This is what real, uncensored motherhood looks like. I was about a week post partum here. I was sore & tired & underslept. Breastfeeding was totally kicking my ass. My labour had been an empowering experience but it was peppered with it’s own traumas that I didn’t have the time or energy to deal with. I was in pure survival mode.
Despite the desperation in early post partum to give your baby everything you can, I also knew I had to take care of me. But self care can be such a nebulous concept can’t it? How does one actually do it?
Since the beginning of the post partum period, I have taken a shower every.single.day. It wasn’t always pretty, sometimes with the baby wailing beside me in her rocker. Sometimes it wasn’t until 10pm. But I still did it. Because for me, water is nourishing, restorative. I would feel that gush of warmth over my body and I could peacefully ignore the baby’s crying for just a few precious, relaxing seconds. It was a moment of privacy, of peace. We know taking care of sleep and stress are number one in taking care of ourselves. But in post partum, that’s just not accessible. You probably won’t be getting much sleep. You probably will be stressed as you navigate keeping your new baby human alive and happy.
So if you’re ever feeling like you need to do something for you but you can’t take that nap or reduce that stress, then don’t force it. Move onto something you *can* tackle. Pick an activity that you can surely make time and space for. Now I’ve become so anchored in this ritual that I even jazz it up with some candles and essential oils. It’s worth it because, even though it’s 15 minutes of my day, I make it count big time.
Choosing an accessible self care ritual doesn’t just apply to mamas, this applies to any time you’re tackling some of life’s tough stuff. This is what healthy boundary setting looks like. This is what self reclamation looks like. Write yourself that permission slip to take care of you. It doesn’t have to be big or cause any major waves of change. Just small ripples toward healing and care are what you need. What could you do today that puts you in touch with taking care of yourself?