Have you ever looked at a woman and thought “wow, she really let herself go,” or “she’s changed so much since the baby”? Or maybe you’ve looked into the mirror and thought those things about yourself. That’s how I’ve been feeling about myself lately and it got me thinking…
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t felt pretty in a long time. Sure, being pregnant makes it hard. The weight gain and the exhaustion paired with the discomfort can make it hard on a gal. Then baby comes and you think you can be your old self again, right? Wrong. You’re trying to lose baby weight, deal with the insane hair loss that nobody told you about, and combat the new skin issues your face developed.
If you’re anything like me, you certainly don’t have the time to enjoy favorite pastimes, apply a nightly mud mask, or go to the gym. You’re even more exhausted and just busier. It seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Really, though, moms (dads, too) have to completely shift their priorities. It’s not that I’ve given up on myself — at least not intentionally. It’s that my son is my number one priority and I meet his needs first and then whatever time is left can be spent on me. Problem is, there’s just never any extra time!
not enough time
So before baby, morning routines revolved around yours truly. NOW — instead of styling my hair perfectly (or at all some days), I’m prepping bottles and making breakfast for my son. I do as much as I can before he wakes up, and then the daily routine begins. I change his diaper, apply his creams and feed him his morning bottle. That alone can take a half hour! Some mornings I’m stripping the bed and starting laundry. Most of my mornings are spent getting Jack ready for the day or cleaning/prepping our house for the babysitter. I’m not standing in front of a mirror. I’m not prepping my lunch, which means I’m grabbing something convenient and undoubtedly unhealthy.
Sure, I can wake up earlier, but that means I’ll be even MORE tired. I’ve actually experimented with setting my alarm earlier and getting myself fully ready and incorporating some of my old morning routine rituals — just like old times! But the truth is, I value my sleep a little more — and NEED it to be a functional mom when I get home from work.
But the other truth is, I do miss the old Amanda.
not enough of the old amanda
Even though I love being a mommy, there are definitely things about the “old Amanda” that I miss.
Some days — like a lot of them — I don’t have time to put on makeup. I told you I don’t often style my hair. I run a straightener through it, and roll my eyes in the mirror as I’m rushing out. My style… ugh… let’s not even go there. I can’t be the only mom that doesn’t feel comfortable in 99% of my pre-baby wardrobe, can I? I’m more often than not embarrassed of myself.
And every day you can find me adding things to my “to-do list” or my “wish list.” I have a list of books to read a mile long, things to clean, projects to complete, and multiple shopping lists.
Sometimes “brush teeth before bed” goes on my to-do list.
goal: be mommy & amanda
I’ve been contemplating the things I can do to find more time and create a balance between Amanda-the-mom and Amanda.
- Cut my hair. Gosh, I’ve been debating this for SO LONG… like dating back to pregnancy! But I just didn’t want to be one of those moms who gets a “mom haircut” and basically “gives up on herself.” NEWSFLASH: I’m completely over that and realize it’s not about giving up on yourself, but finding what works best for your schedule and family. It’ll be quicker to wash, dry, and style. That will make it easier to do Jack’s morning routine and actually get ready for work! Basically, I want my son to come first in everything. Therefore, my hair comes second. Snip, snip.
- Limit social media. I’ve decided that I don’t need to do the mindless scrolling on my facebook and instagram. It’s definitely not a priority in life and I can honestly say it’s just become a habit. Get home — play with Jack — start dinner — feed — bath — bedtime routine — bottle — put Jack to bed — PLOP ON THE COUCH AND SCROLL SOCIAL MEDIA SITES. WTF is wrong with me? Enough said.
- Read for fun. I originally typed “read more” but realized I actually read A TON, but I’m not reading stuff I used to read. Instead of mystery novels or inspirational memoirs, I’m constantly reading articles I find on facebook (once I conquer #2 this should be a thing of the past!) and books about the stages my son is in or going to be in. I know it’s good that I read about what to expect as a mom and I truly do enjoy it so, so much, but I need to read to escape reality sometimes, too — even if my reality is freakin’ awesome.
- Blog More. I’ve been wanting to blog regularly for years and years and years. I finally have something I’m uber passionate about, but don’t have the time. WRONG. I need to make the time. And, again, after nixing mind-numbing scrolling, that should make plenty of time.
- Purge. I’ve been reading a lot about living a minimalist lifestyle and it’s really speaking to me. I want to go through all of my clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup, toiletries, etc. I need to only keep what I actually wear/use. The rest is wasting space, causing unnecessary clutter, and making it hard for me to see/find the things I really want — essentially wasting time!
So, that’s the game plan. I tried to keep it simple and realistic, because too often I set myself up for failure.
I’ll revisit this in month to see my progress — and I’ll be sharing lots on my Instagram, so if you’re not following me there, do it! Tips, advice, motivation, or a gentle kick in the tush is welcome and appreciated.
Thanks for reading!