Baby number two arrived a few short days ago so I’m definitely in the newborn bubble phase right now. You know, that phase where you wear PJs all day, are constantly covered in bodily fluids and sleep and showers are a luxury. I’ve been thinking about my first experience with motherhood lately, and although this phase is completely normal (and so special) I want to make sure not to lose myself to motherhood this time around. I talk a lot about how I completely lost myself to motherhood the first time around-which is actually one of the reasons I decided to start this blog. (You can read about that more here and here). I’m soaking in all of the newborn snuggles and middle of the night breastfeeding, while trying to maintain some semblance of the woman I was pre-babies. I know from experience how easy it is to neglect yourself and forget about all of the things you used to enjoy doing. I decided to write this blog post for mainly selfish reasons so that I can come back and read it as a reminder. I hope that it’s also helpful for all of you who are in a similar season of life.
This blog post is sponsored by b.tempt’d. All opinions are my own.
After having my first son, it literally took me YEARS before I started to feel like myself again. I feel like I just recently started making myself a priority and I’m a mama to two little boys. Of course with a new baby comes a time in your life when you put the needs of your newborn first, but I want to try to remember that I still need to be a priority. Here are a few things that I’ve learned over the years that I hope to continue to implement:
Being selfish definitely has a negative connotation, but I don’t mean it in a negative way at all. I used to think that being selfless and putting everyone else’s needs before my own made me a better mom, but in fact the opposite is actually true. As women, it doesn’t come naturally to us to make time for ourselves or to leave our babies to go do something that might be seen as “selfish.” It’s taken a lot of mindset work for me to understand that I’m also a human being outside of motherhood. There is nothing wrong with me wanting to spend time with friends, get my nails done or just have a few minutes to myself to meditate. I know it’s going to be more difficult with two little ones, but I have to train myself to not feel guilty for asking for a break. My husband doesn’t think twice when he goes to the gym, to dinner with friends or to get a massage and I shouldn’t either. Being a mama is the hardest job in the world and every single one of us deserves to be selfish every now and then.
2. Get Dressed Up
During my first pregnancy I didn’t really do my hair or put much effort into my outfits. After Gray was born, it all went downhill from there. To be fair, I spent most of my time at home and I was often covered in breastmilk or some other bodily fluid. It seemed pointless to get ready, and I didn’t even want to buy anything new because I had nowhere to wear it. I actually went to fashion school and style was something I was extremely passionate about before becoming a mom. It was almost like I completely forgot about my pre-baby life and all of the things I used to enjoy. As Gray got older, I eventually got into content creation and that sparked my love for putting outfits together and getting ready again. I recently put together an outfit that included a new hat, the B.tempt’d Future Foundation lace crop top, a white skirt and my new fav ankle boots and I felt amazing. Sometimes that just means wearing a beautiful bra like the B. tempt’d Future Foundation T-Shirt Bra with lace under a simple outfit, sometimes it might mean putting a little bit of makeup on and other times that might mean putting my extensions in and wearing a dress and heels. Either way, I feel so much better about myself when I actually get ready for the day so I want to make more of an effort to do that this time around.
3. Have Hobbies Outside of Motherhood
When I had Gray I was a SAHM and he was basically my only hobby. It’s funny because growing up I NEVER would have thought that I would be a SAHM, but that’s what worked best for our family at the time. Looking back I wish I had discovered the importance of having interests and hobbies outside of motherhood a lot sooner. I eventually started an Instagram page for Gray when he was around 1 1/2, which helped me discover my love for photography and eventually evolved into me growing my own page and starting this blog. I’ve been doing this for about two years now, and I’m so grateful that I will have this platform as I transition to a mama of two. It’s given me a purpose outside of motherhood, and it’s been so rewarding to find something that I enjoy so much and that I’m truly good at. Try not to lose those hobbies that you had before you became a mom no matter how insignificant they might seem. Those activities or interests are the things that will keep you afloat when you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of dirty diapers and tantrums. If you don’t have any hobbies, try new things until you find something that you love! You never know where it could lead you!
4. Find a Supportive Community
I’ve mentioned this many times before, but motherhood was pretty lonely for me initially. I didn’t have a lot of friends who had kids and I often felt isolated. We all need human connection and the thing that I’ve found most helpful is just knowing that I’m not alone. Through the Instagram mom community, I’ve met SO MANY amazing mom friends. They’ve been people who I’ve confided in, who’ve supported and encouraged me and who’ve validated my feelings no matter how crazy they might seem. Even though most of them live in different states and we’ve never met in real life, they’ve been my biggest cheerleaders.
In the almost five years since I had Gray, several of my closest friends have become mamas so I’m excited to be able to experience motherhood with them this time. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have friends who you can relate to and who can share in the joys and struggles of motherhood without passing any judgement on each other. Also, having mom friends who you can have a glass of wine with doesn’t hurt either!
It doesn’t matter where you live or what your situation is, you can find a supportive community if you really want to. Join a mommy and me group, find local moms in your area or even on social media. You definitely will not regret creating a supportive tribe of women who will have your back no matter what.
5. Have Realistic Expectations
By nature, I’m the type of person who is extremely hard on myself. Mom guilt hit me HARD when I became a first time mom (I talk about that more here). I basically just made everything more difficult on myself for no reason, so this time I’m determined to give myself more grace. I honestly don’t know what to expect when it comes to having two little boys, but I know it’s not going to be easy. My husband’s work schedule is a lot more chaotic now so I’m going to have less help so I’m mentally preparing myself now to have realistic expectations. Things aren’t going to be perfect and that’s ok. If I’m not able to breastfeed for 2 1/2 years like I did with Gray, if I only get two things on my to-do list done a day or if I have to put on cartoons for Gray in order to stay sane THAT’S OK. As mamas so much is out of our control so the best thing we can do is have zero expectations. Just remember that you’re doing the best you can and that’s all you can ask for.
I hope these tips were helpful! To learn more about the b.tempt’d Future Foundation collection, click here