You just had a baby, and you are stoked to be a mother; however, there is a part—a huge part— of you that misses life prior to being a mum. You may also be mourning the loss of your pre-mum self, which could be taking away from cherishing special moments with your new bundle of joy. But there is good news: You’re not alone if you’re wondering how to feel like yourself again after baby —not even a little bit.
Over the course of pregnancy, most women lose confidence in themselves as well as interest in activities and hobbies they used to enjoy, according to researchers at The University of Tilburg in the Netherlands. The study also found that even after giving birth, most mums still hadn’t regained their confidence or sense of self more than three years later. While becoming a mum can be such a joyous time for some, 80 percent of women experience postpartum depression.
Becoming a mum takes extensive adjustment, according to the Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Journal, and sometimes it comes at the cost of abandoning a woman’s life and personality prior to pregnancy to adopt the title and role of “mum.”
If you are searching for ways to reconnect with your prior self, while embracing motherhood, check out these suggestions that aim to you feel like yourself again after baby
First things first: Enjoy the present
It may be easy to fantasize about the past, but there was a time that you were so excited for the present and to meet your bundle of joy. These moments with your babe are fleeting, though, and time will fly by before you know it. So before you take a time machine back to the past, enjoy the special moments you have with your little one.
Fill your glass
An empty glass can’t help fill others. In other words, how can you expect yourself to take care of everyone else before you take care of yourself? Motherhood can become consuming and it may feel like every second of the day should be dedicated to your child, but it’s critical to carve out time for you. It may be difficult to open your schedule, but start with weekly activities that fill your soul and rejuvenate your spirit–like taking a yoga class or going to get a massage.
Channel fashion to boost confidence
Sense of style is something that is often sacrificed when you are constantly cleaning up messes or running out the door, but putting on an outfit that you love can help boost your confidence, mood and sense of self. Your style may be in limbo between your pre-pregnancy and maternity outfits, none of which probably fit correctly right now. You should check out plus size boutiques that include styles that will hug your curves just right and make you feel confident.
Plan out outfits ahead of time that you can pluck out of the closet and put on in a hurry. If you need an outfit that requires minimal accessorizing and can be thrown on in a hurry but doesn’t sacrifice style, try plus size wrap dresses. These dresses are so flattering and can be worn for any occasion. You’d be surprised what cute clothes can do for your confidence. Plus size off the shoulder tops are also perfect for the moments when you don’t want to put much effort into your outfit, but still want to look cute.
Surround yourself with friends
An important part of your mission to feel like yourself again after baby comes from being around friends, family and the people who knew you before you were a mum. Make time to consistently hang out with friends–with or without the baby–to feed the part of yourself who misses “the old times.” Frequent your old hangout spots and enjoy the activities you used to partake in before you became a mum.
Join a network of new mums
There are many local and digital networks filled with new mums helping each other navigate motherhood. These networks can be very beneficial to new mums who are also looking to reconnect with their prior self because they remind new mums that they aren’t alone. These groups are also full of women sharing their own strategies about how they cope with motherhood and the need to feel like yourself again after baby.
Create a digital time capsule
On the days where you are dying to feel like yourself again, turn to music and TV shows you used to watch. Consuming media that was previously your favorite can place you right back in time. Download streaming platforms and your music playlist onto your phone so you can watch or listen whenever and wherever. Middle of the night feed times are the perfect opportunity to take a trip down memory lane.
Make time for self-care
As a new mum, some of the simplest hygiene routines—like taking a shower—seem like a luxury. But the more you push these things to the side, the more you signal to yourself that your needs don’t matter. This can be quite a contrast from how you used to handle your needs prior to becoming a mother. If possible, carve out your day—minute by minute–and find time to plop on a face mask, take a shower or rub yourself down with lotion. These little actions are huge steps to feel like yourself again after baby.
There are very few things in life that stay the same, but one thing that’s for sure is that change is inevitable. While you may have just experienced the biggest change of your life and you are missing the “old you,” life is guaranteed to change over and over again. You may be feeling depleted and frustrated, but try to be patient with this change and your new life because one day you will look back and say, “I wish I could go back.”