|Posted by Live Love Mom on March 24, 2015 at 10:15 AM|
by: Stephanie McEndree
Having your first child can be overwhelming, especially if your very own newborn is the first baby you’ve ever cared for. No amount of prenatal courses and expert advice can prepare new parents for the reality that is parenthood. Not every pregnancy is the same, not every birth is the same, and not every baby is the same. There will be some good days and some bad days. You may feel overwhelmed and unsure if you’re doing anything write. This is normal, and you are not the only one.
I myself suffered from postpartum depression. I had no inkling of how hard it was going to be to be a parent. I was lucky I had people there to help me through it. Through the sleepless nights, the blur of breastfeeding, the laundry, diaper changes, cleaning and more; I never found time for myself.
There was a man that came to my apartment, a social worker, who would talk to me and teach me different things to do with my baby. Along with the many activities he suggested and all the information he gave us about my daughter’s development, he asked me how I was. He said I looked tired, and I admitted that I was. He told me something that changed my life. “Be sure to take some time for yourself every day, even if it’s just 2 minutes. Before you were a mother, you were a girlfriend. But even before you were a girlfriend, you were a woman first.”
I didn’t really understand what he was saying, so he explained it in a different way. “Before you had your daughter and before you got with her father, you were a woman. You had plenty of time to yourself. Since you became a girlfriend, you dedicated time as a couple together, and also time for yourself. Now, you have lost yourself in this whirlwind that is parenthood. Make time for yourself.”
I was skeptical, but I tried it. He was right. I took 5 minutes each morning to myself. I got up and went to the bathroom to get dressed in something nice, brush my hair, and do my makeup. I felt much better. I looked good, I was clean, so I felt better about myself. I was in a better mood, so everything that I did after that became much easier. I wasn’t too exhausted to go out as a family to the park, for a walk, even to an event. I blossomed, and with some encouragement, education and support, I came out of the depression. I learned how important those 5 minutes were, and I haven’t given them up since.
You can’t pour from an empty glass. You need to take care of yourself first. If you are not at 100%, then how can you give 100% to your baby? Be kind to yourself. Take that shower, even if you have to place the baby in their swing in the doorway of the bathroom. Put the baby in a baby carrier and get your makeup done. Remember; before it all, you were a woman first.
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