Becoming a mum is one of the most magical things anyone can experience. From how our bodies adapt to accommodate a whole new being inside us to the way our hearts seem to expand overnight. Motherhood is an experience that you can only fully understand once you are holding that new life in your hands. This doesn't mean that motherhood is easy. With it, comes some of the hardest challenges you will ever face. It's one thing that women agree on, regardless of status, creed or origin. Motherhood definitely changes your life forever.
With all this, it is important that mothers take care of themselves not only for their benefit but for the benefit of the family as a whole. Here are ways you can start taking care of yourself today.
1. Throw all your guilt in the trash. You do compare yourself to other mums or to what you had thought you would become. If you are a working mum, that's great, and if you decide to stay at home, that's equally great. Don't feel guilty about choices you make to better your family.
2. You need time to yourself. Take the kids to their grandparents, ask your spouse to watch them for a night… Do whatever you need to do to recharge. Unlike batteries which can easily be replaced when they run out of charge, there's only one of you.
3. Ask for and accept help whenever possible. Sometimes, we put all the weight of our children and the household on our shoulders when we shouldn't. If someone offers to watch the kids, do your laundry or cook you a meal, accept the help. You can spend that extra time taking an extra long bubble bath or getting a manicure done.
4. Treat your body well. Eat right (you can still afford a cheat meal though), exercise(just a walk every day will do) and most importantly, get enough sleep. There is nothing wrong with taking a nap with the kids.
5. Connect with other mums, they are going through a similar journey as yours. Find other mums you can relate to. Those that you can break down and cry when you need to and still have a good laugh about it the next day. Build a community of people you can trust who in future could even babysit for you when you need some time off.
6. Do something you love but don't do anymore. Whatever it is, rediscover that passion for it again. Whether it's a sport you enjoy, a glass of wine after a long day or simply a TV show. Do things that are devoid of your motherhood status.
7. Be informed but don't get engulfed with all the information out there. Make choices that are right for your family, not just because everyone else is doing it because this is a recipe for disaster.
8. Be kind to yourself. Don't speak negatively about your body if you gained a few extra pounds than you hoped. Don't speak of all the things you haven't done as failures.
Lastly, love yourself always in all ways.