As a new mom, you love your little one – there’s no denying the incredible amount of joy and happiness they bring to your life. But day by day, you dive deeper into motherhood. And soon, you may feel like it’s your whole identity.
But remember, you’re still a unique (and wonderful) human being with your own goals, values, and interests. She may be tucked away, but the woman you were before you brought life into the world isn’t gone. You’re more than just a mom – and you shouldn’t feel guilty for taking time to rediscover yourself.
Remember, it’s hard to pour from an empty cup – taking care of yourself helps you give your family the best version of yourself. This year, explore each part of your life and figure out what you enjoy, what makes you feel fulfilled, and what sets your heart on fire.
As a new mom, you may consider your hobbies feeding and burping your baby, changing diapers, singing lullabies, and watching baby learning videos. But you need something that’s just for you.
Think about how you spent your free time before you had a baby. Crafting, gardening, baking, hiking, analyzing the stock market – your talents and interests are still valuable, and you deserve to share them with the world.
Even if you have little time available to devote to your hobbies, don’t give up on them. They’re a piece of you, even if you only work on them for an hour each week.
For some, returning to work after having children is a financial-driven decision. But some moms want to go back to work simply to have their own career – and that’s okay. You don’t have to offer any explanation, and it doesn’t make you any less of a mother. If returning to the corporate world or starting a side hustle fulfills any part of you, go for it. And now that working from home has become the new norm, it may be easier than ever for you to strike the work-life balance you’ve always wanted.
And if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you’re still not “just a mom.” Make sure you acknowledge the many hats you wear on a daily basis to keep your family and house in order. You’re a home administrator – keeping track of medical appointments, sports practices, dance lessons, and more. You’re a nurse – mending scrapes and cuts, blowing noses, and cleaning up after a kiddo that got sick overnight. You’re an educator – helping your children with math, reading, and science homework. You’re a chef – constantly providing your family with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive, while also accommodating the pickiest of eaters. And you’re a counselor – offering sound advice to your kids as they navigate the tough parts of their life.
Sometimes friendships grow distant as you have children and expand your family. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 68% of new parents feel cut off from friends and family. But it’s incredibly important to foster friendships that continue to help you be your best self. You need social interaction outside of your own family.
You know the saying: “Make new friends but keep the old – one is silver and the other gold.” Try to maintain your existing friendships but accept that quality time with your friends may look different post-baby. Instead of hitting happy hour after work, you may opt for a casual stroll through the park. It’ll take some time to figure out what works best for you and your friends, but it’s absolutely worth it.
Be open to making new friends, too. Online or local in-person mom groups offer support as you embrace your role as a new mom, while also providing the opportunity to make new friends that share similar values.
You may have been a partner long before you became a mother. But after your little one arrives, they quickly become the number one priority in both of your lives. Just remember, partnership is the relationship built to last – even after your kids fly the nest. You’ll both be better parents and a wonderful example to your children of a healthy relationship if you continue to nurture it – talk about how your baby has changed your partnership and what each of you needs to feel loved, supported, and valued.
New year, new you. Except now you’re a new mom – so you may already feel like an entirely different person. This year, rediscover bits of the “old you” – reclaim your hobbies, reach out to an old friend, and put the spark back in your relationship. Because remember, what’s good for you is also good for your children.