• • • Hey Mama!
I see you there, sitting with a half drunken [and now cold] cup of coffee, trying to decide if you should pour a fresh cup or just chug it lukewarm. Or, should you switch to decaf instead? Was it your fault the baby was fussy and didn’t sleep well last night? Did you allow yourself too much caffeine? It seems like your mind is always consumed with what you did wrong, and what you should have done better.
I know, you’re tired and your eyes are baggy and you can't remember the last time you showered. I've been there. When the days all blend together, and you only know when it’s Friday because you see pictures on Facebook of your childless friends all dolled up and care-free, enjoying the weekend. Do moms get weekends? It’s hard for you to imagine ever picking out clothes because you love them, rather than based on how quickly they allow you to latch on a screaming and hungry baby.
You know what I've learned? In the days, weeks, and even months when the only thing you feel more heavily than fatigue is “the mom guilt”. You have to make sure you don't feel guilty about making time to remind yourself that You Are Beautiful! Let go and trust your husband, your mom, or your neighbor to watch your baby for an hour during nap time. Go get your nails or your hair done; pamper yourself! Or, take a shower and do your make up, then go sit in Starbucks and let someone serve you for a change.
The next time you see a shirt or a dress you love online, BUY IT. Being a Mom is your job - so treat yourself to a “uniform” that puts the fun in functional. (It’s okay to buy something that’s not for your baby!) Shop for accessories that make you feel trendy , shirts so cozy you don't want to take them off, and a dress so pretty you're making a list in your head of all the places you can't wait to wear it to, like this gorgeous Lace Dress by Mothers en Vogue .
A lot of days, it seems like it takes all the energy you have just to change out of pajamas. Some days you just won’t – and that’s okay. But push yourself every once in a while to get dressed in that new outfit you love. Try not to worry too much about how quickly your baby will spit up on you. (One day, our babies will be old enough to clean and fold that laundry themselves!)
Most importantly, remember you won’t feel beautiful until you learn to love yourself as you are, right in this moment. This exhausting, scary, ever-changing moment. It’s hard to imagine when you spend all of your attention and energy on incredibly dependent little human beings. But, when you look into that sweet little face, remember for a minute, you grew and delivered that baby from your own body.
So no matter how dark the bags under your eyes are, or how many extra pounds you can’t seem to loose, or how much of your old wardrobe you can’t wear anymore – your body is amazing!!
Love yourself inside and out, and take care of yourself.
All my love,
A Fellow Breastfeeding Mama