In every mom forum and pregnancy magazine you’ll see articles with easy how-to lists of how to “get your body back” after baby, however there aren’t many articles that help us moms get our self-identity back. I am not going to deny that getting my athletic pre-baby body back hasn’t been something that plagues me when I go through my closet, but one thing that started haunting me more than those all-too-skinny-jeans was this feeling that I was missing some of that “glow” I felt I used to have. Every woman has it! That feeling when you partake in your favorite hobby, that feeling of confidence in a given situation, and that feeling like “you’re in your element!”
As moms we all know that we would never go back to life before baby, I have never been happier since my little one was born. (It’s a different glow-the one you get from having a child). But, at around 4 months post-baby, I felt like I missed the joy from some of the things I used to do, and how I felt about who I was. It was as if all my other friends found themselves after baby and they could easily be identified: there was the shoemaking and cake-baking mom, the hiking/camping couple who always post on facebook, the foodie-athletes who still find time to travel, the list goes on. Every time I thought of who I used to be and what I used to do I would get a little down. All I had the energy for was cleaning bottles and getting to work on time. I felt accomplished when I could shave my legs and have groceries bought in the same day!
One day I just had it and realized something had to change, I needed to completely change my way of thinking. What can us moms do to have that continuous glow from our babies and our individual selves? The best thing we can do is to start being more creative and start being less critical! It really IS easier than it seems. If you have a toddler who won’t eat anything green, what do you do? You get creative, mash the peas in the soup, blend the spinach into whatever sauce you feed them, whatever it takes right?! Why should “getting back to you” be any harder? If you used to be “the gardener” but now you “don’t have the time, the money, the yard space, it’s the wrong season,” just get creative! Take yourself to Wal-Mart, get a $5 window herb garden and bask in the rosemary chicken you get to make once a week! Most importantly though, if your creative ideas don’t work, say that window herb garden dies or the cat chews it up, DON’T Fret! Just laugh it off, take some pictures to remind yourself later, and move on to the next creative idea- don’t waste any more time worrying about your failure!
I can’t do jumping jacks without peeing myself, and my homemade curtains aren’t the right size for my windows, but now I get a “walkers high” instead of a runners high and I get to sew shopping cart covers for the holidays for my baby. Every day I am just a little bit happier and am getting a bigger and better neon glow- from being a mom and me at the same time!