Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Importance of Self Care to the New Mother

Self care is important for everyone to practice, but it is especially important to the new mother. What is self care? Imagine that all your love, your sense of self, your pride, your joy, your happiness is in a cup. That cup is buried deep inside you and because we do not see it often, we forget it is there. Every time we selflessly help a friend out, stay late at work, do a favor even though we are exhausted we pour out a little bit of water from that cup. Suddenly it is empty, and we have no more love to give - to them or ourselves
(thanks to a Prenatal to Parenting workshop for the fabulous visual of self love!)

Self love is the revolutionary act of filling YOUR CUP first. Why is this so important for new mothers? Because as a new mom we want to, and indeed are taught to, give everything to our new child. We naturally want the best for them so we sacrifice sleep, warm meals, hot showers, phone calls, time alone.....everything! We pour everything into our new children, physically if we are breastfeeding too. Why could this become a problem? One day you will hit a wall my friend. You will slam into that wall so hard and have no idea how you got there or why, you will try to take care of your baby again and realize you have nothing left to give, for them or you. That my darlings is a recipe for disaster.

Some people are not comfortable with this idea of self care, they feel it is selfish, or they don't deserve it. That only means you need it more!We simply cannot be as present for our children or our spouse if we are not present with ourselves. One of the biggest lessons I learned from my experience of PPD was to practice more self care. Why is this particularly important for the NEW mother? Because self care is a skill, and we learn skills by doing and practicing. If you make this part of your lifestyle early on, you will thank yourself down the road when your toddler has found the permanent markers and colored on the wall with them (true story)

Use your body wisdom: are you sore, tired, tense, have tight muscles? Chances are you need some time to heal you!

This does not make you selfish.
This does not mean you do not care.
This does not mean you are a diva.
This does not mean you are a bad mother.

Practicing regular self care makes you an AWESOME mother! Both you and your child(ren) will thrive if YOU thrive. A happy mom = a happy baby!

Self care does not have to be a big production or a big cost. While a full day of pampering at the spa is nice, it's just not realistic for most of us. Small ways you can incorporate more self care into you day would be:

  • paint your nails
  • nap while baby naps
  • eat a nutritious meal...while its still warm
  • buy yourself a luxurious chocolate bar to savor once baby is asleep
  • drink your coffee/tea while it is HOT, chores can wait
  • read one article from that pile of magazines you have bought but never find time for
  • go for a walk in nature
  • turn off the TV and play some soothing music
  • read a book
  • grab a coffee with a fellow mommy and connect
  • call a friend
  • ask for a hug

How can YOU practice self care today? Leave a comment and tell me what you will do that is 100% purely for YOU MOMMA!

No comments:

Post a Comment