Self Love :: Being with a Baby
Having a baby and becoming a Mom is one of the greatest challenge in my life that I’ve encountered so far.
A baby changes everything.
I wanted to make sure I didn’t change (too much). I didn’t want to become that friend that could only talk about her baby, or couldn’t hang out any more because all of my time was spent with my new bundle of joy. And don’t get me wrong, there is nothing better than being with Kaiden. He is the new centre of my world. But, I also realize that he isn’t the centre of the world.
Both Andrew and I before pregnancy were on the same page regarding this. We both didn’t want to just be parents, we still wanted to be Jasmine and Andrew. We get asked all the time if being parents has “changed us” or if we “notice any difference now that we have a baby”. Honestly, the answer is both yes and no. Yes, obviously being a parent changes you. Small little details about how you run your day, or what your routine is going to look like that day are now more dependent around the baby. But also a big part is no. No, having a child hasn’t changed the fact that we still go out and hang out with friends. We still go out for dinner. We still do things on our own (without baby).
I believe that’s been a major factor in maintaining “myself” through this.
Yes, I talk about Kaiden a lot, but then I get asked about him a lot. But when I’m out without him (on those rare occasions) I’m still me. I don’t really want to think about the baby at home, and worry about what’s going on because I won’t be able to do anything.
Things to Practice Self Love with a Baby
Take time for yourself – even just an hour or so a week, more if you can. Get out of the house. Take a walk, go to the corner coffee shop, anything. I go to my Tai Chi class once a week for about an hour. Andrew looks after Kaiden and I turn my phone off for that time.
Take time to nurture your relationship – I can’t emphasize this enough! Make sure that you enjoy your partner’s company once in awhile. Go on a date. Talk after the baby goes to sleep. Andrew and I usually try to watch some Netflix before bed, and lately have gotten back into skipping that and talking before we fall asleep. It’s been really good. If you don’t nurture your relationship, you won’t know who your partner has become when the kids finally leave the nest.
Make sure you get all the sleep you can – I’m pretty guilty of not doing this. I’m trying to get back into a better routine, and I’m finding that I missed being a night owl. I like staying up late, and I enjoy the time that I’m not constantly on baby watch. But I do regret it the minute Kaiden gets up for a night feed or is up for good in the morning!
Ask for help – I’m lucky. My mom helps me out a lot and Andrew’s always good about coming home earlier if I need him. It isn’t a crime to want or need help; as the saying goes “it takes a village…” I, for one, am fully taking advantage of that village. Most people aren’t going to jump in and take over unless you ask them too! Most people don’t even realize that you need the help, so speak up!
It’s not selfish to put your health ahead of your baby’s.
You have to be healthy before you can even hope to raise a healthy child. I like to say that being at home with Kaiden isn’t hard, but it is exhausting. I have to figure out ways to keep him entertained all day. It’s exhausting when he has the attention span of a gnat, and the only thing that works is making the same noise/song/word/whatever on repeat.
I hope that this post doesn’t offend anyone – every mom/parent tackles parenthood differently. I just hope to show that it’s not wrong or bad to want or need help. Find your village!