So here's the deal: babies absolutely do change your whole world. I remember being young and free, running to Starbucks in the early morning just because I could, or driving down to the beach whenever I felt like it. Now, as a new mom, I ask myself if anything is really worth putting on a bra, packing up my stuff and my fussy baby, and getting into the car to go somewhere. Yes, things are a little different now.
The truth is, I was really good at life before I had my baby. I knew what I was doing. My health, my budget, my job, my home. Most of the time, everything was clean, paid, organized, and on point. I am not the same woman that I was back then, and I am learning to make peace with that. I’m not the same, but I am just as wonderful, and a whole lot stronger!
How does one make peace with the fact that sleepless nights, crumb-covered floors, and crying over spilled (breast) milk will be the highlights of your life for the foreseeable future? Well, because you are awesome, and because you're still reading this, I'll let you in on my secrets. This is how you can learn to say goodbye to that pre-baby life, and be genuinely okay with it.
You've got to be Realistic
You might not have a size two waist anymore. You might not be able to work out every day, or clean the bathroom, or have as much alone time with your spouse. Life is different now, and you have to make adjustments for that. So be realistic, and set smaller, more attainable goals for yourself as you learn to navigate this new adventure. I'm still learning, and it takes time and patience for sure...so start today!
You've got to Learn to Laugh at Yourself
Bad things are going to happen mama. You're going to spill breastmilk, you're going to be up all night, you're going to leave your deodorant in the fridge or your purse on the roof of the car. You have to have a sense of humor if you're going to keep that light in your eyes. So don't beat yourself up. Have a good laugh about the small stuff, and then move on.
You've got to Take Care of Yourself
It's freaking hard to take care of yourself when you have an infant and a household to run, but you have to find the time to do it. Somehow, some way. Take a few minutes to shower, brush your teeth, chug that water, do your stretches. Self-care is so important mama, so make it a priority.
You've got to Appreciate the Little Things
There is so much to be thankful for in your life. Look for the good in every situation, and try to show appreciation for even the smallest of things. Things are certainly different post-baby, but they are still wonderful. Find the beauty and the joy in the little things: I recovered from childbirth so quickly, and many of us do! Be thankful for it. My husband's mom brought me oatmeal and coffee every morning when my baby was newborn. My dog welcomed the new baby with slobbery kisses. I managed to return to work after just four weeks postpartum...Learn to appreciate the little things, and you will learn to make peace with the fact that life is different than it used to be, and yet, it's still beautiful.
You've got to Ask for Help
There is so much more to accomplish now, and you're probably a little sleep deprived. If you're going to be okay with this gigantic change in life, you have to make sure you're not spread too thin. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Your spouse, your parents, your siblings, and your friends should be ready and willing to jump in and give you a break. Let them.
How in the world have I learned to say goodbye to my pre-baby life and be okay with it? I started practicing all of the above, and I’m getting a little better at it every day.
Sometimes I fail miserably. I often miss being able to sleep all night, I miss my long trips to the gym, and my spontaneous drives to the beach. Sometimes I'm too proud to ask for help, and sometimes I go days without a shower. Sometimes I'm superwoman, and sometimes I just layer on the deodorant and mascara and hope for the best.
We are mothers now, and we're a part of something bigger than ourselves. So it's time to mom-up. Make peace with your new life, embrace every moment, and say a fleeting goodbye to your pre-baby life. There are better things to come, and most likely, one of those things is snuggling in your arms right now.
written by VHS contributor// Cate Rosales