You’ve been looking forward to meeting your little one since
the day you found out you were pregnant. That desire intensified as you felt
the first kicks and reached a peak as you went into your last month of
pregnancy and came within days of meeting your baby. You FINALLY delivered your baby
and although it was tough, possibly the toughest thing you’ve ever done, it was
all worth it. You’re so in love with your new baby and can’t imagine a life
without them…and yet something feels off, incomplete.
You’re still you but you don’t quite have the desire to do things the way you used to. You miss all of the old activities that used to bring you joy BUT you don’t miss them at the same time. In fact, if given the chance to do them, you decline which confuses you. Friends that you had before pregnancy and throughout seem more distant now and those who told you for 9 months that they couldn’t wait to meet the baby seem to always be busy now which makes you sad. Your social invites have declined dramatically and when they do come in, you find yourself less than enthusiastic to accept them. Even when you do go out and enjoy yourself, your mind wanders to your baby and what they’re doing at that very moment. You miss your baby and although you know you shouldn’t, you feel guilty for not being there with them, which frustrates you.
It may not just be social things that you find yourself having a hard time getting back into the swing of. The things that used to be important to you just don’t seem as important anymore. Maybe your sex life and desire for sex has changed; partly because you don’t feel as sexy as you used to and partly because it’s not a priority. You don’t care as much about how you look and your signature look has become a messy bun with leggings and a t-shirt. Your standards for self-care have also lowered dramatically and things like eating and showering are now items on your to-do-list as opposed to daily givens.
You’re in a place where you’ve always wanted to be and yet you don’t feel normal which is completely normal…You can be the most maternal person in the world but when you bring a baby home, your life does a complete 180 and for the most part, nothing is the way that it was before. So what’s the best way to get back to your old self? Stop trying to force a square peg into a round hole and accept that while you’re still the same person at your core, your circumstances and environment have changed dramatically making you in many ways a completely different person.
The more you try to fit the new you into your old life, the more you’ll find yourself feeling as if something is missing. If you have friends that have disappeared after you had your baby because you don’t fit into their single lifestyle anymore, embrace them showing their true colors as a blessing. Be thankful for the friends who’ve stuck it out with you through these tough times. Embrace the concept of making mom friends, friends that will understand why the idea of staying up past Midnight just as exhausting as you do and friends whose noses won’t pucker up in disgust when you talk about the number of times your baby pooped in a day. As your life evolves, it's customary to make new friends. When you go from High School to College or College to work, you do it, so why should it be any different when you enter motherhood?
For the things that you do still love, find ways to incorporate them into your life. This can be time blocking so that you give yourself a few minutes each day where you get to do those things and will help you feel as if you haven’t completely lost your old self. Another part of you may be struggling because there are things like going out to clubs or parties that you used to love but that you just don’t enjoy anymore. Explore new hobbies and calmer activities like brunching, happy hours or hosting parties that will satisfy your cravings for social interactions without exhausting you.
Becoming a mother is one of the most natural things that a woman can do. Our bodies were made to grow, deliver and nurse our children. This doesn’t, however, mean that the transition from self to mother will be easy. Finding your footing as a new mom is going to take time and if you’re feeling out of sorts, know that you are not alone.