Regardless of how healthy you are or how straightforward your pregnancy and birth are, it can be tough on your body.
Your weight increases, your structure changes, ligaments get looser and hormones are going crazy. Then your gorgeous bubba finally makes his / her appearance and your whole world turns upside down in an instant.
And this time when looking after yourself and eating well become so vitally important for not only your wellbeing and post-birth recovery, but also for your baby if you are breastfeeding are so often long lost memories.
There’s still a house to run, a husband and perhaps other children to care for and maybe there’s even a business to run on top of this little cherub who now requires your 100% undivided attention.
So how do you do it all? How do you become the modern day Mumma, who not only looks good but feels good too?
How do you ensure that you have the energy to keep up with everything you have to do to get through the day and give to yourself as well as to everyone around you?
From one hard-working, business-owning Mum to another here are my five top tips that will ensure that you don’t get lost in a mountain of dirty diapers and dishes.
If you can have a ‘baby moon’
There is much suggestion that having a calm and relaxed fourth trimester has all sorts of benefits for both Mother and Baby (not to mention the rest of the family). If possible, try and ensure your first few months (and at the least the first month) post-baby have as few (if any) commitments scheduled as possible.
NO Expectations and definitely No Judgement!
We have so many expectations of ourselves post-baby. Bounding back into your pre=pregnancy jeans, heading out for a run with your newborn bubs in the stroller!
So many expectations … So many agendas! And they are simply not necessary OR helpful in many instances.
In the early post-baby period especially I’m going to ask you to have absolutely NO expectations of yourself. NO pressure of what you think you ‘should be doing or ‘should’ look like post-baby… NONE whatsoever! You are all DIFFERENT. Your bodies are all different and your experience of pregnancy and birth is different.
Rather than focusing on what’s wrong and hating on yourself – your ‘jelly’ belly or the fact that you can’t get into your skinny jeans, focus on what’s strong.
Focus on the incredible miracle that your body has been through and that you have created. Focus on what you can do to nourish your body. Focus on the small moments of time that you may have during your day to do something just for you.
YOU are the most important person in your life
Whilst I realise that 24 hours of your time has just been swept out from underneath you forever. You are still the most important person in your life.
YOU MATTER … more than you realize.
I know that you are committed and dedicated Mum, wife, business owner / employee, the list goes on! But your ability to BE and DO all of these things and GIVE to so many people relies on your ability to take care of and nourish yourself first and foremost.
There’s a reason why they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first when you are flying!
Each week, in your diary, schedule time for YOU – ideally every day, but just start off with a couple of times each week if this is new to you. Maybe it’s just 10 minutes to read a trashy novel and drink herbal tea whilst curled up on your favorite couch or 15 minutes for a bubble bath with some gorgeous essential oils or even a short walk by yourself.
Coordinate your schedule with your husband or partner if you need to or simply schedule ‘your time’ when the baby or kids are asleep.
These are now your most important appointments. You’d think twice before canceling a meeting or a commitment with a colleague, so schedule the appointments with yourself accordingly and then set everything else around that.
Whatever you do, you MUST keep your dates with yourself.
You have enough time for everything that is important
I know this may sound a little bit harsh, but I mean it in a loving way.
If you don’t know what your values are and you don’t prioritize where your time gets spent, then before you know it the day will be over, your time will have vanished and you’ll feel like you have nothing to show for it.
A value is something that you have and want to keep OR that you would like to attain.
If you don’t already have one, get a pretty journal and write down what is most important to you… your health, your family, your financial abundance, a feeling of productive achievement – whatever is most important to you.
Now, to allocate time for that which you say is important. For example, if you say that health is a high value, yet you are doing nothing to enhance or support your health, then it is very unlikely to improve.
Introduce a ‘Prep Day’
I’m a big fan of having a weekly prep ritual. Set aside a few hours one afternoon each week to get things organized for the week.
Set your menu for the week – I tend to just set dinner and have a few flexible breakfast / lunch / snack ideas, do your shopping and make a few things in advance.
Chop some veggies ahead of time for a meal, create a snack shelf for the kids, and make a few easy lunches, a casserole, a soup, or a pot of mince. This is a great thing to get the kids involved with (if they are old enough of course).
Yes, it may take a couple of hours at a time, but I guarantee that it will save you a heap of time and stress in the long run!