For the last 11 months and before that when you were pregnant you may not have felt like yourself. During pregnancy you were carrying your bundle of joy-to-be and since birth you have been caring for him 24/7. It’s time to start thinking about yourself but how do you go about doing that and not feel guilty?
The first step to recognise that just because you want to be ‘you’ again doesn’t mean you don’t want to be ‘mum’!
As mums we never take enough time for ourselves. When was the last time you had your hair done, your nails, a massage or just a cuppa on your own? A while perhaps? So if you think you are superwoman think again – burn out could be just around the corner and it’s ok to take time for yourself.
Prioritise the things you need to do in a day and carry things over that can be done another day. You are not one of those ‘carry over’ things and it is important for you to put yourself to the top or near to the top of you priority list. Think about some quiet time for yourself and you will likely find that your baby learns more about quiet time from you taking time to do relaxing activities.
As much as you can, concentrate on one job at a time, focusing on getting the job done quickly so you don’t have that feeling of so many open-ended things to do and that can help you relax. Don’t be afraid to delegate by– asking family and friends for some help. Share that cake someone has baked for you with them over a ‘baby-free’ coffee!
Though it is hard to do, don’t always say ‘yes’ when asked to do things. Other people need to prioritise their life and that doesn’t include you always picking up their jobs. It is ok to let people know that you can’t manage something more at any time. Make sure you get into the habit of making time for yourself and your priorities before you commit to helping others. By slowing down and prioritising your life you won’t be in such a hurry all the time and will be able to consider what you take on without feeling stressed out.
If you are back to work – try not to take it home with you. But if you do have to work at home set a special time for it so you are not conflicted trying to cook tea, spend time with your baby and juggle so many household jobs. Having quiet time and breastfeeding your baby without any other interruptions will help both you and your baby spend quality time together and reconnect after a busy day. When you are at work focus on your job and try not to worry about your baby. Being back at work is a part of your ‘you time’!
It can be hard to juggle being mum and an individual but it will be worth the effort if you can time for yourself to recharge your ‘me’ batteries before taking on ‘mum’ again. Don’t feel guilty about being ‘you’ again it is healthy for you and for your baby.