Pregnancy and birth are a thrilling time for many women. From the moment the second line appears, you are responsible for another human being. Many find that ultrasounds and, later, movement, bring them closer to their babies. Birth is an even more intense time. The rush of hormones women experience are designed to help babies and mothers bond and help both to develop a very strong and connected relationship.
Sometimes though, women forget that there is still a person underneath their mantle of motherhood. It is an easy thing to do, when there is a small person who depends on you for food and comfort. It is easy to lose a sense of self after motherhood. But motherhood can be lonely, and it can be hard to remember you used to be someone other than “mama”. Your friends may fade away, because they are busy with their own children or because they don’t understand 3AM wake ups and diapers. It can feel impossible to be yourself and also be a parent.
However, one of the greatest gifts you can give your baby is a happy, healthy parent. One of the ways to find that health and happiness is to make sure you maintain a strong sense of self, as well as your new role as mother. Maintaining your sense of self can take on many forms. It might me reconnecting with something or someone that was important to you before your pregnancy. Here are a few ways to regain that part of yourself:
- Have a girl’s night out.
This is one you may need to wait just a little while for if you are breastfeeding, as you will need baby to take a bottle and have a bit of a supply of pumped milk available.
- Go for coffee.
This might be a bit easier as its for a shorter period of time. An hour away won’t interrupt nursing, but can be a wonderful way to reconnect with friends without baby in tow.
- Practice an old skill.
Do you craft, cook, or enjoy sports? Now is a perfect time to pick up where you left off.
- Learn something new!
Did you always want to do something? Take a class, find an online program or join a league. Being on maternity leave gives you the perfect opportunity to try something new.
- Volunteer your time.
Is there a cause you have always been passionate about but haven’t had the time to devote to? Why not try now! Many causes will even allow baby to come, which means you can do something you are passionate about and share that part of yourself with your child. It might even be something you can do together as your child grows!