Art Mama with baby in tow
Everyone told me while I was pregnant just how much my life was going to change, how hard parenting was going to be, and how my life will no longer be mine. I took note and basically sloughed it off, since I wasn’t there yet. Well that time has arrived! With my daughter now 10-months-old and happy, healthy and just a pure delight—I am on a mission to find “me” again.
It all started one night when she was crying (teething, I think) and I was holding her because my husband couldn’t comfort her (she wanted mommy), and I found myself crying along with her. I came to the realization then that my entire world revolves around her, this beautiful being, and therefore my own “me” world has been lost in the revolution. Don’t get me wrong—I love my daughter so much it makes my heart hurt. But from someone who has lived 40 great years, had pretty much a “dream” career, a dream husband and a vibrant life as a couple, I am inevitably going to grieve my life as I knew it. I then made a pact with myself to become completely fulfilled as my own person so I can be the best mom I can be to my daughter.
I am still learning as I go along, but I want to share my thoughts so far on how we can begin to be loving and content moms, starting with pregnancy!
During pregnancy MAKE YOUR LIFE ALL ABOUT YOU! It is the last time you can do this for yourself, and it will also create a healthy and happy environment to grow that baby! This means that you can toss that guilt aside as you allow yourself to do things that make you happy, such as:
Ask your husband or partner to pamper you. Hello nightly foot rubs!
Rest and nap as much as you want and need. Don’t feel guilty for laying on the couch reading a good book every evening, or watching back-to-back episodes of Grey’s Anatomy! Or simply going to bed at 7:30 without doing the dishes!
Eat foods that taste good to you at the time, even if it’s only potatoes and avocados. Your body will garnish all the nutrition it needs to nourish your baby. I remember I couldn’t look at a salad or anything green throughout my entire pregnancy, but I loved my dad’s coleslaw and drank gallons of ice water. I still managed to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby!
Drink lots of ice cold Glow Mama! Everything I drank during pregnancy had to be ice cold and I couldn’t drink anything too sweet. So Glow Mama is perfect! If I knew about Mom-Mocktails back then, I would have been in heaven!
Buy maternity clothes that make you feel good about being pregnant and having a glorious belly!
Once you have your wonderful baby, there will definitely be months of an adjustment period when you are getting to know your baby. Caring for your baby is a 24-7 devotion, (I refuse to call it a “job”!), so just know that the first couple of months will consist of putting your needs on the back burner. But as you emerge out of your new-baby-fog, it is okay to start adding pieces of yourself back into your life.
I recently read an article in Parents Magazine that said of course you will be listening to lullabies and playing with baby toys trying to merge yourself into your baby’s world. But it’s also okay to merge your baby into YOUR world! I realized I actually had started to do this when she was 3 months old. We took our baby to poetry readings, holiday parties (no matter how cold it was outside) and art walks. We play her music we like, and she loves it! We took her on her first overnight trip in Tahoe for our anniversary, and to her first ballpark! In all occasions, she’s always a joy. It shows us she is interested in social interaction and that she’s adaptable. We are learning that we can be a fun family, doing things together that we all love
Three Generations of Happy Girls in Tahoe
From these early experiences, this is the most important lesson I’ve learned: Don’t be afraid to introduce your baby to the activities/music/food you enjoy, because it is probably THE key ingredient to growing a healthy family life!
Now I am branching out more. I started taking a yoga class where for an hour and a half each week I have time that is solely mine. It feels good to nourish my body and mind this way. And when I get home, I more excited than ever to see my baby girl! I also do a few hours of work during the day, even when my baby isn’t napping. She is really good at amusing herself and playing independently—which is such a healthy experience for baby and mommy!
My husband and I try to have a date night at least once every two weeks. We see now how vital it is to put this focus onto us as a couple. We’ve learned the hard way that if we don’t, our relationship will not progress effortlessly as it may have before! Remember, happy parents create happy children!
Pregnancy and motherhood is the most special, uniquely personal, loving and important time in a woman’s life. Yes, there are sacrifices, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose yourself. You have made this beautiful life, and you deserve to continue nurturing it with all the pleasures in the world.