I’ve mentioned before that I was naive to what motherhood entailed before it happened. To some extent, I think most first time moms are. Unless you’ve had an older sibling or close family member or friend go through the first time transition of motherhood, I don’t think you can ever know what to expect!
While I felt it would initially be a little easier to carve out time for me, I quickly realized that newborns depend on having you near constantly, especially if you’re breastfeeding. You almost need to be close by at all times.
Once Camryn got a little bit older and started taking bottles, it became a little easier for me to do my own little excursions. It just required me to plan ahead and pump regularly.
But, I’ve realized how much better I feel when I get a little time to myself. I 100% think it has enabled me to be a better mom to Camryn while promoting my own sanity and happiness.
So, here are some of my favorite tips on how I’ve introduced some self awareness into first time motherhood. In no way do I think I’ve found the perfect balance yet (does that even exist?), but I’m slowly finding what works. And what fuels me.
Okay, probably not the first thing you think about with self care, but it totally is! Regularly nourishing and fueling yourself is a non-indulgent form of self-care.
You have to be properly fueled and nourished to take care of others and perform your best. This is actually something I talk with clients about when we discuss intuitive eating – sometimes the gentle nutrition piece plays in and knowing that you may not eat until way later, for example, may warrant an early snack, even if you aren’t hungry.
You have to look out for yourself.
It can be difficult to take time to feed yourself when you have a crying or needy baby, I get that. I have a list of snacks that I can eat with one hand that make the list. Yogurt is one of those snacks that you can hold in one hand with a baby in the other.
I’ll sit Cam on my lap at the table and let her watch me spoon the yogurt into my mouth. Soon enough, she’ll get to try some too!
I’ve recently been loving the Vega Protein Cashewmilk Yogurt Alternative. While I’m not dairy-free right now, you guys may remember that in the first few months I really thought Cam had a dairy allergy. So, I was limiting it and exploring the non-dairy food options. Vega protein powder has always been my favorite and it fueled me during marathon training. I would always look forward to that post long run smoothie bowl.
So, I was super excited when I learned that they came out with a new yogurt alternative too, with a nationwide launch coming soon.
For those of you who require dairy-free options, it’s a blend of cashewmilk and pea protein, serving up 13 grams of protein and 7 grams of sugar, making it the highest plant-based protein yogurt alternative out there. It is also contains magnesium, zinc, iron, prebiotics and probiotics.
It’s great even if you aren’t dairy free, but I’m thankful there are superior options like this on the market now.
My grocery shopping assistant is too! Don’t worry, she’s not eating it yet – we still have a little bit of time before then.
There’s nothing better than sleeping in a little. The last few weeks, Cam has started waking up between 5:30 and 6 to eat, but then going back to sleep until 8ish.
Sometimes, Ed lets me sleep an additional hour after that by taking her when she gets up and being in charge of feeding her a bottle if she needs to eat again. Even just getting that extra hour feels so luxurious and is one of my favorite forms of self care. There’s nothing like my comfortable bed and a quiet room.
Running and Workouts
You guys knew this was coming after my recent post about running postpartum . But having some outlet of exercise is important to me.
When I can run, I do. When I can sneak out to a gym or yoga class, I do. And it’s great having Ed to watch Camryn while I do so, or even putting Camryn in the gym day care.
I’ve realized I need those endorphins from exercise because I really believe they have an effect on my overall attitude and hormonal balance. Maybe other moms can agree?
Plus, having easy snacks after my workout like Vega Protein Cashewmilk Yogurt Alternative helps me replenish my muscles right away.
With the combination of breastfeeding and just running taking more energy, I usually come home STARVING and need to eat or drink something right away.
It’s easy to pack in a lunch and eat quickly, which are must-haves for me. When I have a little more time, I like to add some toppings and enjoy a more substantial bowl.
I love the mission that Vega products give out about giving your personal best. That’s the best we can all do in our situations – athletic endeavors and life endeavors. I’m trying to be the best mom I can be to Camryn, the best dietitian I can be to clients, and the best runner I can be right now. I know that properly fueling myself will help me feel and perform my best in every aspect.
Who knew running errands could be so enjoyable? Maybe not running errands specifically, but taking some time to get out of the house ALONE is important. Being able to blast music I like, or just drive in silence, is a big change from when I’m driving with Cam.
It’s nice to go shopping, or go into stores, like Whole Foods, on my own. Plus, in doing so, I find out about neat events like this 🙂
Being a mom who works from home can be isolating. It’s important for me to plan social events into my calendar to not only relate with others, but get out of my own head sometimes. Wine and cheese nights are one of my favorite ways to entertain friends.
I love social media, but sometimes, I hate it. I need a break from being so interested in what other people are doing so I can focus on myself. Putting my phone on airplane mode, turning off my computer, and just lounging with a good old book is a great way for me. I also love to soak in an epsom salt bath or go for walk without noise.
What’s your favorite way to include self care in your routine?