May 22, 2022 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant
Having your first child brings with it a whole heap of changes. Many of those changes range from good to amazing. Unfortunately, there are also some downsides. The amount of time you have available for hobbies, interests and self-care plummets the moment your child arrives. When All Things Hair, asked new moms if their self-care routine had shifted since giving birth – and not springily – 68% reported that it had.
What do we mean by self-care?
Self-care is a fluid concept. It means different things to different people. For some, self-care means relaxing in the bath with a good book. For others, it means time spent doing hair and makeup. For others, it could mean taking time out to catch up with friends or taking a trip to the gym.
Regardless of the activity, at its core self-care is about ensuring that you are consciously looking out for your body and mind and giving them the attention they deserve.
Self-care as a new mom
Given the intense demands on your time as a new parent, and the sleep deprivation that comes as part of the package, it’s easy to see why new moms place less priority on self-care. However, there are few times in your life when self-care is so vital.
Becoming a mom has a major impact on your sense of self. The way you look can change dramatically and there’s plenty of anxiety that comes with having a new baby as well. The irony of this is that, at the time when you most need to take care of your physical and mental health, you have the least available time and energy to do so.
But investing all of your energy in your child and none in yourself can have a detrimental effect on your health and your bond with your baby.
As such, it is essential to carve out time for self-care activities. Even five minutes here and there will become easier to find, the more you practice and prioritize it.
A dose of realism is helpful here. You may not have time for a full makeover, but if you grab a couple of minutes to paint your toenails before a feed, for example, they can dry while you enjoy snuggles with your little one during feeding time. It’s all about building your new self-care routine around your needs and those if your child, not the needs of your child alone.
Motherhood is an amazing gift but it’s also a testing time. Part of redefining your sense of self as a new mother means focusing on yourself in new ways. Doing so you can ensure that you are emotionally better off, which will benefit not just you but your baby as well.
Examples of self-care activities for new moms
There are plenty of self-care activities that can fit around a new-born, as you become increasingly adept at juggling tasks. The list below provides a few examples but is by no means exhaustive. Why not make the first self-care activity you do writing your own list of self-care activities?
- Listen to a podcast: you can do this with one ear bud in while undertaking a whole range of chores and baby-related duties. The topic of the podcast can be suited to any of your interests.
- Start a gratitude diary: this can be done in just minutes every day but taking time out to think consciously of all that you have to be grateful for can work wonders for your mental health.
- Experiment with your beauty routine: while a week-long spa break may be out of the question when you first become a mom, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do to prioritize health and beauty. From dry shampoos and leave-in conditioners to mood-lifting body mists and hair mists, there are plenty of products out there for you to experiment with and that can become part of a new self-care beauty routine.
- Ask for help: from family members to friends with youngsters of their own who have been through it, there are plenty of people around you who will be happy to coo over the baby and do the washing up for you while you take time out to have a bath. All you have to do is ask and doing so can make a world of difference.
Changes to your self-care routine are part and parcel of becoming a new mom. However, if you are feeling low or struggling to cope with the intense demands of motherhood, make sure you reach out. You aren’t the first mother to feel that way and there’s a whole heap of support out there that can help you feel better. Never be afraid to ask.
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About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)
The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …