It’s easy to get lost in new motherhood, and it’s far too easy to start feeling like an unkept milk machine.
The advice I received from nearly everyone when I came home from the hospital was, “don’t worry about what you look like, just sleep.” It was recommended to me not to worry about taking showers or to even attempt to keep the house clean. And for many new mothers, this is probably good advice so you don’t feel overwhelmed, but it left me feeling lazy, unattractive and unproductive. I was already coping with a vastly different body, some serious sleep deprivation, and raging postpartum hormones. What I came to realize was that what I need was to get back to feeling like me again.
Here are the four things that I did that helped me start to feel like my pre-pregnancy self again:
1. Take a Shower
This may just be me, but when I go unshowered, it makes me feel like a zombie. Whenever I am sick, I feel infinitely better when I drag myself into the shower for a few minutes. The only problem is when I am sick I don't want to move to save my life! But the moment I decide to walk the abysmal 10 steps to my bathroom, and turn on the hot water, I instantly start to feel more like me.
2. Get Your Hair Done
Image: healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
When I came home from the hospital, my hair was a total disaster. It had been pulled back in a messy bun since the babe was born. Every time I looked in the mirror, I would cringe. For the most part I would say I wasn't very productive in the hospital bed, but I actually made a hair appointment from my recovery room, knowing it would make feel pretty, and feeling pretty was exactly what I needed. I had close to 10 inches cut off! Which seems drastic, but was exactly what I needed. Now I don't have to constantly pull my hair back because of lack of time, and I feel like I have manageable hairstyle I can actually do most days.
3. Put on a Little Makeup
Image: Graeme Weatherston / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Before I had Tate, I was someone who seldom left the house without any make-up on. For me, a little mascara and eyeliner is standard uniform before doing much of anything. And like showering and getting my hair done, when I have a little make-up on, even when I'm not leaving the house at all, I feel so much better about how I look. So my advice applies to whatever kind of make-up (if any) helps you feel a little bit more like you. Even a little lipgloss, or some under eye concealer can go a long way.
4. Get Dressed
Thing Three / Flickr
Making an effort to put on clothes (NOT pajamas) is a simple way to help you feel more put together. You certainly don't need to put on anything fancy, but you should put on clothes that make you feel good. This can be difficult because you are most likely a different size than you were before you had the baby. If you don't have anything that fits you, go buy a few things. It's time to dress the body you have, even if it's not the body you want. I have recently done a fresh inventory on my closet, deciding what fits and flatters me now. I have put some of my smaller clothes away and will revisit them when I have lost a few sizes.
These are four ways that help me feel more like me. But I would love to hear what you all do or did, or plan to do to help yourself feel better after having a baby?
One of the amazing things about getting to write on this blog, is the amazing comments I get to read after I post, so keep them coming. It is great to hear all of the unique perspectives.
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