Becoming a mother is one of the most life-changing experiences that anyone can go through. It doesn't matter if it's your first child or your fifth. It’s a time of joy, excitement, and anticipation for the future. But it can also be a time of grieving for the life that you had before your baby arrived. You may even feel guilty, especially if you went through infertility challenges. You're life completely changed in the matter of hours, it is normal to miss your old life and the freedom that came with it (It's also normal if this isn't your experience, just fyi).
As a new parent, you might find yourself feeling nostalgic for the days when you could sleep in on weekends, go out for a care-free night with friends, simply have a lazy day without any responsibilities, or just leave the house with such ease that it wasn't even a thought. It's okay to feel this way, and it doesn’t mean that you love your child any less. In fact, it’s a sign that you’re human and that you’re going through a major transition in your life.
It’s important to remember that it’s possible to find a balance between being a parent and still enjoying the things that you love. You can plan activities that you can do with your child that also fulfill your own interests. There is nothing wrong with incorporating your baby into your favorite hobbies.
• Are you into fitness? Take your baby out for a walk or a run in the stroller. You can also do exercises with or around your baby. I'm assuming planking or pushups while looking at a baby is better than looking at the floor. Who needs weights when you have a baby to lift? Carefully of course!
• Do you love to sing or play an instrument? Learn or even write a lullaby or two and let your baby be your audience.
• Are you a dancer? Join a mommy-and-me baby dance class.
• Do you love to read? Read while your breastfeeding, pumping, or when your snuggling with your little one. You can even read your latest book aloud to your baby.
• Do you love to cook? Try making homemade baby food.
• Are you crafty? How about scrapbooking all of the baby milestones and adventures? Or any of you with Cricut machines - make up some super cute onesies for your little one or fun mama-themed t-shirts or tote bags for yourself.
These activities may not be exactly the same as before baby, but you'll be reminded of who you were and feel more like yourself. You might have to be more intentional with your time and plan ahead, but it’s still possible to have fun and make time for yourself. If you're comfortable with hiring a babysitter, that's an option, or you can ask your partner or a family member to watch your child for a few hours so that you can have some time to yourself.
Ultimately, it’s important to embrace the changes that come with parenthood and to appreciate the new experiences that it brings. Your life might be different now, but it’s still full of meaning and purpose. I’s okay to miss your old life while you create new memories and experiences with your child.