Remember stopping for gas and running into the store for a quick snack? Oh, to go back to that day when buying a pint of ice cream was as simple as unbuckling your seatbelt and walking into the store with your arms swaying by your side.
How about when your clothes used to fit you? You could wear stuff made out of fancy materials like satin and glittery bits without getting little snot snail trails across them within ten minutes. They were easy to put on and looked flattering!
And what about all those friends that would call you up on a Thursday night at 10pm and you would just hop in the car and go see a live band and get a little tipsy?
Now, come back from the dream to a screaming toddler, a messy top knot and a laundry pile that’s as high as the kitchen table.
Who are you, who have you become and who will you end up being?
These are questions we, as mothers, ask ourselves frequently. But how do we find the answers? It isn’t a simple journey but it is certainly worth talking about. And it’s different for everyone, so all I can do is share a bit of my own personal experience.
After my babies were born I started to feel this grueling lonesomeness and disconnect from the life I was living before pregnancy. I had a lot of friends, I enjoyed going out and I drank my lion’s share of whiskey. Then along came baby one and all of a sudden I spent long days in solitude with no clue how to entertain and nurture this new precious life. I missed my friends. I missed being called, invited to parties, included in all the gossip. Bringing this baby into the world was the most amazing thing I had ever done and I had no idea how to express myself in public anymore without gushing over how wonderful she was, and how life changing her birth was. How are we supposed to deliver a baby and then go out into the world as though the earth didn’t just split open and spill out all its secrets?
So the days turned over one by one and another baby came along. Somewhere along the way I began to remember who I was. I took bits and pieces of her and introduced her to the new me and now we work together in harmony. I still allow myself time with friends (the ones who ended up on the other side of this with me). I work out like crazy because it allows me time to myself, and I still read and write like I always have. I’m still a workaholic (only now it’s changing diapers and going to the park) and I’m still the badass that I always was. I think that paying attention to ourselves is the best thing we can do for our children. It’s important for them to learn self worth from their greatest leaders.
So whether you continue your education, give yourself alone time, get healthy or just take a moment to breathe…this Valentine’s Day, love on yourself first. Then all the ones you love the most will reap the benefits.
What do you do to love yourself now that you have children? Comment below and tell us all about it.
Lancaster Doulas proudly offers birth doula, postpartum doula, placenta encapsulation and childbirth education services to Central PA – Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Hershey, Lebanon, Reading