The 3 Things You Need to Do if You Want to Rock Motherhood
The joy of pregnancy; the nausea and the tiredness of the first trimester, the excitement of the second, and the fear and the aches and pains of the last 3 months. We get so focused on giving the best nourishment to our growing bump, we avoid smoky places, polluted roads, we become wide aware of mold, magnetic fields, sugar, and alcohol; we switch to decaffeinated beverages, we read as many books as we can on how to birth naturally, we take supplements and we paint the nursery with organic, fumes-free, made-from-earth paint. And yet, we have no idea of what’s going to hit us.
When we become mothers, we switch from self-care to baby-care; all of a sudden, our focus shifts on what’s best for our little bundle of joy, and our family.
We tend to brush off the niggles and pains, the rollercoaster of emotions and the never ending fears as all being part of motherhood. We accept the feeling of inadequacy, and a deep sense of isolation that we have never put up with before in life.
We feel that the only way to push away the guilt is to become perfect, do-it-all mums; our child will survive on a balanced and organic free diet, will wear the cutest clothes and will be engaged in a bazillions of activities, and will be lulled to sleep in a perfectly painted nursery filled with essential oils (the organic variety of course), and gentle music.
And what about us? What about that driven independent woman that loved to go out for dinner, making love with her partner and laugh so loud the whole room would turn around?
That woman is maybe sitting somewhere in a stained PJ, scratching her head, trying to relieve the pain of too many sleepless nights, wondering if all this fatigue and lack of mental clarity are meant to be part of the journey.
And the answer is no. Motherhood can be tremendously uplifting and rewarding if we only start focusing on ourselves (and on the right things) a little bit more.
Let’s start from the basics: fill your body with energy-creating, healing foods.
Nourishing our postpartum body sounds so willy nilly, but what does it mean specifically?
It means hydrating all day long, especially after we breastfeed, stress out, sweat it out, or when we don’t sleep enough; what do you need to hydrate your body with? Abundant filtered water and herbal teas that can support your gut microbiome while keeping up the milk production.
Nourishing means also providing your body with the essentials nutrients, never skip a meal, and listen to your bodily cues on hunger and satiety.
It means enjoying three balanced meals filled with high-quality proteins and fats and complex carbohydrates and enjoy nurturing snacks in between to support the blood sugar levels.
And it also means to stop overindulging in caffeine, alcohol, store-bought foods and sugary snacks that deplete the adrenal glands, the immune system and liver, and hinder vitality in the long run.
When you can’t sleep, rest
In the first couple of months postpartum I was a wreak; from the outside, I was holding everything together; I wouldn’t miss a meeting with the mother’s group, my daughter was always immaculately dressed, my apartment was relatively tidy, and my greys were covered.
But I wasn’t well; I was up for 5 out of 8 hours every night, I was exhausted, always on the verge of a teary session or a full-on breakdown, and yet, I didn’t give myself the space to rest. The reason I was multitasking and behaving in such an erratic way (like cleaning the apartment at 5 am), was caused by the core belief that mothers (and women in general) do it all, and when they don’t, they are not good enough.
I was so desperately wanting to be a good mother, that I preferred to spread myself thin than to admit I wanted to simply lay down and do nothing. For a month.
Even my bone marrow was tired, and I kept comparing my life to other mothers that apparently had it all, or simply had what I was missing: support.
I then had a hard conversation with myself, and I realised that if I had the time to mindlessly scroll through my IG feed, I also had the time to rest.
That’s when resting became my full-time job: when my daughter went down for a nap, I would lay down or listen to 35 minutes of restorative yoga Nidra. After putting her to bed at night, I would sit on my couch and read a book; when she was playing on the playpen, I would sit next to her and throw my legs up the wall until I couldn’t feel my extremities. Prioritising rest and nourishment were the best things I have ever done.
Within a month I had energy and desire to live life; I wasn’t any longer dragging my feet on the floor, as I was dancing around the living room.
Claudia Vidor (@nourishedbyclaudia) * Instagram photos and videos
2,644 Followers, 1,236 Following, 580 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Claudia Vidor (@nourishedbyclaudia)
Help is needed!
If you think you can be a mother without help, you are setting yourself up for failure, in a dramatic way. Don’t fool yourself and think that you can do it all, not even for a minute, because you can’t. Or you can, but ring me again in 6 months and let me know how it’s working out for you.
Let me share what really helped me thrive in motherhood: a paid nanny that I trusted that would take care of my little bunny for 3 hours every week; the flexibility of my husband’s working schedule; the occasional childcare for the first 6 months of my daughter life, as it gave me 2 hours to simply walk in nature and drink a coffee without having to pick up toys from the floor; childcare from the moment my daughter turned 13 months; the occasional babysitting nights, and the couple of babysitting days during the weekend, where I could enjoy the undivided attention of my husband.
If you think you are a bad mother (or that there are better mothers) because you need help, think again. Back in the past women were held and supported postpartum, now in the western culture we are more isolated than ever.
Reach out for help without guilt. Your child should have a mum that wants to spend some quality time playing and laughing, instead of a draining out human that cries and yells at every chance she got.