The Self Identity Struggle
So, being pregnant is a hard time! And I think people who aren’t/haven’t been pregnant may underestimate the impact it can have on a new mom’s self-identity.
Don’t get me wrong, carrying life and feeling my baby move inside me was the most amazing blessing I’ve ever experienced, and I’ll always be grateful I was able to have a child. However, a combination of SPD, morning sickness, clothes that no longer fit and an ever-changing body can really have a knock on your confidence. And then when you deliver and think you’ll be getting your “groove back” you may be experiencing swelling (my ankles swelled up so much I couldn’t even put my trainers on! Think Kim K when she was pregnant with North), stretch marks and postpartum shedding.
And then there’s fashion. You may be sporting a maternity bra, not so sexy knickers and the infamous mom bun! That hairstyle is all I seem to rock these days, and I couldn’t even tell you when I last washed my hair! Don’t judge me, luckily my mother in law has a hair salon so sorts me out when I get time, thank goodness!
And nearly four months on I find myself trying to hold onto my identity. I’ve fully embraced this new mom role and absolutely love it. But it is hard to find the balance between old me, and the new me. Here are some ways I’ve tried to maintain that balance:
Self Care Tips To Preserve Self Identity
- Before you give birth paint your toenails! Or if you can’t reach because of your big bump (which is highly likely) go and get a pedicure. I was in too much pain during labour to bother painting mine and the chipped look bothered me for weeks after delivery! But I was in too much pain because of my episiotomy to attempt it.
- Carry your handbag! People always say to me “you’re good for carrying your handbag and the baby bag!” But I carry waaay too much to just shove a few bits into the changing bag. It makes me feel normal though.
- Don’t just wear a mom bun, other hairstyles exist. That is until your baby learns to grab, then always revert back to the bun! It’ll save you pain, trust me!
- Get your eyebrows done (if that’s your thing). The rare times I’ve managed to get them waxed (literally twice in four months) has made me feel soo much better.
- Listen to music. I seem to spend a lot of time doing chores while singing nursery rhymes because I sing to my daughter so much. Jhene Aiko’s EP’s are on constant rotation when I want to chill out, and I love listening to her music. I think my daughter enjoys it too as I listened to her a lot in the last trimester.
- If you’re still pregnant binge watch all the shows you possibly can! Babies do sleep but it seems that mine senses whenever I’m going to watch something and wakes up! So now I tend to put shows on that don’t require much attention. I try to vary the activities we do, but when I do watch tv with Aniyah its usually a cartoon with weird animals in; some children’s programmes are questionable!
- Get a massage! This releases endorphins and can relieve tension from holding your baby — I didn’t realise how much bathing and feeding would hurt my shoulders.
- Develop or maintain a hobby! Whether it’s an hour in the gym, throwing yourself around a pole or reading a book, take the time to do something for yourself.
Thanks for visiting my blog, don’t forget to like and follow. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you do to maintain your sense of self.
Viv Simone x