I’ve decided to start writing my blog posts a little bit differently. I’ve been so focused on what the experts in the blogging world have told me that I don’t often write from my truest voice. As much as I work on myself, I still find that I have these moments where I let the outside world dictate my actions. There are experts out there with amazing advice but it doesn’t mean I have to follow it all. For the most part, I read and study and then create a working style that best matches my personality. With blogging, I’ve been always been a bit insecure because as much as I love to read and write I doubt that I am a good enough writer. But guess what? Who cares!
I’ve managed to lead a successful and happy life without always saying or writing the “correct” things all the time. My goodness! I’ve even managed to get three masters degrees, so my writing must make sense at some point. So from now on, no more filtering and no more second guessing. I’m going to come at you as real as I can over these internets and let the chips fall where they may. I hope you continue to join me on this journey and stick with me, even when I don’t use a comma in the right way!
Sooooooo, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’ll write about what you actually came on here to read.
I’m expecting my second child and am super excited to meet him but I’m also nervous as to what having a second child will mean for me. I went through a pretty rough bout of postpartum anxiety that turned into general anxiety after the birth of my first son.
I swore I would be fine after giving birth. My husband, in trying to prepare me, would constantly tell me to slow down and focus on myself prior to giving birth to my first son but I didn’t listen. I thought I could manage anything that came my way and giving birth was no different. Boy...was I wrong and I hate being wrong with hubby! 🙂
I wish I had listened to him back them. I’m not sure if better self-care would have prevent postpartum anxiety but it sure would have given me the awareness to recognize something was wrong sooner. I became so engulfed in caring for my son that I was in too deep to recognize who I was or that I needed help.
With my second son, I’m approaching things way differently. I’ve got so many routines in place that I briefly considering running a blog just on that topic. Routines for self-care, my son’s schedule, food schedules. I know that I need structure to strive. So, I’ve put in place the systems I need to feel safe and well taken care of.
This whole mommyhood thing is real and tough. You can just wish for everything to come together because it just won’t. You have to work at it and find what works best for you. For me, this means taking care of myself so that I feel healthy and strong. I want to be the best mom I can be and I am sharing with you a snapshot of my self-care practice while pregnant.
Self-Care While Pregnant Journey
Such a natural action to take but it has always been hard for me to get enough sleep. Either, I try to fit in as much as I can in the hours before bedtime or I waste time doing something silly like playing on my phone. During this pregnancy, the only thing that keeps me up is something major with the kids or my husband. Otherwise, I’m in bed and get at least 8 hours of sleep. If I don’t, I know I will have a horrible day because I can’t shake that feeling tired feeling so I’m not productive. Even if I have to force myself to lay in bed, I do it. I even purchased blackout curtains to make my room super cozy.
2. Morning Routine
This is a relatively new development but a crucial one. I recently read the book, “The Morning Miracle”. It opened my eyes to how important it is to starting my day off on the right foot. Being pregnant means automatically waking up tired and my day just wouldn’t start off properly. Once I put a morning routine into place, well momma my mental health has changed for the better. I’m better able to manage my anxiety.
3. Balanced Eating
I did not establish a particular diet. It just wouldn’t work for me but I am extremely clear on what I can’t eat. Sugar makes me feel like crap, so I limit candy or cakes now. It took me a while to figure that out but once I did I am much better at paying attention to how much sugar I eat and the times of the day I eat it. Also, after being incredibly sick for 7 months, we found out I was anemic. Which meant making sure I took the proper supplements and ate more foods rich in iron.
They are not kidding when they say to up your water intake! If I wake up with a headache or feel even more tired than usual it’s because I hadn’t drank enough water. So drink water!!!!
I was raised with this strict mindset that I had to work hard to get what I want. I also saw my mother bust her ass on a daily basis to keep us safe and well-educated so the message that I received is that there are no shortcuts! I am not taking anything away from my mother, that is the lesson she learned and lived a life based on that lesson. However, I am calling bull on it.
a. I don’t need to make my life harder to prove I’m a good mother.
b. I don’t need to struggle to prove that my pregnancy was any easier than anyone else’s.
c. I certainly can find easier ways to live my life so that I am rested, healthy and sane!
So, I took shortcuts when I could.
- I started ordering groceries online so that I didn’t have to push my body at the stores.
- Whenever I took my son out, I would find a motor cart that I could use (walmart has them!) so that I wouldn’t have to spend the entire time walking.
- I created a routine so that my 4 year old can independently work on things around the house, so that I didn’t have to do it.
The point is, whenever I could find an easier way of doing something, I was going to take advantage. Self-care while pregnant doesn’t mean being selfish, it does mean finding the ways to be kinder on yourself while growing a little human in your body.
I would love to hear some of the many ways you work on self-care while pregnant. It took me a tough first post-partum experience to recognize how important it is to be mindful of my self-care at all times but especially when I’m pregnant. Share your self-care routine with our community.