Happy Monday, It has been a minute since I’ve blogged. Life has been hectic. Balancing my new role as a mom while still being present in my marriage, participating in community affairs, and working full-time has been quite the task. Some of you may be thinking that’s nothing while others may say that’s too much to manage. If you are reading this and you are saying to yourself “at least you have a husband, I am a single parent of multiple kids” or if you are saying to yourself ” you should be happy you have a child because some women are dealing infertility” then this excerpt is not for you. I am not here to compare my story with others nor am I here to ask for an award for being the hardest working mother of the year. I am simply using my voice to provoke the thoughts of women everywhere and start a discussion about motherhood and the added societal pressures placed upon women, especially in their postpartum journey. So, if you are down with that then please continue your reading, if not thanks for visiting my blog anyway!
Let’s get to it, shall we? As a new mom of a four-month-old, life as I know it has been a beautiful mess. More recently, my maternity leave has ended and I have returned to work. After three months of bonding and getting to know my baby girl I had to entrust her in the hands of a local childcare center. While it is equipped with all the bells and whistles, it doesn’t make my nine-hour day away from her any easier. On top of the transition back to work, as of late I have been fixated on getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Not to mention I’ve been struggling to find time to be social, I’ve been in no rush to step back out on the social scene. It wasn’t until today, that I had to stop and ask myself why do I feel the pressure to do what is considered the norm?
To all of the new moms, moms-to-be, and moms who have been doing this for a while, it is time to give yourself some grace! Raising children isn’t an easy task. Think about it you have the whole life of another human in your hands, sheesh that sounds intense! It doesn’t matter if you are back to your pre-pregnancy weight or recently stopped breastfeeding and switched to formula. It doesn’t matter if you are married versus being a single mother. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve birthed your children or went through adoption. What you do, what we do as mothers is astounding. We shouldn’t succumb to the pressures of society. Today I am here to tell you it is okay to pace yourself. Being a mother isn’t an easy task, but it is a rewarding one.
I’ve learned that there are so many things we don’t talk about concerning motherhood. We seem to highlight the beautiful moments but what about the ugly ones? What about sharing how exhausting being a new mom can be and encouraging women to not overload their plates especially when returning to work. We often see in the media this portrayal of “super mom” a mom juggling a million and one things but forget to promote her taking care of herself. Working yourself into a frenzy isn’t good, so live life at your own pace not the pace of another mother. There’s also a huge emphasis on the “bounce back body”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen women drinking magic teas and wearing waist trainers to expedite their postpartum weight loss, when we should be encouraged to take our time. Trust me I was obsessing over my post-baby weight loss, too. I was looking into waist trainers, teas, you name it and finally, I reached a point of compassion for myself and so should you.
So, tonight I am going to have a cup of my favorite Ben and Jerry’s milk and cookies ice cream and give in to the new Disney streaming site all while breastfeeding my baby and living my best life. This postpartum body will get back to its former glory days, so what’s the rush? I don’t know what it is that gives you joy but relax a little, take off your bra when you get home and let the girls breathe or snatch that wig and enjoy a glass I mean a bottle of wine and while you are doing that, know I am rooting for you, mama!