Sunday, March 23, 2014

Getting Back to You

Having Baby P is the best thing that I have ever done. I hate those mommies that do nothing but complain about how their child has wrecked their social lives. In my opinion, these are the people that should have waited longer—or possibly never had kids at all. You should know when you go into having a child that you are going to have to give up some things.

The awesome thing is that if you were really ready to have children, giving up those late nights at the club with your girlfriends will just feel like a natural progression. It will feel like something that you have outgrown once you became a mom. I can honestly say that I have not regretted not being able to hang out until all hours of the night. I would much rather be rocking my daughter to sleep. However, I believe in supporting all moms. Being someone’s Mommy is the hardest job on the planet. It is one that often messes with your emotions (hello hormones) and your sanity. Therefore, I try not to judge my Facebook friends who are mommies when they wax poetical about how they miss their former lives. We are not all ready for this change—and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you love your child any less.

Let me tell you what I do miss—I miss the time with my husband. I miss the flexibility of being able to schedule an impromptu romantic weekend in Charleston or Savannah. You can’t do those things as easily when you have to arrange for overnight childcare. Those things I will be missing for awhile. However, my little P is so worth it! My romantic evenings are now spent watching my husband make P smile. Can I say that I now find that to be SO SEXY!

I understand that the first three months after having a new baby can make you feel subhuman. You are becoming a different person and no longer feel like yourself. I TOTALLY get that! I sympathize with it. I felt the same way. You are exhausted, you are a little heavier, and you just feel different than before. This is normal, and you should not feel guilty about it.

Here are some things that I did to kick those feelings:

 1. Get out of the house!
            After the first week or so at home those walls start to feel claustrophobic. You just want to get out and do something! This is normal. I took Baby P out to stroll around the outlet mall near our house at 9 days old. You need to get out for your sanity, and there is nothing wrong with this. Just try to steer clear of any places that have a lot of children or elderly people. They have germs that your baby does not need to be exposed to.
2. Do something special for yourself.
            Go get your hair cut. Get a massage, pedicure, or manicure. Do something that is going to make you feel beautiful. I promise that it will make you feel rejuvenated. I cut 10 inches off of my hair when baby P was a month old. It seemed to match the way I was feeling on the inside, and it took half the time to do in the morning!


3. Take a shower or a bath EVERYDAY
            It may sound funny, but when you are caring for another human being 24-7—you may forget to care for yourself. Find the time everyday to take a 10 minute shower. I found that this was my time to reflect on the day and collect my thoughts. Those first two weeks are really hard, and I often used that shower time to cry—I wasn’t depressed or sad—I just felt the need to have that emotional release. I promise that this feeling is totally normal.
4. Join a Mommy group
            I cannot tell you how much I am a fan of Mommy and Me groups. These groups are such a support system for you. I truly believe in the relationships that I have made in my group. They have saved my sanity more than once. It’s true that you can always talk to your friends, but I find it better to share with moms that are going through the same things at the same time as me. It makes me feel that I am not alone. These women are quickly becoming very good friends of mine, and I believe that these relationships will last as my daughter grows. Many hospitals and churches have these groups for you to join. The hardest part is going that first time. Put yourself out there—you won’t regret it. 


5. Be productive
            Even if you decide not to go back to work, you may feel better if you are doing something productive outside of raising a human being. For me, I love doing makeup. I work with one of my photographer friends sometimes, and I just recently started working with her again. I love making women look as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside. I also find that writing these blog posts makes me feel accomplished. It’s a good feeling.


6. Plan a monthly date night
            At two months old, my husband finally convinced me to let my in-laws watch P overnight. It was my birthday and we wanted to celebrate. We had sushi, and came home to attempt to watch a movie together. While, we both fell asleep—we spent time alone together. Plus, I had a whole night of uninterrupted sleep. It was glorious. I did miss my little angel like crazy, but she was fine with her grandparents. They loved having her there, and it meant a lot to them that I trusted them enough to let them watch her overnight.
            While you certainly don’t have to do an overnight date, I think it is important to get out alone as a couple every once in awhile. Your marriage is central to your family, and is important for your child. It needs to be nurtured as much as possible. So—relinquish the reigns a bit. You will feel better, and so will your husband.



While you should feel accomplished everyday when raising your child—this is a hard job—you may feel like you need something else. That’s how I felt. I started making P bows, blogging, and doing makeup. These things made me feel more like a new and improved me. They boosted my confidence. They make me a better mom. Take my advice, or leave it. But whatever you choose, know that you are doing a great job!

Hugs,
Caroline

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