I vividly recall the early days after our first son, J. Morgan, was born. We were living in North Carolina, far from any family support. My husband, Robert, was busy with school and often had late nights on campus. With a student loan and some savings, I managed to work part-time, but the reality was that it could get incredibly lonely.
Between post-partum hormones wreaking havoc and my unpredictable thyroid, I was an emotional mess. But I discovered a simple yet effective way to combat the loneliness: I would strap J. Morgan into his car seat, treat myself to a "fancy" coffee from McDonald's, and just go for a drive while listening to uplifting music.
Just this mini-outing made such a difference in my well-being. Getting out of the house, feeling the warmth of the sun, seeing other people—it was a lifeline for me. As a new mom, it's easy to feel trapped and restricted, especially in the early stages. But this little drive became my escape, my way of rejuvenating myself without the hassle of lugging a stroller in and out.
Recently, during one of my classes, I asked my students about the youngest infants they have encountered in their practice. To my surprise, a few mentioned seeing infants as young as three days old. It reminded me of those vulnerable early days. I encouraged my students to check in with the moms, ensuring their well-being.
Sometimes, a simple question can make a world of difference: "What's one thing you are doing daily to make yourself feel better?" New Mom's aren't thinking of themselves -- they are too tired! They have other "more important" concerns (at least in their own minds!) So encourage them to give themselves permission by asking this type of question. Be prepared to offer guidance if needed, as they may be struggling to figure out how to prioritize their own self-care.
Remember, taking care of yourself as a new mom is not selfish—it's essential. Prioritizing your well-being allows you to show up as the best version of yourself for your baby. So, don't hesitate to take that drive, enjoy a moment of solitude, and indulge in self-care. You deserve it!
Together, let's create a community of support where every mom feels valued, heard, and uplifted. Remember, a small act of self-care can have a profound impact on a new mom's journey. Keep nurturing yourself and remember that you are not alone. We are here for you.
That's all for now,