Motherhood is beautiful and life changing. But it can also be overwhelming and difficult. In the midst of the chaos and the mess, every mom should make these five promises… to herself.
1. I promise… to not lose myself.
As a new mom, we spend so much time learning about how to care for our brand new baby that we often forget who we are. Moms who stay home further lose sight of who they are, as they are no longer affiliated with their career. We get shut out from our friends, our social life, and after a few blissful weeks of visits and gifts, everyone else goes back to their lives. We feel forgotten by the world.
It’s essential that we don’t lose our identity. The title of “mom” will undoubtedly be the most precious title you ever own, but that doesn’t mean that Mom is all you are. You were a person before you were a mother. What do you like to do? Were you in the middle of a book, or starting a new hobby?
Once you get into the swing of things, make sure to take time for yourself. Remain active at church, visit or call friends and family, and continue to pursue your interests and hobbies. The happier you are, the better you can be a mother to your child.
2. I promise… to forgive myself.
Moms are the quintessential self-guilt trippers. Some guilt comes from within, but it also comes at us from all directions: experts, doctors, relatives, well–meaning friends. Whether we want it or not, someone is always telling us what to do… or telling us that we are wrong.
Maybe your pregnancy wasn’t a walk in the park. Maybe your birth plan flew out the window. Maybe breastfeeding wasn’t as intuitive as you thought. It’s ok, Mama.
Let go of the guilt. Learn lessons from your mistakes, yes, and ask for forgiveness if you like. But do not carry that burden on your shoulders – mothers can withstand almost anything, except being our own worst enemy.
3. I promise… to take care of myself.
There’s a difference between pampering yourself needlessly and just recognizing what you need in order to function. This comes in many forms: cleanliness, hydration, nourishment, exercise, rest.
You may hate a dirty kitchen as much as I do, but if you pass out from low blood sugar you’re not helping anyone. Find hacks and tips to help you get what you need, and where you do not feel like you are ignoring your baby. This includes things like sleeping when the baby sleeps, making protein shakes or smoothies to get the calories you need, taking Baby with you for a brisk walk, or using a water ring sling to shower with Baby! I promise that there is a compromise which serves you and your child. You both deserve the best.
4. I promise… to be proud of myself.
Look at your child. Really look at them. You grew that, damnit! In your own body! You single-handedly protected and nourished that precious little soul within you, as your heartbeat sang them to sleep. Now they are out in our world, and still, everything you do is for them.
Be proud of the sacrifices you have made, everything you have learned, and the comfort zone you left behind. Living for someone else sounds really daunting, but in fact it is incredible. You have done so much, and you should feel proud of that.
5. I promise… to love myself.
The next time you pass by a mirror, don’t shrink away from it. See yourself as you are, and smile. We must quit shaming and hating our bodies because we may not look how society says we should. We are incredible, powerful creatures and we should be feared by all. Make a list of things you love about yourself, or ask your significant other to tell you the things they love most. It’s a great way to get some well-needed perspective. You are worth loving; if you ever forget why, just look at how your baby sees you. In their eyes, you are perfect.
Now all I have to do is remember to follow my own advice!
Which promise spoke to you the most?