BY RACHAEL BLAKEY
When it came to my pregnancy with Teddy, I made it no secret that I really struggled with losing my identity and it took me a good year or so to feel more like myself. I think that was definitely the biggest shock when it came to motherhood was how much of yourself, your time & your sanity you give to being a parent. You feel like if you don’t dedicate your full attention, all of the time to your child, that you aren’t a good mum and i’m here to tell you that it’s absolute bullshit. I thought I would share the things that make me feel more myself post-baby.
I think I read 2 or 3 books in the first year after having Teddy, I just felt like I didn’t have ANY spare time, however since having Oliver I manage to read roughly a book a week, I just make sure I utilise my time more. I used to feel guilty reading whilst Teddy played but he absolutely loves playing independently and why shouldn’t I make use of that time? Even if it is short bursts of reading here & there, I always try and get in a few pages, but I definitely do the bulk of my reading before I go to sleep. Reading is my absolute favourite thing to do and makes me feel the most like myself. It’s a huge part of who I am. This has been the biggest thing that has made me feel more myself post baby.
AN HOUR TO MYSELF
Even if it is just a couple of times a week, I’ve definitely done this more since having Oliver. It’s like I felt guilty having Aaron look after both kids whilst I went upstairs to do some reading, take some pictures or blog but he has a few hours in the evening to himself once Teddy is in bed & I am getting Oliver to sleep – plus I am with them alone eight hours day whilst he is at work, so… I think I’ve earnt an hour of quiet twice a week. It’s not even like Aaron minds – he encourages it, I just can’t help but feel like I should be downstairs. Nobody misses me in that hour & lord knows I don’t miss them -LOL.
HAVING A PAMPER
As much as I would LOVE a spa day right now, it just isn’t feasible, well.. the current lockdown situation aside, Oliver is breastfed on demand so I can’t be away from him for longer than a few hours anyway! So the next best thing, ish, is to have a quick pamper myself. I take a nice 10/15 minute shower whilst preforming a one-woman show (Wicked is my current soundtrack of choice) and I even take the time to wash my face and apply a five minute face mask! It’s crazy how much better you will feel, just for you know, practicing basic hygiene!
Not talking about tits, co-sleeping or rabid toddlers is a thing of wonders! At first it’s a novelty talking about your new baby and what your toddler has been up to that day, but eventually it consumes your life and before you know it you haven’t spoke about something non-child related for days. It’s just one of those things that happens post-baby. Whether it’s talking about a reality trash tv show I am loving or texting a friend about a book we are currently reading, it makes all the difference.
Shopping online in particular. I love perusing for things, whether it is for me (usually books) or the kids (books, again or clothes & toys). I like zoning out and seeing what unnecessary things I can purchase with money I don’t have.
Whether it takes six months or a year, you need to accept that you’ve gone through the biggest change you will ever experience in your life and it’s okay not to rush to get there. What is the one thing that you do, post-baby, that makes you feel most yourself?