Suck it up buttercup. Why are you so tired? You need to get back in the game.
These are things that people say to us after we have a baby. But even worse, these are things we say to ourselves.
Why do we feel that we need to be able to juggle multiple tasks, keep everyone happy, put on a smile and summon back our energy, and resume life as normal – like it was before we grew a human in our body?
Guess what!? We shouldn’t. You shouldn’t. Your body just sustained a life, birthed a baby and your body is still in high gear as you protect and nurture that baby while simultaneously healing itself. And resuming life as normal is a flawed mindset – you have a new normal, things are different, and that is OKAY.
As a postpartum doula I spend time helping new families, and I spend time listening. Helping a new mother understand that right now she just needs to take care of herself and her baby and not expect to be superwoman is the ultimate service I can provide. We know you are superwoman, and right now, superwoman needs to kick back and settle into her postpartum babymoon.
Here are some wise words from our friend, Lauren Mackey. Read them and take them to heart.
Love yourself. Love your family. Buy some bigger jeans.
“Things I am finally accepting at 4 months postpartum with my second:
-Understanding that I have limitations. I love to say yes. I love to do it all. I think that’s clear in the fact that I consistently work 2-3 jobs and I love it. But I can’t always say yes AND be a good wife AND be a good mom AND be a good friend AND keep my house clean AND always have healthy meals AND AND AND. I’m finally accepting that sometimes I have to say no. Sometimes I have to just focus on myself and my family. Sometimes I have to let go. There are gonna be unpacked boxes from the move. There’s gonna be piles of laundry. That play room might not ever be clean again. It is what it is.
-Realizing that now is not the time to be hard on myself for my body carrying around some extra weight. My entire adulthood I have worked hard to be fit. And after Quinn was born, the weight fell right off and I was able to work out at least semi regularly. Now, I just birthed my second baby in 3 years’ time, and I am singlehandedly nourishing a child’s life with my body for the second time. I’m a little older and my metabolism is a little slower. But most importantly, my family is my first priority and most days I don’t even get to shower alone. Most days I’m lucky if I shove a half of a pbj in my face with my gallon of coffee. It is what it is. Someday, I’ll have time to run again. Someday, I’ll watch this muffin top disappear and I’ll fit in those size 4 jeans again. But right now, it’s about survival. And right now, it’s about saying thank you to a body that created, housed, birthed and fed/ is feeding 2 beautiful little humans.
I guess I am writing this to encourage other families in their “fourth trimester” and beyond.
Extend yourselves a little grace. Say no sometimes. Let go of some things. Drink a lot of coffee. Love yourself. Love your family. Buy some bigger jeans. Be present because you’re going to blink and these kids are going to be driving.”