It would be easy to tell yourself that having kids doesn’t change who you are. That you become a blend of tired and stressed and joyful and exhausted, and perhaps that’s all there is to it. But the truth is, you change. You don’t ever go back to the way you were before.
At the hospital, you may not notice the change immediately. Nurses still help take care of the child – they feed your child, change his diaper, and hold him until he falls asleep. The doctor checks his temperature and gives him medicine.
But once you leave the hospital, things change. Your old life is gone. Now you stay home all day, maybe with some other relatives, and take care of your baby. You’re not in the clinic anymore. No one has as much time for you.
You no longer have several hours to work uninterrupted each day. Now you spend the chunks of time you have trying to make up for the lost time. You’re tired from taking care of your child and from work, so you take a nap or two during the day.
The point is, life as a new mom is very different from what the movies display.
How can you find wholeness after having kids? Try these:
- Pay attention to your body and take care of it. Feeling like yourself again begins with taking care of your physical body. It’s essential to learn things that can help you recover faster.
– The newborn may take all the time. But it’s important to remember that your body went through something very intense, and it needs rest. It’s okay to take a nap in the middle of the day.
- Pay attention to your mental health. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you feel like you’re losing control of your emotions, your stress level is high, or you’re having nightmares, then it’s time to seek professional help.
– Sometimes, you might feel like doing everything yourself. But before you do that, ask yourself, “Am I okay, or am I trying to do it all?” There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.
- Take regular baths. It’s good to make an effort to clean yourself now and then. A daily bath can help you feel more relaxed. You’ll feel alive and excited for the day. Bathing may sound simple, but it can help you feel renewed and motivated.
– Taking a shower can give you a new outlook. It enables you to conquer your day with a fresh mind and a positive attitude.
- Follow a good sleep routine. The responsibilities associated with a newborn may make it seem impossible to have enough time for yourself. However, it’s crucial to take care of yourself first.
– Getting enough sleep can help you think more clearly and function at total capacity.
- Accept that you’ve changed. This tip might seem counter intuitive. But it’s the truth: life changes when you have children, and that’s okay. You might have different priorities now. And that’s okay. You are not the same person you were before you had kids.
– Your friendships, interests, and lifestyle may have changed. But that’s okay. What is important is that you connect with others who are going through what you’re going through. Connect with them through exercise, book clubs, or volunteer work.
– Look into the parent support groups in your area. Find other women who share your situation and spend time with them. Don’t feel you have to limit yourself because you’re “just a mom with small children.”
– Be open about what you want to do and where you want to spend your free time.
Remember, your identity is separate from that of your children. When you spend time focusing on yourself, you regain your sense of your identity. You rediscover who you are and what you need.
Having kids changes who you are, but it doesn’t define you. Also, recognize that you might need some time to adapt to these sudden changes. You might have to give up some habits, such as watching some TV. But it’s worth it.