You probably won’t notice you’ve stopped doing this, but now you’re a mum, looking after yourself is still super important. Maybe even more important than it used to be way back in the day when you had the time and inclination to do it. While your focus might be getting pulled in a million different directions, the truth remains: you’re still here, you still matter and your health and wellbeing is a priority. So many of us mums get sucked down a rabbit hole of self-neglect so deep it can literally take years to clamber back out. Add to that those of us with multiple kids, jobs, partners and even friendships that need attention – where is the headspace left for us? I have to admit it, there was a year or so there, where I just completely forgot to look after myself. Like, at all. It’s an easy habit to slip into.
Self care for new mums is so essential, especially when it means setting up good habits for the long term. So how do we do it? How do we get ouroxygen masks on first?
I’ll say it, sometimes we need to get a little bit selfish.
(And actually, you’ll come to realise that taking time for yourself, even with a newborn around, is not selfish at all!)
I know that nagging feeling you get of needing to be the one who does everything for kiddo. Really, I do. The pressure we put on ourselves as new mums is immense! Honestly, though, all it leads to is burn-out for you andlearned helplessness for the extra sets of hands in your life. Sound familiar? The ‘I could explain it but it’ll just take too long so I’ll just do it myself’ way of thinking. It’s time to ditch that mindset and recruit support so you can go and get selfish – at the gym, at the local café, at the bookshop, at the spa, in the backyard with a good (non-parenting related) book. Who cares where, just go and carve out a space that’s purely yours – and remember, your needs matter too!!
Asking for help feels kinda gross at first, and somehow… what, anti-feminist? But with practice, and time, you’ll realise that parenting is a team effort (even if you’re not in a ‘team’ so to speak). As humans we weren’t designed to parent in isolation, so find your team, your village, your support system so that your version of self care for new mums (whatever that might look like) can be realised. Maybe someone simply watches bub while you take a rest? Joins you for a long walk while the offspring sleeps soundly in their pram?
A village is a hugely valuable thing, especially in the current ‘age of me’, so find yours A.S.A.P.!
If you’re struggling with self care as a new mum and finding your village, there are 2 things to keep in mind:
Until next time, take care of yourself mama… (I mean it!!)
~ Sinem xo