Self Care After Baby

Once you become a mother your perspectives change, your goals change, and everything about your life changes. You now have another being that depends on you. That needs you to love nurture and protect them, even on the hardest of days.

Before Stella, I used to sit for hours worrying over my hair and makeup. I would always criticize my appearance and never felt I could look good enough. Weight was always an issue for me growing up and even more so postpartum. The body and mind change so much after having a baby and learning to love my new body was hard. I am still dealing with hair loss, crazy hormonal skin, and the change of my body shape. I went through many different phases postpartum. Right after having the baby I had the need to feel put together all the time, no matter what hour of the day it was. I could not be seen without my hair and makeup done. It was exhausting to keep up appearances like that and eventually I burnt out. I would go days sometimes without showering or wearing anything other than pajamas. My legs would go unshaven and my hair would go unwashed. I went from one extreme to another in just a short four-month period. I felt almost selfish for taking time away from my child to focus on my appearance, but I also felt like a dirty zombie something had to give…

On the left trying to keep up with appearances, while on the right I had given up on myself.

I realized I was not taking care of myself, but on the other hand, I could not live the lifestyle I was used to before. This was my new life and there needed to be a middle ground. The new me and the old me needed to find a balance and a routine that could keep me feeling more myself but also focused on what was most important at the moment.

Some days the only way to bathe is to take Stella with me. This is motherhood in the raw. This is real life. This is night and day. There is no clocking out when you are a mom it’s 24/7.

Even though Stella is my entire world, I still needed some time to myself. Through trial and error, I found my routine and my happy place. My husband would watch Stella to have some much-needed daddy and daughter time, and I would take an hour or two to myself at night to unwind. This usually consisted of a nice glass of wine, a bubble bath, washing my hair, shaving, an amazing face mask, and really focusing on me. Even though two hours may not seem much in the span of twenty-four, it was just enough to refresh my body and spirit. I started to focus on my skincare more to help with my hormonal skin and natural remidies for hair loss. I learned to take a little bit of time for myself did not make me selfish but it made me a better and more focused mother.

As Stella has gotten older it has made it so much easier to involve her in my everyday routines. We spend almost all of our days together laughing, learning and paying, while my husband works and goes to school. She loves to sit and my lap while I put on my “mom makeup” as I call it and she loves to talk to herself in the mirror. Although I love makeup and I view it as everyday art for myself, I have become more confident in the way I look and no longer feel the need to hide my “imperfections” under layers of makeup and false lashes. Something light and natural is enough to make me feel put together and ready to tackle the day. I’ve had to learn to love myself not just for me but for my daughter, and it is not always easy. She deserves to grow up with a mother that is confident and that has self-worth and love. I want to see my child feel the same about herself and if I let myself get rundown I cannot give my all to my new little life.

As overwhelming as motherhood might be, it is also the most fulfilling job I have ever had, and I would not trade seeing this bright, joyful smile every day for all the money in the world.

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