Sunday, December 31, 2006

Pamper Yourself After Baby Is Born

New moms need pampering, too. Many women who report mild bouts with the baby blues, as opposed to the full-blown postpartum depression, share that part of their frustration is that they feel they have become unimportant because everyone is focused on the baby. Before I had my son, I thought those moms were selfish, too. After I had him, however, I understood exactly how they felt. It was not that people cooed over my baby. I did not mind that. It was as if I had become invisible and was no longer important to anyone. People expected that I did not sleep, eat normally, or need anything, and I despised it.

I will admit that I did not take care of myself after my son was born because I was so busy trying to be and do everything I had done before he was born and be the perfect mother to him that I got lost in the process. With the new baby set to arrive in about six weeks, I have decided that this time around, I will not succumb. I have been thinking of ways to pamper myself, and I would like to share them with you in the hope that you will take advantage of them as well.

First I will be purchasing a couple of books and puzzle books to read while I am in the hospital. While I am sure that I will want to bond with my daughter, I want to give myself a chance to keep my brain sharp and focused while I am by myself there.

Second I have decided that though I am not usually girlie, I am buying myself a manicure and pedicure set. I saw some that were pretty inexpensive the other day, and I have decided to pick one up. It is not that I care about my nails being polished or anything like that. Instead it is that I want to make sure that I force myself to spend some relaxing time treating myself. I am on my feet all day chasing a toddler and taking care of the million tasks that need to be done to run a household and a business. That means that my feet suffer, and by getting the pedicure set, I can give my feet the attention they need.

I also have purchased scented candles and some nice bags of tea. After the first few weeks, I plan to treat myself to a long, hot bath at least once a week. I figure I deserve it. Plus I can think better when I am in the tub, so it will give me a chance to rejuvenate. If you cannot bring yourself to take baths or do not have the time for a long, steamy night in the tub, at least consider getting nice lotions for yourself and sitting in the candlelight in your bedroom for a few minutes alone.

Set up extra help where you can. Even if you have a husband who is wonderful about helping with the housework, you should try to get any extra help possible. Take others up on their offers to bring over a meal or to do a load of laundry for you. When my mother came down when my son was born, the best thing she did for us was to do all of our laundry, including the ironing. Hire someone to come over once a week if you can. In many areas, these services are only $25 or so, and you can get a little relief.

Take some time at least once every two weeks for yourself, whether it is spending 15 minutes alone with a nice cup of coffee on your balcony or going to the store by yourself. Heck, you may just want to walk the block without anyone tagging along. Be sure that you set aside these times to spend with yourself doing whatever you want to do. You will need the break from your baby, your partner, and probably your home, too. It is okay to need a break. Being a Super Mom is not what it is cracked up to be. Those women usually crumble at some point; make sure you are not one of them.

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