The Stages of a Mother’s Self-Image

As I look at a photo I took of my son and I as he is sleeping on me, I see a women who looks tired, worn out, and patchy skin. I immediately felt insecure. But then I look at my son laying there all warm and cozy and my perspective changed. I see a mother’s love.

I feel there is a fine line between letting yourself go and letting yourself slow down. A lot of the time when you become a mother, some habits or self care go out of the window. It does not have to be that way or have to stay that way.

As a new mother, I tend to put my needs last and I have learned how to find the balance.  I tend to feel like I have to do something with myself in order to feel normal again. Sometimes I feel bad when I do not put myself together or not even care. Other times I do love to get myself “presentable” in the morning. Sometimes I just want to lay in bed with my 8 month old and breathe in the moment because these moments are slipping away. The quiet and calm moments I have with Liam in bed when he is asleep in my arms are what make me feel that my self image is more than just makeup or my hair being nice. It is the love I have for my child and it shows in the pictures I take. The pictures that have  do not have a filter or lighting change. The ones that show those very large blue under eye circles that could be covered with makeup or a photo filter. Those under eye circles remind me of the role I now have. And you know what, I have slowly accepted them.

Does that mean I do not respect myself enough to look more rested or put together? Or not care enough for my husband who would like to see me in jeans and hair that is not a ball of knots? No, it just means that I do not stress about it and live in the moment with my baby if I am not able to get my self care done.

Many of us feel we need to rush and move forward into making our life feel normal again. But when you take home that new baby for the first time, your life is not ever going to be normal again. It is a whole new normal that creates so much joy, love, anxiety, fears, happiness, and chaos. I feel like if you cannot find the energy or motivation to get yourself ready for the day in the very beginning that should be okay, because you are learning to take care of another small person. You do not have the experience to find balance right away. Slow down and find that natural flow with your baby and soon the balance of self care and baby care will happen! Everyone has their own pace.

Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Comparing yourself or looking up to someone are two different things. If you compare, you tend to self hate. If you look up to someone, you feel inspired. Find that inspiration. Once you master that balance, you will feel at peace. But I encourage you to find the peace in any stage you are in.

A mother’s self imagine is not define by the foundation you wear, but by the love you share. You can wear all the foundation you want and not feel happy with yourself. Share all that love you can with that new bundle of joy.

Slow down.

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