Self love is a commonly spoken about term or used in a phrase. It seems easy enough to understand but a little more tricky to actually implement because how does one actually love oneself? We can be our own toughest critic, weakest support link and most often are the last on the priority list of needs fulfilment.
Nobody feels this more than Moms.
A woman’s matrescence – the process of becoming a mother – includes physical, emotional and hormonal changes that literally turn her into a whole other person. There is validity in the phrase ‘when a baby is born so to is a mother’ because she was never that person before. But as the focus shifts to this new person and all the expectations that come with matrescence (which to be honest I am not sure ever entirely ends) the woman that was there before is lost. Lost but not gone.
Self love can only be implemented when someone has a sense of self that can be loved. And this is the real challenge when is comes to Mommy – ing because it’s not an instant switch that turns on. It can be very hard for a women to accept this new person when she looks, feels and acts so different.
So how do we navigate this new journey and help the transition to motherhood go a little smoother, welcome our new sense of selves but still nurture the woman within?
- We need to support and uplift each other as women. Be open and honest about our own personal experiences and not make others feel isolated in theirs.
- Accept that it takes some time and tenderness to mentally process birth and becoming a mom. The beginning is hard when a baby/other kids are needy but it will get easier.
- Now is not the time to be too proud to ask for help – so ask for help. Whether it’s for a small task from a friend or using a professional for mental/physical needs there are people to assist you and they want to.
- You don’t have to give up the person you were before you became a mom. With time you will find a new rhythm that includes all of those things.
- It’s surprising how the small things count and matter so enjoy them as they happen. Feminine postpartum underwear, a warm cup of tea, a nice walk, a meal you didn’t prepare, having your hair washed…. the list goes on. Think about what makes you feel happy and feminine and implement it.
- Checking in with your partner each day, just a minute or two to process that day, emotions and thoughts. Communication works wonders.
When you have bad days and judge yourself harshly try and see past that to the Women AND Mother who is still a person trying her best and actually doing really well. Then reward her and love her.
Take care of you lovely Mama.