Many newly mums find it hard to get back on track after pregnancy, not to mention the struggles with multitasking and sleep deprivation. Although your new bundle of joy is an indescribable blessing – it also turns your life upside down. Some mums may even start experiencing postpartum depression or burnout symptoms because the beginning of the parenthood can be a lot to handle. Addressing these issues directly and taking care of yourself is important – not selfish! It is actually a rational thing to do: you need to maintain your personal well-being in order to be capable of taking care of your child. Here’s how you can squeeze some me-time into your schedule and obtain a balance that will make your feel better about yourself.
Do things that give you a sense of identity
Society forces women to identify completely with their roles as mothers. Although it can be felt as the most important role, it is not the only one: acknowledging this doesn’t make you a bad mum or a selfish parent. Many mums deal with the burden of guilt in an attempt to balance their business and personal life with taking care of their child. Did you know that according to recent statistics, 42% of Australian mums are employed, but they feel exhausted and frustrated with juggling different tasks and private life? In addition to this, another research showed there are worrying struggles from both full-time employed and stay-at-home mums. You are a person and your identity is complex: you are a mum, but you’re also a wife, a neighbour, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a book-lover or a career woman. Have an open conversation and ask for additional support from your family to get at least 1 hour per day to devote to yourself. It can be for a quick jog in the morning or that cooking class you want to attend. Neglecting other parts of your identity will lead to feelings of being lost and confused. Learn to prioritize and remember: you are not raising your child all by yourself, it’s ok to ask for help.
Celebrate the fact you’re a woman
Becoming a mum affects you on many levels, including your self-image and the sense of femininity. Pregnancy changes your body and it strips you from the time you usually devoted to your appearance and health. One of the ways to manage stress is sharing a spa day with your spouse and enjoying massages and facials. Weekends can be life-savers in that sense since you can arrange day care for your children and spend some quality me-time. Have fun and try smiling as frequently as possible: it is scientifically proven that smiling has healing properties as it instantly triggers your body to release endorphins and serotonin which makes you feel happier and more relaxed. Go through a makeover: consider teeth whitening in Sydney, get your hair and nails done, buy some sexy lingerie, and enjoy being pampered. You can even do something you’ve never done before that doesn’t take much of your time, but it does make you feel attractive, desirable, and balanced – such as the belly dancing class or even artistic pole dancing.
Give meditation a shot
Being a mum means that very often – you won’t be able to have a peaceful environment to yourself, let alone the serenity to sit on the yoga mat in silence. Today’s meditation is not only about sitting in the crossed-legged Lotus position and getting your “oms”: it’s actually about self-awareness and it is a skill that can be learned. Meditation can be practiced anywhere and its significance lies in the way you focus and breathe. Your aim here is to reach balance and inner peace, not to fall into a Zen state of mind: that requires a bit more devotion and practice. But even the smallest effort counts! Harvard research has shown that meditation changes your brain’s pathways and balances your biochemical levels – all of which helps with tackling everyday challenges in a more productive and calmer way. Just what a busy mum needs! If you’re having trouble sleeping, use the same deep breathing exercises while you’re lying in your bed. You’ll notice your heart beat is getting slower and a wonderful feeling of serenity will spread across your body.
In today’s world, mums are being seen as superheroes. This forces them to remain silent about their problems. We all need to encourage this conversation and work hard to provide each other with much-needed support. Reprioritize and put yourself first occasionally – you deserve it.