Adjusting to motherhood is no easy feat… But it wasn’t the baby that I had trouble adjusting to. Taking care of my baby boy came naturally, just like they said it would; I instinctively knew exactly what he needed and when he needed it. Loving him came easy. The real struggle was learning to love myself.
Caring for myself, once this tiny human being came along and consumed all of my love, seemed like an impossible task. Too many times to count, I found myself forgetting to eat or dizzy from dehydration. My hair and nails were out of control. None of my clothes fit anymore and I had absolutely no desire to replace them. How can you possibly make time to love yourself when all you care about is loving and protecting the beautiful life you’ve created?
If I left his side, even for a few minutes, I felt guilty. Once I finally felt comfortable leaving him for an hour here and there, I felt guilty if I enjoyed myself. I even quit my job and started a new career so I could spend as much time with him as possible (which actually ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but that’s a story for another time. No regrets).
It took me about 6 months, but one day it finally clicked: a happy mommy makes for a happy baby.
It’s okay to take a few hours to yourself every now and then. I’ll even go as far as to say it’s NECESSARY. Getting my hair done every few months, handing the baby over to daddy so I can paint my nails when they look rough, leaving baby with grandma while my hubby and I go out for a much needed date night, or even simply going to the grocery store by myself sometimes, is NECESSARY.
I miss baby boy the second I leave him. He’s 8 months old now, and to this day I still cry when I drop him off. But I no longer feel guilty, because taking time to myself to de-stress every now and then allows me to enjoy every single second I spend with my sweet baby and allows me to be the mother he deserves.
So dump your “Mother’s Guilt”. Slam the door in its face and never let it back in. Take the time you need to yourself, and then go back home and love on that baby like never before. Even mommies deserve to have a little fun that doesn’t include singing the ABC’s and reading “Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?” every once in a while.