Now that the immediate postpartum period is ending for me, I am eager to get back to feeling more like myself. Perhaps the knowledge that our “caboose” children are here has spurred my excitement at the idea of “having my body back.” Although I know it will take a long time before my clothes fit “right” and or for the baby weight to leave my body, there are some things that I have realized are important to me in the months following the birth of a child.
Most of these realizations were hard-won after my first two children were born, so I definitely have a head start this time around. As mentioned in KinderKronicle month 3, taking care of yourself doesn’t necessarily require big outings or a lot of money. Large shopping trips, manicures, spa days, and vacations aren’t really in my family’s budget. That’s okay, because there are other things that actually pay off much more in the long run for me.
Here’s my list of things that make me feel like a functioning human again during my child’s first year. Maybe there is something on this list that can help you feel a little better too! (inspired by “Taking Care of Yourself, KinderKronicle month 3):
Run (okay… jog… slowly… or walk…) the main idea here is to get a little sweaty doing some form of exercise. I enjoy the couch to 5k program when I am trying to get back into shape. For the record, I do not enjoy running while I am in the process… it is the feeling of accomplishment afterwards!
Wash your face. I went to Walmart and bought some inexpensive face wash that probably isn’t even that great for my face. But washing my face in the shower after my “run” is one of life’s simple pleasures.
Get dressed and go get a treat or drink with a friend or family member. My first “outing” alone after giving birth was to go with a friend for one hour to a local Italian ice place. It felt nice to be out of the house and not worried about meeting the needs of anyone else for a minute.
Buy 1-2 new outfits that fit. I dislike spending money on “in-between” clothes, but experience has taught me that I don’t fit right back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Even if I do happen to fit into some things, they don’t fit "right” for quite a while. I feel SO much better having one or two things in my closet that I like for going out.
Read- or some other pre-baby hobby.This usually looks like me climbing into bed at night with my Kindle and reading 4 pages before my husband takes it off my sleeping face. The next night, I backtrack 3 pages because I can’t remember what I read. The point is, reading is something I enjoyed before the babies were born and it makes me feel like myself when I have a book in my hand. Whatever you enjoyed doing before your child was born… do that. Even (especially!) if it isn’t productive.