I remember it clearly...
After having my oldest girl, I was completely overwhelmed! I honestly didn't feel like myself at all...
I was trying to breastfeed (which is a whole other story) or pumping nonstop. I had little to no time to shower let alone make an actual meal. It kind of seemed pointless to even think about getting dressed in anything other than loose-fitting pants and baggy shirts that of course was covered in spit up.
If you think I'm a little dramatic with this, then you probably aren't a mom, or you were lucky enough to have a lot of help around when your kids were itty bitty.
The fact is, becoming a mom is one of the most beautiful things in the world, but it is also the most pressure that a woman will ever put on herself. All of the sudden you are in charge of this little human who depends on you for everything... that's an enormous amount of pressure!
But do you know what I think caused me to feel so overwhelmed with all that pressure?!
Well besides all the hormones adjusting back, the biggest reason I was so overwhelmed was...
MY EXPECTATIONS WERE WAY TOO HIGH!!!
To say I was a mess for a bit is an understatement.
I did what most new moms do... I had this image of what I thought motherhood would be like, I had things planned out and ready to go, and it started out nothing like what I had imagined & planned for.
I knew that there would be some hard moments...especially due to lack of sleep, but I didn't realize the mental toll this adjustment would bring.
I felt completely lost!
Now, I was lucky enough to have family come to visit, and I have a wonderful husband that was more than willing to help out with whatever he could. But, my downfall was my own stubbornness and those stinkin' high expectations.
Good news is I came to my senses, and things did get better... A LOT BETTER!
Unfortunately, there are a lot of moms out there that continue to stay overwhelmed after their babies start to grow up. They hold onto that mentality that they have to do all the things for everyone (hello high expectations) and while keeping busy with all of that they have completely "lost themselves" in the process.
Thankfully, the second time around I learned from my struggles and the adjustment to adding a new little one into our family went much smoother.
Now, I wish I had a magical answer for a quick fix, but...everyone and every situation is different so all I can do is tell you what worked for me and hopefully it will work for you too...
Here are the 3 things that helped me not to lose myself in mom life:
1) Lower Expectations
Listen...It's okay to have hopes and plans, but please embrace the beauty of being a flexible planner. It's okay to have ideas in mind but also tell yourself if something happens or things don't go according to plan we will adjust accordingly and do our best. By doing this, you will take all that pressure off of you and it will leave you feeling less stressed.
2) Ask for help
We all need help at times, and it's okay to ask for it! Trust me... no one is going to look down on you or think that you are weak for asking for help. It takes a lot of courage and strength to reach out and ask. It takes a village right?!
3) Take care of yourself!
Don't forget to take care of yourself. Take the time to do something for you and give yourself a break! You might be a mom but you are still a person, and we all need breaks here and there. It doesn't make you a bad mom; it makes you a smart one to acknowledge when you need time to take care of you.
If you are a mom and you are struggling with not feeling like yourself, please take these 3 tips to heart and start applying them. I know that there is no 1 size fits all answer, but these are the most basic, simple yet powerful tips that I truly believe can help.
Being a mom is an amazing role to have in life, but you are still an original that needs to thrive as well. Take care of yourself mama....you're doing a great job.