I am such an expert on ‘parenting’. I know all about keeping up with the Jones. I know how to make Isabel happy. I am always feeling like a G on symphony air. LIES. LIES. LIES. There has been pockets of moments when I feel like joining Isabel to cry because I am equally frustrated as she is. Or have I simply lost my mojo. Deflated. Tired. Yes, this post is a letter to myself to take my own advise and increase my ‘mumergy’.
I remember the first time after birth I felt totally run down. It was literally weeks after sweet Isabel was born. I was determined to breastfeed but I had a milk guzzler who simply seemed to eat forever with maybe just 10 minutes break in-between! She ate for what seemed like hours at a stretch. I had a zillion people tell me to sleep when Isabel sleeps…HOWEVER, I had things to do! Combined with pure sheer excitement of being a new mum and having a buzzing creative mind that has many tabs open, when Isabel did sleep…I simply couldn’t. It was all too draining.
Really and truly, if I repeated that no 1 tip that you should sleep when baby is sleeping…then I am being so dishonest. So here are my 4 tips on keeping that energy high.
Tip 1: Start somewhere.
Whatever it takes to get you to relax within those seemingly 5 minutes when baby sleeps, do it. For me, scrolling and pinning on pinterest ideas for my next project; drinking white oolong tea (or green tea, or early grey or whatever tickles my fancy); taking a walk (ok, only applies in spring/summer…). Catching up with JBae (Jesus Christ lol) by reading a sentence from the Word or read some commentary on what I feel led to read just lifts me up. Or Sing. You catch my drift. I have noticed that doing what you love is equally the same as sleeping.
Still on this, looking after yourself. Often, due to my utter 150% attention on Isabel, I can let lose of myself and it can later make me feel like ‘meh’. This is the only advise I can actually tell you that works, go out and style your hair, thread your eyebrows, get a massage, or a pedicure. For me, it has been an instant increase in ‘mumergy’. I should do it more often!
Tip 2: My head says gym, my heart says cake. Head over heart please.
Duh! Forget the whole science behind how exercise releases good hormones, blah blah, but lets talk real talk. I am really struggling with exercising and each day that passes without having a workout, I do feel a reduction in my mumergy levels in exchange for an increase on my waist line. I don’t know where my will power has gone to, but I need to find it. I did sign up for some form of group personal training but even thats on hold. When I did attend, lactic acid gave me that needed bounce in my steps! I guess there isn’t any magic solution other than determination. Hence, I am writing it here to help me do something and be accountable! Its worse for us folks working in creative roles…(dreamers and visualisers, who just spend time dreaming, pinning and drawing).
Guess what, exercising does not have to be limited to the gym. You can go out for a long walk somewhere scenic with the babe. Actually, I guess I do some exercise because I do like walking… especially in places with trees, flowers and lovely scenery. You can also go out with friends too, have a night to yourself hanging out if that rocks your boat. Encourage your other half to do the same….’Dadergy’ is equally as important.
Tip 3: Good Vibes Only. Thank you.
From social media or social gatherings, negative vibes is not needed in your life. Looking after a brand new human being is already a hard shift and the last thing you want is secondary influence zapping away your energy. Keep it all at bay.
Let’s start with social media. I love it. However, I cannot let it be my tool of comparison. Behind perfectly manicured pictures of babies with perfectly curled hair is a baby who had their snot wiped before the picture was taken. Behind ‘snap-back’ (just-had-a baby-yesterday-and-my-belly-is-sucked-back-in) mum looking like a model for Models1 is a wonderful lady just showing you the pros of life. And if you want to post the pros of motherhood, please do. Do what makes you happy but remember, comparison is a thief of joy. Don’t let it take your joy away.
Next is Social gatherings. There is a tendency for folks in social circles compare themselves with others. Your baby against another. Your postpartum belly against another. Your life against another! Or some simply like to shove it all in your face and tell you how bad a job you are doing. No, you are doing a good job. Parenting has no manual or exam. It is a school where there is no right or wrong answer, neither is there graduation. We all get given different tests, different modules which give us different experiences and perspectives. Just train up your child in the way s/he should go and hopefully when they are old to make their own decisions, you will have imparted the right values in them to guide them.
And as for toxic people, keep them at arms length. Nothing more to say about that.
Tip 4: Feeling sorry? No need.
I’m not a social queen (I am an outgoing introvert….) but I do have a few real close friends. When I became pregnant, I was so ill, I shut down from the world. When I had Isabel, priorities changed. I felt like I was giving Isabel and my immediate family 200% of me, and when I had time, I was sooooo tired! Some friends have been totally amazing (I love you all) but some people will never understand how your life just changes. I started to feel guilty…guilt is another thief of mumergy! I learnt to stop feeling sorry and guilty. I am not saying that don’t make time for friends after all,…before baby, friends were there, but put baby and your life first and book meet ups in advance although, as any new mum can attest, that too can be subject to change!
I actively started looking for mum friends through social media and events (I have made some amazing friends). I joined Whatsapp groups where we all encourage each other as mums. It has been totally refreshing.
Happiness and good vibes rub off on your little one so keep your levels up! Those are my 4 little tips to keeping up your ‘mumergy’. I really hope to see more mums feeling much better about themselves. It not a magical list but little steps each day can go a long way to make you feel better about yourself as a mum. Let’s get pumping! Please comment below and share more ways of keeping your ‘mumergy’ levels up.