My friend and fellow Right Start mom Kate Wilkinson of Retro Modern Mom recently posted “5 Necessities for your 1st Trimester,” which took me RIGHT BACK to those early weeks of pregnancy. I then started thinking more about my own pregnancies, deliveries and being a new mom in those first few months of welcoming each of my babies into this world. I then remembered and started laughing at some of the RIDICULOUS things I did in those first few months…all in the name of trying to still be “me.” Getting manicures or beauty treatments are great, but I don’t believe they make you feel good from the inside-out in a way that lasts beyond a day. Here are five fabulous-ish things I did – for my self, my soul, my sanity – in those first few months as a new mom (both times). Warning: Some of them are completely-ludicrous. Judge as you see fit… but, they all helped me balance and adjust to motherhood.
1) MAKE YOUR BED. You’ve heard how Navy Seals are required to make their beds *perfectly* every single morning? Well, there’s no need to do it perfectly by any means…you just gotta do it. And I HATE making my bed. Always have. Always will. But I’m finding more and more that making my bed every morning does set me off on the right foot. But how do you do it with a baby? Well, put the baby IN the bed. Worked for me.
2) RESURRECT YOUR ‘NON-MOM’ UNDERWEAR. You heard what I said. I know you’re wearing the granny-panties (on account of just delivering a baby, and all), but make it a point to open your underwear drawer and simply look at the frilly, cute designs you used to wear. Go ahead, try it on when you’re ready…if only for 1 minute. You might even be compelled to do a full-on purge of the postpartum designs at some point, when you’re ready (watch mine here).
3) MAKE PLANS. Each mom is ready for this at a different time. Some first-time moms can only leave their babies for 5 minutes after months and months of contemplating and soul-searching. Some second-time moms feel perfectly comfortable leaving their babies for a few hours just weeks after delivery. Whatever your own timeline, I always urge new moms (first-time, second-time, third-time) to simply MAKE PLANS to leave the house without the baby…for five minutes or a few hours. Leave the little bundle with Dad, Grandma or a loving caregiver. A babyless breath of air by yourself can do wonders to refresh you in the first month. For me, it was signing up to speak about career options for a bunch of local high school students (but I’m known to be extreme).
4) MAKE SOMETHING *NEW* FOR DINNER. This might not happen in the first month, or even the second month of being a new mom… but make a commitment to try making something new for dinner in the first few months. A new recipe? A new twist on an old recipe? Something… even if you just grill the veggies instead of doing your usual sautee. It doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated, but doing something “new” WILL inspire your brain to kick back into gear (beyond diaper-changes and feedings) and reinvigorate your energy on a surprising level. I’ll even give you fast inspiration here.
5) SHAVE YOUR LEGS. Smooth legs are spirit-lifting, yes, but my recommendation to shave your legs has nothing to do with the beauty-factor. It has to do with PROVING to yourself that YES, you do have time to actually do it (even though I remember looking back and thinking, “I don’t have time to shower, brush my teeth, anything! I have a baby!”). You do have time. It only takes 4-5 minutes. Mark your calendar, and DO IT within the first month of your baby being born. (Told ya some of these were wacky…)
Did you commit to doing something for your soul as a new mom?