A New Perspective On Self-care As A Parent


Open any social media app, magazine or do a quick google search, and you’ll be sure to find information on how to incorporate self-care into your routine to live your best life. “Get a full nights rest, eat a balanced diet, work out, make time to socialize, and create healthy boundaries”. The issue is none of these lists ever associate chasing your dreams, career, education or your paper, as a form of self-care- especially after having kids. New parents, especially mothers, struggle with the new dynamics of their lifestyle when a baby gets into the mix. Between diaper changes, feedings and personal sacrifice, mothers are left trying to remember who they are. So while indulgent self-care is good to practise, sometimes grinding and handling your business, within healthy limits, is self-care, and here’s why:

1. Maintains, creates or reaffirms identity

Doing what you love or jumping into something you’ve always wanted to do, will remind you of who you were before becoming a parent( values, dreams, desires), help you create a new normal, and embrace the new aspects of your identity without feeling trapped or caught up in mom guilt. If you love your job or have a hobby you love, once the fourth trimester is over and you’re healed, it’s okay to start thinking about how you can incorporate pieces of your old life into your new life. This may look like working one day a week, going to a networking event once a month to build your business or heading full- force into the school semester to slay your grades. The point is to remember that the old you and your dreams didn’t die when you gave birth, you only got better.


2.Provides a sense of accomplishment otherwise not found within the house

Motherhood can sometimes be a thankless job, and can sometimes lack the validation or satisfaction of a job well done.  Doing activities with measurable results outside of the house with peers who can appreciate what you’ve done, is an important gold star reminding you that you’re still smart, classy, funny, cool. 

3. Great for mental health 

 It’s no secret that the number one challenge mothers face is loneliness. They often feel isolated, bored, not intellectually stimulated and alone with a newborn. Loneliness can affect how you see yourself and can trigger mood disorders like anxiety and postpartum depression. If you are doing something you love, your body will naturally release dopamine- the feel-good hormone.


Now, the point of this blog wasn’t to knock self-indulging ( sis, I love a good manicure too!), rather it’s to remind you that you don’t have to fit into a traditional mould because you’ve become a mom. One woman’s version of motherhood may not be your thing, and you certainly don’t have to belive your ie’s singular purpose is to be a ‘good mom’. Satisfying your desires and professional needs is ok- ditch the guilt and stop making yourself small- be the full you! At the end of the day, what’s important is that you feed into yourself to be the best version of yourself for your child. 

Stay blessed Qweens!

 

Author: Lerri-Ann Williams