are going to be there.  A trip to Walgreens can be just long enough to make you FEEL more like yourself.  Strutting around in your pretty shoes makes you feel tall, successful, and put together. It is so worth it!  Give it a try this week.  And then again next week.  It really works!

Wear High Heels - Tips for hanging on to who you are after you have kids - how not to lose yourself after baby

these are my go-to pair right now!

Date your Mate

A huge part of who I am as a person is bound up in my relationship to my husband.  And not at all in a weird, co-dependent way.  He is the coolest guy I know and the one person in this world who gets all of me.  I mean I share all of who I am with him.  And things just feel off when we haven’t had a date night.

Not off between us, off with me.

I feel more stressed by the little things of my day: the sleepless nights have a way of impacting me that way.  The need to reconnect starts to sneak up on me.  I feel the need to sit next to him and talk without interruptions.  Without having to change a diaper for a couple of hours.  I want to be around an adult, having coherent conversations that make me laugh for all the right reasons.

Dating once a week just doesn’t happen for our schedule – at least not leave-the-house-dates.  We tend to go on a date at least once a month.  My tip for new moms is to date your mate at least once a month.

Connect with your Man

Between official date nights, take a moment every day to look into his eyes and say “Good morning.”   Throw in a kiss for good measure, too!  We do this every.single.day.  Even when we forget to do it in the morning.

Sometimes Saturdays are so hectic that we work all morning dealing with the kids, wrangling them into the car sometime around 1 PM.  We slip into our respective driver’s and passenger’s seats and look at one another and say, “Good morning.”  And seal it with a kiss.

We kind of laugh each time this happens.  Because it happens so often.  And we smile because of all that is unspoken in that, “Good morning.”  The highs and lows of the morning behind us.  The deep breaths and the sighs that bring us back to one another.

It literally takes a second to reconnect with your man.  Re-connection with him does something to impact how you feel about yourself.  I think of it as a “we’ve still got it” moment that reminds you of the old you – the pre-mom you.  And that is a good thing.

Staying connected with yourself after becoming a mom - ways not to lose yourself after baby

Don’t Put it Off Until the Pounds Come off

I don’t need to tell you pregnancy changes things.  You can look in the mirror post-baby and see for yourself.  If you are like me, you are tempted to cover up that post-baby body with clothes that make you physically comfortable.   Not necessarily the best in the fashion department.  Yoga pants and your husband’s oversized t-shirts are just so easy, post-baby!

Then, every time you have to leave the house, you spend a half an hour (or more),baby on hip, figuring out what to wear.  You don’t want to look like the slob you have become.  Why?  Because you don’t fit into ANYTHING any more and you don’t want to spend money on new clothes until you get your body back.

Word of advice: don’t wait until the pounds come off to pick up some clothes to help you rock your post-baby bod.  Getting out the door with baby is hard enough without adding the stress of not having anything to wear! Get yourself some clothes to avoid the hormonal headaches that come when you realize life will never be the same again (or at least not for a very long time).

My recommendation

With our latest little one, I gave Stitch Fix another try and I told my stylist I was a new nursing mom who needed shirts I could easily nurse in. I told her I needed pants or skirts that give a little bit of grace to my post C-section tummy.  I ended up getting some great choices that didn’t scream, “Nursing wear!”  And I was so happy I didn’t put off getting clothes until the weight came off, because it was a LONG time until I got used to my body again.

I had to force myself to find some great post-baby, nursing friendly clothes with each of my babies.  I teach Bible study and I didn’t want to look ultra-shabby.  Each time I had a baby, I created a simple capsule wardrobe for those days when I had to leave the house looking good.  And the right clothes made me feel more like myself.

Adjusting to motherhood is HARD! Here's 7 things to do so you don't lose yourself after baby.

Get back to Bible study

Speaking of Bible study, it is SO important to get back in to a good Bible study routine.  With each of my babies I have taken a short break from Bible study.  Getting the sleep schedule figured out and recovering from a C-section is no joke.  As soon as I am feeling better and sleeping a few hours at night, I get back to my habit of Bible study.

Since Bible study is one of the top priorities of my life, I feel more like myself when I can do it every day. Even a few minutes spent in the Word make me feel more connected to the God of the Universe.  Those precious moments in the Word give me wisdom to meditate on throughout my day.  I can’t tell you how often the mundane tasks of my day have been elevated to times of worship.  Simply rehearsing what I learned that morning keeps me connected to who I am in Christ.

Oh, and getting connected in a community of women who are studying the same thing you are is a GREAT idea!  You can get so much encouragement from other women.  So get back into the swing of Bible study as quickly as possible!

Ways to not lose yourself after baby

Stay connected with your friends

Let me say at the outset of this tip: I am not the best friend.  I struggle with letting others whom I care about know I am thinking of them, praying for them, and rejoicing in their lives.  I wish I was better at it.

Some of my friends have been true friends to me – they have demonstrated to me what I fail to show them.  And they have definitely done this for me in noticeable ways after having my kids.  I have had friends willing to come sit with me and listen to me ramble while I recover from my C-sections.  Long-distance friends have sent me messages on Facebook saying, “I would love to hear your birth story, when you are ready to share it.”  I have had meals taken care of and Starbucks drinks delivered to my door.

Keeping these connections with my friends has helped me not lose track of myself after becoming a mom.  They have provided a place to talk about everything (babies and more) and listen to what is going on in my friends’ lives.  Good friends have a way of making us feel more like ourselves.

You take care of YOU

I am not much for the term, “self-care.”  However, I am a big proponent of taking care of yourself.  Feeding the part of you that makes you YOU.  I think it is important to continue to do the things that make you smile after having kids.  I tend to like to read a good book, take a long soak in the tub, watch documentaries on Netflix, and visit Starbucks.  That’s me in a nutshell.

Keeping up with the things you love to do on a regular basis will ultimately cause you to feel more like yourself.   If it’s not possible for you to do everything you love every day, shoot for once a week.  I try to do each of the things I love once a week.  It helps me not lose myself after baby, even when my world revolves around 4 other people.

Adjusting to motherhood is HARD! Here's 7 things to do so you don't lose yourself after baby.

Despite my wardrobe weakness post-baby, I really DO feel I am still in tact.  I am still connected to my husband, my kids, and my mama friends.  I still spend my time the way I want to. Finding a way to fit in daily devotions and writing this blog – things I love doing.  And I still feel pretty OK about the way I look when I actually leave the house.

Full disclosure: do NOT expect I will open my front door to you should you drop by unannounced.  I don’t answer the door in my bedclothes. {smile}

P.S.  The amazing shots of my family were taken by our favorite photographer, Erica.  You can check out her other work here.

Adjusting to motherhood is HARD! Here's 7 things to do so you don't lose yourself after baby.

 


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2 Comments

  • Reply Evonne Cordell August 25, 2016 at 9:37 AM

    LOVE the red heels!!

    Great advice. You are an awesome “nutshell”! ?

    When you have time…?

  • Reply Conni Hudson August 25, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    These are good tips for any big life change. Thanks.

    And just a sidebar: if your budget is tight, and it usually is after a new baby comes into your world or your life change is monetary, thrift stores are great shopping places. Just get a few things new to you and fashionable for the day. It helps you be you.
    Bible Study will accommodate your baby and gives you a small break. Plus it helps you “set your mind on things above”when your life change tempts you otherwise.
    And , Leah,your shoes Rock!

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