I’m going to be honest. I’ve started writing this post three different times, gotten halfway through, and chucked every version so far. I can’t find the words for this one, guys. So I decided to just pretend I’m talking to you instead, and tell you why this one is so hard for me to figure out.
I’m having a tough time getting it right because what I want to say is that being a mom is hard. But not just hard. Like, harder than anything you’ll ever do, hard. (And that it’s also the best thing that you could imagine. But describing that dichotomy without cliche is nearly impossible.) Not only hard mentally, but physically — nobody warns a new mom about the toll giving birth takes on your body. Then that beautiful baby shows up and you are the go-to gal around the clock, especially if you’re breastfeeding. So it’s no wonder we see mothers of newborns roaming around in sweatpants, with wild hair and exhausted stares. You can spot a newborn mom a mile away. I know. I am one, for the second time.
But what if we, as moms, could convince ourselves that the kids are okay for just long enough to practice a little self-care? What would happen? I tried it the other day and guess what — the world didn’t stop spinning. My family was fine. And when I came back to them, I felt like a better version of myself, which meant I was a better mom for my babies.
Maggie is a tricky eater. We’ve been nursing since she was born but I can’t quite figure her out. Some days she eats nonstop, some days she won’t eat a thing, and some days she eats and then just throws it all back up on me. My natural reaction? Worry. I worry about my milk production, I worry she’s getting the food she needs, I worry if it’s something that I’m doing wrong. And all that worry just compounds itself to make nursing a stressful, exhausting experience (as if it wasn’t a tall order already). So recently I decided to just… relax about it. I made myself a cup of Mother’s Milk tea, gave the kids to Ryan, and just sat down for a minute. I hadn’t had a cup of tea by myself in years, and even just that small, simple, 5-minute ritual was enough to settle my brain and my heart. I chose the Mother’s Milk tea because it’s full of herbs that promote healthy lactation and support breastmilk production – another bit of self-care that brought me peace of mind. I finished my tea, and then next time I fed Maggie we were both so much more relaxed. All I could think while I was feeding her was how I’m so much better for my family when I take time to care for myself.
So I’ve been doing that more than I did with Henry, and it’s amazing how I feel more like myself this time around. Less stressed. More engaged. Able to enjoy my babies more. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not running off to the spa every day (although doesn’t that sound amazing?!). But I am taking time to get to the gym, or to do a little yoga, or to take a hot shower, or to make healthy choices. It’s all too easy as a mom to put those things aside and spend every waking moment on your kids. But the reality is that when we are caring for ourselves, we are the best mothers we can be. And if that means sitting down for a cup of tea now and then, so be it. xoxo
This post is sponsored by Traditional Medicinals. All opinions are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.