They say life changes forever when you have a baby. This makes it all sound so final and absolute. Surely there must be a way for you to be you still and enjoy what you used to enjoy? When you have a baby for the first time does it really change your life and does it change who you are?
You have a new title and a new job. It’s true this job will last the rest of your life, but, like any other, it will change, evolve, and become much easier! The difference with this role is that there is no training whatsoever to prepare you for it. Perhaps that sense of change is emphasized by the lack of preparation or insight into what is coming?
There certainly is something that goes beyond a title or a name in motherhood. There is that bond and that enormous sense of responsibility. Nature can take over your instincts and your typical behavior patterns. Does that mean you’re not you anymore? Maybe it’s a more maternal you, but you’re still here.
It’s also true that your body is changed forever. Your frame and shape have altered. Pregnancy can also take a toll on your fitness levels and weight. This doesn’t have to be permanent. Programs, like the one developed by Lindsay Brin, target the challenges created by having children. Whether you’ve been pregnant or not, your body will change. It’s up to you to do the work to keep it fit, healthy, and in the best shape you can achieve.
Of course, time is always difficult to find when you’re a mommy. Looking after a baby means there is less time for some of the things you might have enjoyed before. This might push you to rush tasks to fit more in. There can be a danger in doing this. Over-exercising and undereating are easy traps to fall into. But if you make yourself ill or end up injured, you’ll need a time out from everything. It’s not easy to strike a balance and chances are, you will have to prioritize.
Eventually, you will get into a routine and a pattern. So will your child, and this will make it easier to squeeze in a few more of your favorite activities. It offers you the opportunity to go back to work, but with this comes the next mommy hazard – guilt.
Our careers and jobs are important for two reasons:
One – we tend to define ourselves by our job title
Two – we will always need money!
Let’s face it, we have studied and worked for years to reach this point in our careers. It’s hard to let all of that go, and chances are many of us won’t. Instead, we need to juggle parenting with work, and that can take its toll emotionally and physically. Just admitting we need help and support to achieve all this can be tough!
Reclaiming your old life in its entirety might not be something you want to do after having a baby. Now your life includes someone new, and your outlook and priorities will change with that. How do you balance everything as a mother?
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