I still remember being pregnant with my first child. He is seventeen years old now. That fact alone amazes me. Where does the time go? People always comment on how fast time passes but you really don’t fully appreciate this sentiment until you see your own kids growing up.
I am not one to cling to my children’s youth, wanting them to stay young forever. I am not a person who lives vicariously through my children. Yet, I cannot help but feel strong pains of sentiment and even some sadness when I look over photos of the younger years with my kids and once again see pictures of their tiny hands and small faces, and my youth. Days when I thought I knew so much more than I really did.
There is a lot of pressure in our society when it comes to the expectations we have for women and motherhood. Many women feel this unspoken yet highly publicized standard that must be met. Tabloids show celebrities “bouncing” back to their pre-pregnancy bodies, towing toddlers in hand and pushing strollers, all while wearing their five inch heels, their tight skinny jeans, and hair perfectly tousled in that sexy mom way.
Wow. That bar is pretty high!
In the meantime, keep a Martha Stewart house, work a full time job, fit in those play dates, participate in school activities, and while you are at it, make it all look easy.
Now, as I have said, I have learned from my past. Much of it was difficult, either due to bad choices I made early on (I made quite a few) or due to circumstances that were out of my control.
But I can’t.
So instead, here is my advice to all of you new moms and moms to be.
- No one cares if your house is a mess. People expect it to be. And if they think you are lacking in certain capacities simply because you choose playing with your kids and cuddling over impressing the neighbors, they don’t belong in your circle.
- Kids don’t remember how much money you had or didn’t have. They don’t remember whether you got them a certain toy or not. They DO remember how much time you spent with them and if you were really THERE when you were in their presence.
- The only people you need to look fabulous for are those little people who rely on you for everything. Even on your worst days, to them, you are a Rockstar.
- Put away your cell phones. Turn off your computers. Turn off the television. You don’t need them.
- You don’t have to have a “perfect” body right now (or ever). You DO need a healthy body and rest whenever you can get it. You can get all the exercise you need right at home and with your children.
- Alone time is also important. Take time every day to nurture yourself.
- Eat healthy foods. Eat them in front of your kids.
- Pregnancy is a natural part of being a woman. That doesn’t mean you recover from having a baby overnight. Accept whatever phases your body goes through and ENJOY it. Allow your body to transition back gradually and be patient. It can take one to two years to fully recover from a pregnancy.
- It’s okay to want other things in your life and to have other interests. However, I promise you, those things will still be there when your kids are older.
- You are perfect. Exactly as you are in this very moment. Love yourself every day. In viewing your self- love, your kids will then learn to do the same for themselves.
Now get out there!
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