New Mother Survival Essentials - Guilt, Self-Care and Feeling Like Yourself

Becoming a mom can turn your whole world upside down and inside out and make you wonder about who you are or who you used to be regardless of how you feel about motherhood.

Perhaps the building blocks that defined you before motherhood - like your work, your hobbies or what you liked to do with your spare time, go out the window, and you may feel like you no longer have time for the things that you used to enjoy and that made you, “you”.

It’s not uncommon for moms to say that they ‘don’t feel like themselves’ anymore. In fact, loss of identity is one of the biggest things moms say they find difficult about having a baby.

The pressure

Many moms feel this constant pressure to do more and more for their baby, and we may feel guilty when we prioritize ourselves at all, or give ourselves time away from the baby.

The guilt

We may try to bury those urges. But this feeling of guilt can build up inside us and encourage us to only do things with our baby, chipping away at how we feel about ourselves and who we are.

It might sound counterintuitive, but prioritizing yourself can be one of the most important things you can do for yourself and take care of your baby. If you’re running on empty, you’ll find that the cycle of putting yourself last gets harder to break. Filling up your tank by doing things that make you feel good can also give you more energy to take care of your baby while restoring your sense of identity.

Some people say the way to think about this is putting your oxygen mask on, so that you can help your baby after you’ve helped yourself.